Monday, July 14, 2008

Satire or slur?

The New Yorker finds itself in the heat of the spotlight today after publishing an interesting and suddenly controversial examination of the rise of Barack Obama from Chicago social activist to Presidential candidate.

In Ryan Lizza’s portrait, Obama’s political acumen is explored as he makes the journey from Chicago’s streets through the Illinois statehouse and on to the US Capital and his eventual date with destiny later this summer in Denver.

While his article, some fifteen pages of detailed examination of every conceivable aspect of Obama’s political career will be of great interest to the truly dedicated political observer, it’s the famed New Yorker cover that is attracting all the attention at the moment.

The cover features Obama dressed in Muslim robes, fist bumping a rather revolutionary looking Michelle Obama, who resembles more Angela Davis, than Martha Washington as far as political role models might go.
That cover is provoking quite a reaction from the Obama supporters, who feel that it was a cheap shot at their candidate and will only go to reinforce the misconceptions that occasionally pop up and dot his campaign.

What they haven’t commented on yet, is the content of Lizza’s article which portrays the candidate as a well schooled veteran of one of America’s most legendary political universes.

Based in the hardball world of Chicago politics, it highlights how the free flowing and aligator and shark laden current of Illinois politics has formed his political resume, while at the same time suggesting that it’s that same Illinois political machine that he now needs to leave behind as he furthers his aspirations.

It may be the first really in depth examination of his political roots that presents a wide swath of his political past. While many have been tracking his ascent on the American scene since his now famous speech at the 2004 convention; it’s only been as he became the Democratic favourite for the Presidency that the real examinations have begun.

Some will present a well researched and thorough vetting of his CV, while a good many others will be hatchet jobs designed to derail his quest for the White House.

The New Yorker most likely felt that they were on the path of the former, but with their controversial cover cartoon, many might suggest that they’re more on the trail of the latter.

The article can be viewed from the New Yorker website which features a link to the article; one which we suspect will receive more than a fair amount of traffic over the next little while.

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