Saturday, July 19, 2008

Race for the White House- 7/19/08

Much of this week centered on a controvery regarding a cover of the liberal publication, The New Yorker, which featured a satirical cartoon of Barack Obama as a Muslim first bumping his wife Michelle, who is shown as an angry gun-toting terrorist, while the American flag burns in an Oval Office fireplace under a picture of Osama bin Laden. Pretty absurd stuff. Almost absurd enough to laugh at, but the Obama campaign and many of their supporters publicly went beserk about the cover, and the McCain campaign and many Republicans joined in the criticism. The magazine says it was just poking fun at what would be considered "right-wing stereotypes", but Democrats worry that the image will have a negative impact upon impressionable voters. Personally, I kind of find that hard to believe. I think that anyone who might really take the picture seriously, is already against Obama, and in fact the Obama campaign is probably pretty happy about this whole brouhaha. They can try to stoke a political backlash to their advantage and also down the road point to what would be considered more legitimate criticism of the candidate and his wife as somehow as absurd as these "attacks." The Democrats doth protest too much.

Right now, Obama is overseas, where he will be visiting Afghanistan for the first time and Iraq for the first time in a very long time. He also will visit some European capitals where he may be accorded "rock star treatment" in what critics will call unprecedented campaign stumps on foreign soil. With the race basically tied at this point, it will be interesting to see if the overseas trip will boost Obama's numbers (as it should) or if perhaps he might make a gaffe or if the stumping come across as too arrogant in a way that hurts his numbers. The substance of the trip will be to the Middle East, where the McCain campaign is criticism Obama for now once again holding to a position of a 16 month withdrawal (after his having caused a stir by saying a couple weeks back that he could "refine" that policy) before assessing the situation on the ground and talking to the commanders. Clearly, Obama's foreign travels this upcoming week will be a topic of much conversation on the campaign trail.

While this week and next week will largely be about Obama and McCain's reaction to Obama related events, there was an interesting newspaper article at the end of this week which in some detail showed how John McCain and former rival and potential running-mate Mitt Romney have sort of become better friends in recent weeks and fans of each other. One may even call it a budding bromance.


At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont know why people viewed the New Yorker cover as such "Barack Obama as a Muslim first bumping his wife Michelle, who is shown as an angry gun-toting terrorist"

I viewed Michelle as being portrayed as Black Panther( hence the Afro hairdo) with the fist bumping being in reference to "black pride".

I guess people didnt view this cover as something about race but instead about the issue of terrorism.


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