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October 5, 2012

New Yorker’s “Empty Chair” Cover: Nobama … But Also More Than One Romney

Well, you can’t say Obama didn’t bring this upon himself. Most painful is the fact Jim Lehrer is more present than Obama.

What’s interesting, though, is how Barry’s Blitt’s brilliant cover still speaks to the overarching question of the campaign, which is: who is Romney? As the political chameleon he is (on Wednesday night, the Massachusetts moderate), Mitt shows up here in a powerful way, but not as himself but as Eastwood (a more credible Eastwood, one might argue, than the Eastwood who does political stand up — because Obama actually was there). So how brilliant is this: not only does Blitt offer up a brilliant reprise of the RNC empty chair sketch, the illustration a wonderful example of fact following fiction, but we also get two Romney’s — in this case, Denver’s bleeding heart centrist in the guise of the right wing gunslinger.

(illustration: Barry Blitt for The New Yorker)

  • bks3bks

    And yet in two weeks all anyone will remember of what was *said* is that Romney wants to kill Big Bird.


  • Thomas Gokey

    Romney pivoted to the center during the debate, even if he had to lie flip/flop to do so. Yet the far right was thrilled with the debate. They cared less about policy then about dominating Obama and putting him in his place.

  • black_dog_barking

    Romney in a world by himself, one he can redecorate at will to suit his current whimsy. No one is paying any real attention so he isn’t distracted from his fantasy. For me this “debate” was just another tree fall in the forest.

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  • Cactus

    What I think stands out here is that Mitt is pointing his
    finger at empty chair Obama. It recalls another governor who pointed her finger
    at Obama (very angrily, at that). It also reinforces Mitt’s tangential use of
    the word ‘boys’ referring to his sons as liars. Thereby not only demeaning
    Obama but calling him a liar at the same time. I’m sure that use of the word
    ‘boy’ was not lost on about 12% of the voting populace.

    He also admitted that he raised five liars. Cool,

    About Big Bird, what I noticed in that exchange was Mitt’s
    attitude. Very casually and coolly, he notified Leher that his job was in
    jeopardy as well as Big Bird and the entire network. If you play that little
    exchange, it puts some context to the way he eliminated jobs and companies. He
    wore his calm assurance face and just stated the fact that all was about to
    disappear, and right to the face of the person he was about to destroy. Then he
    turned back to his podium with the smug smile and attitude of someone who just
    destroyed another human.

    Isn’t that sadistic?

    • black_dog_barking

      Lehrer and his ilk are extras in the Mitt! blockbuster, hired help, nothing more. Fear is great way to keep the subject from turning to money when one is forced to interact with ‘them’. Intimidate ‘em now, avoid future potentially uncomfortable conversations. There’s a place for extras, must keep ‘em there.

  • jonst

    wow! that was quick! I had the over/under at 3 before the racial card was played. you got it right out the bag. so to speak.

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