BC: THE END
FC: Political Cartoon Project-Election 2012 Juliana Arenas
1: This cartoon depicts Romney standing with two men. One man represents the rich and the other represents the middle class, as we can see by the words on their shirts. Their class is also clear by their appearance. The rich man is wearing a suit with a gold tie, and the middle-class man is sporting a casual shirt. Romney has his arms around both of the men, but what the middle-class man doesn’t realize is that Mitt’s giving him the bunny ears. Created by the nationally syndicated Gary Markstein, this cartoon is playing on the idea that has been key in this election. Romney has gained a reputation for supporting the top and forgetting those at the bottom. Romney grew up wealthy and privileged. His father served as governor of Michigan, and even worked on Nixon's cabinet. Mitt Romney attended Harvard and Stanford University. His fortune only grew when he founded the investment firm Bain Capitol. While Romney has emphasized his goal to improve the lives of the middle class, some moments during the election have undermined this image. Information about Romney's own tax returns and Romney's leaked speech about the 47% has made Romney seem out of touch with the average American. I think this cartoon is aimed at the middle class American, perhaps warning that while Romney may seem to support the middle-class, the truth could be different.
2: This political cartoon was published in the Ohioan newspaper The Columbus Dispatch. Since Ohio is a swing state, it's possible that political cartoons have more of a chance of influencing voters there than in traditionally democratic or republican states, which is one of the reasons why I think this cartoon is interesting. Probably created by a conservative, or at least someone that has not been too happy with Obama’s past term, the cartoon draws attention to the ailing economy. Uncle Sam who often, if not always, represents America is sitting on a hospital bed. We know that he’s Uncle Sam by the hat next to him on the table. It’s clear that he’s been hurt as he’s covered in bandages and seems to even be missing part of his right arm. Clearly labeled, a chart at the end of his hospital bed presents the declining path of the American economy. In the image, Obama takes the place of the doctor and as he looks at the information of the patient’s declining health on his clipboard he says, “Hope some more and call me in the morning.” The word hope stands out in red compared to the rest of the sentence, clearly a reference to the iconic Obama “hope” slogan. I find this cartoon interesting because it’s in Ohio where the nation actually saw some of the positives to Obama's economic plan. His bailout of the auto industry helped create jobs and upstart the economy there. I think the creator of this cartoon is aiming to convince Ohioans that while on a small-scale Obama’s policies may have helped, his empty messages of “hope” and “change” have led to a wide-scale economic disaster.
3: Making an allusion to Teddy Roosevelt’s famous ideology, “speak softly and carry a big stick”, this cartoon was created by Adam Zyglis a cartoonist for The Buffalo News. Presenting Romney and Obama behind podiums on a stage, the cartoon is a reference to the first presidential debate. Obama was criticized for his lack-luster performance during this debate, and many pronounced Romney the winner. However, this cartoonist is presenting a different perspective. Not as much pro-Obama as anti-Romney, the cartoon stands true to the idea that Obama’s performance was not very energetic with the words “speak softly” written over Obama’s head. But, the image of Romney is clearly more negative. Over his heads are written the words to the second half of Teddy Roosevelt’s doctrine, “and carry a big stick”. In one hand Romney is holding a saw, and in the other a large stick that he has used to hit Obama as we can see by the stars and the bumps on Obama’s head. It’s clear through the picture that Romney has sawed off this large stick that was previously part of his nose. The cartoon is making a connection to the story of Pinocchio, whose nose grew every time he told a lie. The length of Romney’s nose and his use of it to hit Obama is a clever effort by the cartoonist to show the public that Romney’s victory in the first debate may not have been a noble one. In fact, many have criticized Romney for his alleged lies and flip-flops during the presidential debates. Probably a democrat, the cartoonist is urging viewers to not believe everything they hear, and to look past performance and into content.
4: Created by Steve Keller for creator’s syndicate, this cartoon plays on both Romney’s remark on cutting funding to PBS and the controversy over Obama’s handling of the Libya attack. After Romney’s declaration that his plan to reduce the deficit included cutting funds to PBS and Big Bird, many on the opposing party have used it as a point to mock Romney and his absurd solutions. However, this cartoon turns the Big Bird situation right on its head and uses it to the Republican’s advantage. On one side of the cartoon Obama stands with Big Bird declaring, “I stand by PBS.” But, on the other side of the image he is standing with another man who’s looking at a book labeled, “Libya Cover-up” and muttering, “and other bs”. A major point of criticism against Obama throughout this election has been the way he handled the attack on the embassy in Libya. Many opponents have asked for more information and believe that the administration’s resistance might be an attempt to cover their own responsibility. By presenting this criticism of Obama in the cartoon, it makes the criticism of Romney look trivial in comparison. The cartoonist is trying to convince people that Obama’s campaign is focusing on these small matters in an effort to draw focus away from some of their own major issues.
5: This cartoon is one of many that, like the first one, paints Romney as “out of touch” with the average American. The cartoon is a reference to Romney’s response to Hurricane Sandy victims. Over the top of the cartoon are printed the words, “News item: Romney collects canned goods for storm victims”. In the background we can see people carrying boxes of goods over to a truck labeled, “Romney Relief”. Up to this point, the details of the cartoon seem to paint a benevolent Romney looking to help those in need, but this changes when we look at the presentation of Romney front in center of the image. In one hand he’s holding a can of “gourmet artichoke dip”, and in the other a can of caviar. Throughout his campaign, and despite numerous attempts, Romney has not been able to shake his 1% percent image. This cartoon doesn’t only mock this, but I think Dave Granlund, the cartoonist, is also aiming at showing viewers that Romney’s experiences might make him unable to give or even understand what the average American needs. After all, he’s bringing storm-ravaged victims with no necessities caviar and artichoke dip! While the cartoon might be in the context of supplies for storm victims, it’s easy to see how the cartoonist could be applying this to Romney’s policies in general. This cartoon is aimed at the average American as a warning that Romney simply does not understand what the lower and middle class Americans need from the government.
6: This cartoon, published in the Boston Globe, present an image of Obama dressed as a superhero. Two democrats, represented by donkeys, look at him confused and one asks, "Is he wearing a lightning bolt or his latest poll numbers?'". The cartoon compares the way that Obama has been viewed over time. In the beginning, Obama represented hope and change, and for many he was a sort of superhero. However after his first term which many have criticized, the view has changed. While I don't think the poll numbers are as dramatic as the sign on Obama in this image, throughout his first term Obama's popularity did decrease. The cartoonist is calling attention to the way that the image of Obama has changed after the first term. By exaggerating a little, the cartoonist makes Obama seem even more unpopular than he is, perhaps influencing undecided voters.
7: Throughout his campaign, Romney has been criticized for his immigration policy. In the republican primaries, Romney took a conservative-appealing forceful stance on immigration. But, in the presidential campaign many critics have pointed out that his tactics seemed to change. Romney seemed to become less extreme and many even said he flip-flopped. This cartoon shows a representation of Latino voters confronting Romney and demanding him to “Show us your papers!” This is clearly an ironic twist to the Arizona law. In the cartoon, Romney is hiding a bunch of papers labeled, “Self Deport”, “Bigger Hi-Tech Fence”, “Arizona’s A Model”, and “I’d Veto Dream Act”, behind his back. These positions all represent different positions that Romney has taken on immigration. Romney’s idea of self-deportation is the idea that illegal immigrants would choose to “deport” themselves after being unable to find any opportunities in the U.S. Making the border fence even bigger and stronger is another one of Romney’s goals. The “Arizona’s A Model” paper is of course referring to the Arizona law which Romney reportedly called a model for immigration reform and the last paper refers to the DREAM act, which Romney promised he would veto in the primaries. This cartoon, published in the Stars Tribune a newspaper in Minnesota most likely by a liberal cartoonist, is aimed at showing Romney’s inability to commit to immigration policies. For those who are against punitive immigration reform, this cartoon is also aimed at showing Romney’s true policies. The audience of this cartoon is probably aimed to be latino voters, other immigrants, and liberals.
8: This cartoon is another one created by Steve Keller for Creator’s Syndicate, and like the other one, this cartoon uses a criticism of the Republican Party to mock the Democrats. In this cartoon, Obama stands at a podium saying, “Under my leadership, lots of men and women earn the same amount.” Standing next him are a woman and a man who Obama seems to be pointing at as examples. However, both the man and the woman are holding signs that read, “unemployed”. In the election, Romney has been seen as less women-friendly than Obama because of his policies on contraceptives, abortion, and even some of his remarks during debates. This cartoon uses this criticism to make fun of the Obama administration. It’s hinting that men and women are earning the same amount, not because of Obama’s social policy, but because they’re both not earning anything. The unemployment rate and the general economy has been a major obstacle for the Obama campaign. I think that this cartoon is aimed at mostly women voters, but really voters in general, and is focused at calling attention to the economy.
9: This cartoon is also appealing to women, but this time it’s about the other side. During the second debate, Romney was asked a question about pay equity for women. He then went into a response that soon became infamous, and spread all over the Internet and media in a matter of minutes. Romney said that after noticing that none of the women in his cabinet were women, he went to a variety of women’s groups and asked for help finding qualified women. According to Romney they soon replied by bringing “binders full of women”. By many this quote, and the end of Romney’s response about finding flexible schedules for women because they have to be able to go home and take care of the kids, was a clear example of Romney’s demeaning view of women. This cartoon refers to this infamous quote with Romney sitting at desk and numerous binders all around him. The titles of the binders are other issues that have separated women voters from Romney like his plan to cut Planned Parenthood and contraception coverage. Clearly, this cartoon is aimed at women voters and shows an array of issues that, according to the cartoonist, women should keep in mind and perhaps be warned of before casting their vote.
10: This cartoon was created by Walt Hendelsman, a nationally syndicated cartoonist for Newsday. The image presents the frantic-looking Obama with huge shoes on labeled “The Obama Promise”, and holding papers titled, “The Obama Presidency”. The cartoon is clearly referring to the saying, “Big shoes to fill”, and is hinting at the idea that when Obama was first elected president he made promises he was not able to keep. This could mean everything from improving the economy to reforming immigration policy. The cartoonist is probably also calling for the American people to consider the goals that Obama had set before his first term and his inability, according to the cartoonist, to reach them. If he wasn’t able to keep his promises in the first term, the cartoonist is probably urging us to consider whether he will really be able to do it given a second term either.
11: This cartoon, another one by Mike Lukovich, mocks Romeny's infamous Big Bird statement. This cartoon uses the Obama administration's killing of Osama bin Lades as a comparison to Romney. In the cartoon Romney and his team are sitting in the "situation room". At the top of the cartoon is printed, " President Romney and his team viewing live video of raid on Big Bird's compound." This is clearly a parallel to when the Obama administration killed Osama Bin Laden. By creating this parallel, Romney's issues are not only made to look silly, but it reminds the viewer of the death of Osama bin Laden, one of the Obama administration's greatest achievements. The cartoonist, probably liberal, is painting the "future" president Romney as one who wastes his time with trivial matters instead of real issues.
12: This cartoon, published in the Stars Tribune, is another that calls attention to Obama's greatest obstacle for re-election: the economy. Obama, holding a surfboard labeled "re-election", appears dismayed as he looks at the tiny broken kiddie-pool on the ground labeled "jobs." It's clear that he won't be able to surf in the kiddie-pool, a parallel for the huge obstacle that the unemployment rate is, and really the status of the economy in general, for Obama's re=election. The unemployment rate is still extremely high, about 7.9%, and while Obama says he has a plan for job growth that includes expanding green jobs, many republicans have asked whether he has any actually new plans for his second term. This cartoonist is aiming to point out that Obama has been unable to deal with the economy to the oublic but especially those that are struggling to find work.
13: This cartoon is aimed at presenting the manipulation of facts that the Romney campaign has been criticized for numerous times throughout the election. In this cartoon, also published in the Stars Tribune, Obama on one side is looking at Romney saying, "Stop editing my remarks to make it look like I hate business!" On the other side, Obama's speech bubble has been cut, with the remains on the floor, so it reads, "I hate business!" Romney, holding a pair of scissors, replies, "You were saying?". Romney's team isn't the only team in politics that has ever twisted the truth, but in this election the spins have been very numerous. The debates have highlighted some of these instances, and often it has been Romney that critics focus on. Whether it be oil production being down by 14% or a story about going on a quest to find qualified women for his cabinet, Romney has been found guilty of many "lies". This cartoonist's audience are probably liberals, but he's probably also trying to get people to realize that not everything they hear is the truth.
14: Created by Nate Beeler and published in The Washington Examiner, this article presents Obama in front of a policy bracket. His team member standing next to him is saying, " It is the only way we could get him to start being more decisive." Playing on Obama's love for basketball, the cartoonist is aiming to show Obama's inability to make any decisive actions on various important issues in his first term. The pensive Obama is looking at the board covered in issues including Libya, oil, and the deficit. Many critics of Obama have said thatObama failed to make many important decisions in his first term, and has failed to say how he will change his plans for the second term. This cartoonist seems to agree with those beliefs, and is aiming at conservatives and other unhappy with Obama's presidency.
15: This cartoon, also created by Walt Hendelsman, shows two GOP team members, represented as elephants, in their headquarters. On the windows are plastered posters all showing different messages that the Republicans have been criticized of having care. These include "corporations are people too", "47% need not apply", LatiNO!", and "Gay? Stay Away!". Some of these come from conservative beliefs like strong immigration reform, traditional marriage, and the condemnation of abortion. But other details come from famous Romeny moments, like the 47% sign and the binder titled "Binders full of Blunders" that one of the elephants is holding. I think the cartoonist aimed at creating a consolidation of the many views that are associated with Conservatives, and that liberals often oppose. I think the intended audience is other liberals, and the purpose is to further separate them from the republican party.
16: This is once again a cartoon created by Mike Luckovich. It refers to Obama's performance in the first presidential debate of the election. Many Obama supporters were disappointed and felt that Obama seemed tired next to the vibrant and energetic Mitt Romney. Obama's offense wasn't strong and he often got stuck playing defense to Romney's accusations. Obama was also criticized for not taking advantage of the instances where he could have attacked Romney. This cartoon presents this debate by showing two podiums and a stage similar to that where the first presidential debate took place. Above the right podium a plaque commemorates the place where Obama took part in the first debate. However it says, "Barack Obama slept here." Debates are very important, and are becoming increasingly important in our age of media. They our the american people's chance to view the candidates reacting to one another, and therefore a candidate's performance in these debates is very important. Romney was able to gain a lot of momentum after the first debate. I think the purpose of this cartoon is just really to remind people of the outcome of the first debate, perhaps influencing their vote.
17: This cartoon has an image of a large baby in the corner labeled, "Obamacare". His arms are open as he looks toward Mitt Romney and shouts, "Papa!!Papa!!!". Romney looks worried and through a thought bubble we can see him thinking, "Hmmmm I wonder if I could send him offshore...". This cartoon is attacking Romney at two points. The main point of the cartoon is to show Romney's conroversy about Obamacare. While Romney says he is adamantly against it, critics, including Obama himself, have said that it is Romney himself who instilled the medical system in Massachusetts from what the Obamacare program is based off of. In this cartoon Obamacare is made to be Romney's child to clarify this point. The cartoon also has an allusion to Romney's offshore accounts with which he allegedly avoids paying a large portion of taxes. This is brought up when Romney wonders whether he could send his child offshore, a solution that Romney uses to avoid many of his other responsibilities as well according to the cartoonist. This cartoon is aimed at Democrats and makes Romney seem untrustworthy.
18: This cartoon was created by Steve Keller for the Times Picayune. based in New Orleans, this cartoon holds true to the conservative views of Louisiana. The cartoon creates an image of two people reading the news on a bench. The man holds a paper titled, "FED warns US headed for 'fiscal cliff" and the women holds one titled, "Obama campaign unveils 2012 slogan: 'Forward'". As they realize what the other one is reading they look at each surprised, the fiscal cliff is a series of enacted legislation which could result in tax increases, spending cuts, and a corresponding reduction in the budget deficit at the end of 2012. The point of the cartoon is that Obama is leading us "forward" toward the fiscal cliff. The purpose of this cartoon is to create fear and show the implications that re-electing Obama could have on our economy.
19: This cartoon both compares Romney with another Republican, Sarah Palin, and once again enforces the idea of Romney's wealth. Sarah Palin once infamously said that she could see Russia from her house in Alaska. By comparing Romney's knowledge of foreign policy to that of Sarah Palin's, who is probably not considered one of the brightest candidates to have run for vice president, the cartoonist mocks Romney. The only reason that Romney knows more about foreign policy, according to the cartoonist, is because he owns more houses. In fact, he has one in California, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. As we have seen before, Romney's wealth has been another point of attack against Romney. It has often been used to set him apart from the average American, and is often compared to the less privileged life of Obama. This cartoonist's audience is Democrats and undecided voters, and the purpose is to compare Romney to someone who might share his views, and to once again emphasize the gap between him and the middle-class.
20: This cartoon, from our very own Boston Herald, is actually from after the election. During his victory speech Obama said that in the future he's going to sit down with Romney and talk about how they can work together to move our country forward. This cartoon is playing on that remark and also on the troubled economy. The image, which is set in the future, shows Obama calling Mitt Romney on the phone. In Obama's hands is a report of the federal debt and deficit. The image of Obama sitting at his desk is clearly nervous and desperate. From a speech bubble we see that he's asking Romney if he would be interested in buying another troubled "...er..." company. The cartoon is referring to Bain Capital an investment firm that Romney founded and gained a fortune by buying and reforming struggling companies. The cartoon shows Obama trying to sell the struggling U.S. government to Romney. I think that the cartoonist, probably conservative, is clearly showing that Obama will continue to be unable to solve the U.S. economic issues. The cartoon makes it seem like the future of the U.S. economy is going to be even worse, and is perhaps even trying to show that Romney’s business experience may have prevented it. I think that along with this the cartoon is aimed at the public and is emphasizing that while the election may be over, there are still some huge issues to resolve.
21: The political cartoon I created targets undecided voters by consolidating different attacks on Mitt Romney's policies. My cartoon takes place in the aviary exhibit of Mitt Romney's private zoo. This of course, reflects Romney's wealth that separates him from middle Class America and could mean a lower understand of what the average American needs. In the aviary exhibit there are three different birds that reflect Romney's policies. The vulture capitalism of Bain Capital is reflected in a vulture, the "hawkish" war policies of the party are exhibited by a hawk, and of course poor Big Bird reflects Romney's plan to cut funding to PBS and other programs.