Writing at Slate, Katie Roiphe describes watching the final presidential debate with her nine-year-old daughter, who “views the world entirely through the lens of Harry Potter” and has a fresh take on the nature of Mitt Romney’s villainy:
“He’s Umbridge!” And of course I saw exactly what she meant, the brittle, lacquered, self-satisfied smile of the ambitious Dark Arts professor and passionate ministry bureaucrat, Dolores Umbridge. The saccharine, almost-girlish chuckle. The proclamations she issues at Hogwarts, the self-important talk about “the ministry this” and “the ministry that.” The classes doomed to read out loud instead of learning the spells they desperately need. The moment where she makes Harry write lines into his own skin with a pen that draws real blood, all the while smiling that fake and brittle smile. Then of course there is her interest in Muggle Registration, and protecting “pureblood” wizards from the dilution and compromise of human blood.
Of course — the parallels are obvious!
What about Ann Romney?
At the end of the debate, when Ann Romney came up onstage in her green-patterned, 1950s-style skirt, with her anxious expression and pained smile, Violet saw Petunia Dursley, that manic perversion of ’50s housewifery, meanly maternal, protective of the wrong people.
When Michelle Obama wears patterned skirts and looks tense, somehow this isn’t seen as evidence of her manic and perverted housewifery.
And President Obama?
Dumbledore! Wise, old, snowy-haired Albus Dumbledore. He has moral authority and gravitas, even when life at Hogwarts moves out of his control.
Perhaps Newsweek can get in a “First Wizard President” cover before December.