While reading some of the latest anti-Obama rants and pro-McCain rants (although the latter are far fewer in number than the former), the great movie “The Prestige” came to mind. In particular, the great lines by Michael Caine where he defines “The Prestige”. In this scene Caine explains the three stages of magic. The first stage is the “Pledge”. In this stage, the magician shows you an ordinary object…let’s say a dove. You may even be asked to come and examine it to prove how ordinary it is.
The second stage is called “The Turn”, which is when the magician causes the object to change: usually, he makes it disappear. Pretty good, but not really impressive enough.
To really make it a perfect trick, you must bring the object back. And that is “The Prestige”.
So think of a magician, holding a dove in his hand, who puts it in a top hat. Says abracadabra, waves his hand over the hat, and suddenly the dove is gone. He waves the empty hat in front of the audience. Then wait…he has a second thought. He waves his hand over the hat again. Suddenly a dove flies out of the hat that was empty only seconds before. There is the Wow.
Here’s the John McCain Version:
The Pledge: This is John McCain in the year 2000. The guy who bucked both his party and President Bush on torture and campaign finance reform. He cooperated with (gasp!) Democrats. He had no use for, and sharply criticized the religious Right. Come up onto the stage and see for yourself. He’s real. Touch his feathers.
The Turn: This is the John McCain in the year 2004. He has been disappeared, as they say of the missing in South America. This picture, which I shamelessly stole from jackster’s blog on the Tallahassee Democrat website, says it all:
I suspect some serious wheeling and dealing took place here, along the lines of, “You support me for re-election this year, and we’ll let you be President next time.”
The Pledge: And Poof! John McCain is back. Except just like in the movie, there’s some essential ingredient missing, which you might call a soul. He still has feathers, they just aren’t the same feathers.