It’s my first drawing of Barack Obama. Up to the point previous to the results of last week’s Iowa primary, I observed the 2008 U.S. Presidential election campaign with only luke warm interest. Despite the fact that the White House administration will be an entirely new one in just over 12 months, I simply couldn’t invest much time paying attention to the rather lengthy slate of candidates for each of the 2 political parties without yawning.
All of a sudden, out of the blue, just as the holiday decorations are packed away, we’re into Primary season, with the promise of a bunch of pretty exciting duels over the course of the next 8 weeks. A lot of attention has been paid to the come-from-no-where win by Mike Huckabee in the Iowa Republican race. But I doubt his momentum will last and I expect a hodgepodge of wins among John McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Guliani between now and several Primaries from now that’ll only turn glazing eyes towards a far more interesting race among the candidates vying for the Democratic nomination. As my cartoon suggests the race so far for Democrats has evolved for the time being as a race between the experience of Hillary Clinton to the promise of change with Barack Obama. It’s a choice between dynastic rule by families in the U.S., or change. Change means just one thing, whereas Hillary’s experience qualifier has a big negative connotation with reminders of Bubba running the country with pizza boxes strewn about the oval office. This goes beyond the tired old question of whether or not America is ready for a woman President, or even an African American one. If Democrats and voters can get over those outdated hang-ups they’ll at least save themselves from electing some boring guy like John Edwards as President.
At this point I see 4 candidates going anywhere once the Primary process is over – Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the Democrats, and Mitt Romney and Rudy Guliani for the Republicans. If I was a betting man, I’d wager a final race between Obama and Romney. (Why? Hillary is yesterday’s man, Edwards is dull, McCain is too old, Guiliani is too liberal, Huckabee is too religious — Romney is the bridge between evangelical Christians and moderates, and Obama is simply not Jesse Jackson.)
Hopefully this outstanding cartoon will appear in the Star and other Canadian papers as well. It should be in the leading US papers; certainly in New Hampshire ones.
It will be intriguing to see if a happier Hilbill duo emerges next week. While change is desperately needed ,one can only hope it is possible in that corporate/special interest controlled culture that the US seems to be.
Early days.Almost a year to go !!
– Richard Ring
January 7, 2008