Lost in all the hoopla regarding the New Yorker’s cover art

The old maxim about not judging a book by its cover somehow seems succinct here.

What everyone has lost sight of in the madness of the New Yorker’s satirical cartoon of Sen. Obama dressed as Osama and Michelle Obama dressed as a member of the Black Panther Party is the actual article about Obama’s swift rise to power.

It’s a long article, almost 18-pages, which is enough to think that no one commenting on the <sarcasm> insane reprehensibleness </sarcasm> of the magazine’s cover won’t actually read the damn thing. Which is a shame, for it’s a thoroughly researched and enlightening portrait of an ambitious/ruthless politician knocking on the door to the nation’s highest political office.

As Nate from FiveThirtyEight put it, “Well, no shit he’s ambitious. For any American to go from a relatively unprivileged childhood (or a privileged one for that matter) to be on the doorstep of the Preisdency by the time he’s age 46 requires a perfect storm of luck, intelligence, and ambition. Obama has ample amounts of each.”

He goes on to say that after finishing the article, it’s more notable for what it doesn’t say about Obama. In that he’s sort of a boring politician – not driven to ascend to the White House by some Oedipal complex (like Dubya) or the desire to get blow jobs (like Clinton).? He’s just. Sort of. Ambitious.? And unafraid of tossing those aside whom he has no use for anymore.

The upside is that he is intelligent, without being an academic; he’s not radical by any means (hence the irony of the cover); and finally, he is in no way corrupt.? Something of a bonus considering how utterly corruptible and morally bankrupt the last president has been.?? Though I suppose Dubya’s legacy shouldn’t enter into this article.

As for the cover, yeah it’s provocative and certainly makes for easy water-cooling fodder. But its downside is that the discussion seems to end at the cover and not what’s on the inside of the magazine. Which is a shame because Ryan Lizza has really done his homework. Can’t wait to dive into this one again on my lunch break.

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