Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ecce Monti

It's 'official': Mario Monti has all but announced his candidacy for premier. In fact, his friends were announcing it for him all day, or rather, announcing that Monti ipse would be announcing as much on Sunday--don't make any plans!

Now I'm pretty new to Italian politics, but I find all the mystique surrounding the creation of this candidacy peculiarly liturgical, mystifying, almost metaphysical, like something from the Missal or a book of saints' lives. A few days ago Monti was praying over his decision at St. Francis's church in Assisi. He has made the rounds of commissioners,  queens, and popes, anointed by one and all. And now [drumroll, please] his intentions will be withdrawn from the Holy of Holies and held up to the people on Sunday morning.

In its own way this prolonged process is great theater. Monti has held the stage for two weeks, where he models the very prudential, thorough, and aloof management he is marketing with his candidacy. Between Monti's deliberations and Berlusconi's persistent antics, Bersani is almost hidden from view, and might as well enjoy the holidays back in Piacenza.

Monti meanwhile will arrive in campo on this last Sunday in Advent like some gift of the Magi--but can the scent of incense last till the election in February?


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