Before Tuesday’s first night of the second Democratic primary debate, the ten (!!) candidates who would take the stage each prepared for the evening in their own way. Pete “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg listened to the Hamilton mixtape in an empty room. Marianne Williamson presumably whispered a secret to each of her crystals. And Governor John Hickenlooper, whose comfort food is mints, posted a picture of himself on Twitter — which you can see right there — in which he gazes intensely, ominously, and a smidge playfully into the camera, like a man about to bite his finger and tell you that he’s been a very naughty boy. The caption read “#gameface2020”.
Why post this bizarre, preshow thirst trap? Maybe for the same reason anyone else would post a selfie — external validation and the emotional boost that comes from knowing someone, somewhere, looked at your face and felt horny. Unfortunately for the ’Loop, reactions to his political thot-ery were mixed.
“Proud to be a Hickenlooper supporter,” wrote one user.
“Drop out, dog,” wrote another.
Perhaps the most devastating one said simply, “Hickenpooper.”
But maybe Hickenlooper didn’t post the selfie for validation. Maybe, before the huge crowd of candidates jostled for space on the stage, shouting out as much about their policies or non-policies as they could in the 30 seconds allotted to them by CNN, he simply wanted to make a last-ditch effort at getting viewers to remember him among the sea of other generic white men debating that night.
And just in case his thirst trap didn’t work, he made sure to stand out with the help of an art rarely deployed in political debates: interpretive dance.