On Saturday night, we had the pleasure of watching "Caucus", a documentary on the 2012 Iowa Republican caucus fight -- and then moderating a panel that included A.J. Schnack, the film's director, as well as senior operatives from the campaigns of Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
As anyone who reads this blog knows, we at The Fix are BIG fans of political documentaries. (Heck, we have a list of the best political documentaries and we want to produce a politics version of "30 for 30".)
The key to a good political documentary is that it gets us behind the headlines and into the humanity of the candidates. We tend to forget that politicians are -- breaking news! -- humans. And, much of how campaigns play out turns on the various personalities and relationships in play.
We are happy to report that "Caucus" contains that key element of humanity. It offers the most nuanced and insightful look into Santorum that we have seen anywhere. It tells the story of Bachmann's rise and fall with restraint and aplomb. (It also shows Bachmann's husband, Marcus, thumb-wrestling with Iowa voters to try to get them to vote for his wife. Yes, really.) It captures Mitt Romney's difficulties in connecting with voters.
Here's a trailer from "Caucus". If it comes to a theater anywhere near you, go see it. You won't be sorry.