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COTD: Rick Perry’s West Wing

October 24, 2011

Departmates of mine are taking a class on intertextuality, and so I’ve been occasionally mulling over the rhetorical significance of borrowing from one text to create your own.  Borrowing might be too vague a word to describe academic intertextuality, but it’s the one that seems to fit former governor and former GOP front-runner Rick Perry’s recent ad.

Much as I enjoyed the tongue-tripping “America’s jobs governor” (at 0:18), the Pittsburgh shout-outs, and the image of  a girl literally playing with fire (at 1:40), what first caught my attention was the familiar nature of the extra-textual features: the flags, the music.  Tell me it’s not mimicking the opening credits to The West Wing:

Why would a conservative borrow from Sorkin’s chimerical  haven of liberaldom?  Perhaps I’m over-reading—how many left-wing, latte-drinking, dyed-in-the-wool Democrats are going to consider Perry (non-ironically, that is)?   But then again, what are Perry’s other generic options?  The opening to 24 always comes off as a game show with guns.

And doesn’t Perry have that covered?

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