In North Miami, an 'endorsement' from Jesus
It never hurts to have God on your side in American politics and that's why you will never hear a president end a speech with anything other than the phrase, "And may God bless the United States of America."
But presidents like Barack Obama craft the phrase as aspirational. It's a hope, a prayer, an invocation. Not an actual declaration of fact. That's up to God, after all.
Which brings us to North Miami, where recent mayoral candidate Anna L. Pierre caused a stir with campaign posters that claim nothing less than divine intervention, touting an endorsement from Jesus Christ himself.
"It's a spiritual endorsement. Why? Because everything I do always gets God involved," Pierre told Local 10 news when asked about the backing of Jesus.
Pierre, a registered nurse and former Creole-language pop star, claims she received three signs from Jesus as she prayed in the run-up to registering as a candidate. Asked to describe the signs, she answered, "Well, I'm going to keep them private."
Pierre's claim comes in the context of a mayoral race filled with dubious developments, including plenty of mudslinging. One candidate was punched in the mouth by an acquaintance at his campaign headquarters and last month, Pierre herself last month claimed she was the target of sinister sorcery, including mystical Voodoo rituals, aimed at pushing her out.
The Miami Herald offered deeper context on the race last week, noting the racial tensions exposed in the campaign for a community with rapidly changing demographics.
In any event, the Jesus signage appears not to have done any favours for Pierre, who wound up in last place in Tuesday's polls with just 56 votes, according to unofficial results published by EyeOnMiami.
Mitch Potter is the Star's Washington Bureau Chief, his third foreign posting after previous assignments to London and Jerusalem. Potter led the Toronto Star’s coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he won a 2006 National Newspaper Award for his reportage. His dispatches include datelines from 33 countries since 2000. Follow him on Twitter: @MPwrites