In New Hampshire, they start’em young in politics. Or at least New Hampshire writer Darren Garnick does.
Four years ago, Garnick was dropping his then five-week-old daughter Dahlia into the arms of presidential candidates who had, predictably, descended on his state in hopes of scoring big in the state’s upcoming primary election. Republicans and Democrats alike cooed and snuggled with little Dahlia, who charmed them all … well most. (Poor Rudy Giuliani caught her — and voters in general — at a bad time.)
That was then and this is (almost) 2012. New election year. And Dahlia’s got a big brother.
Ari Garnick, 9, didn’t go for the hug or the handshake when the parade of Republican hopefuls came to his state. Instead, Ari sought insight into the candidates’ style of heroics, asking Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Herman Cain, “If you could be any superhero in the world, who would you be and why?” Ari’s father Darren filmed the responses and wrote about the father-son production for The Atlantic.
Superman is the clear go-to superhero for men on the campaign trail. Santorum wants to be the brave family man from “The Incredibles.”
Ari is wonderfully poised during his short Q & A’s, bravely pushing his way to the front of a crowd, raising his hand, asking the question. He’s even apologetic for not being “very political.”And he doesn’t clam up when Gingrich and Cain ask their own follow-ups.
David Gregory was dazzled by Ari’s line of questioning, playing clips on “Meet the Press” and seeming to find the whole exercise rather profound.
You be the judge.