Friday, November 9, 2012

President Barack Obama Reelected

 The presidential campaign of twenty twelve is over; Romney has conceded, Obama has accepted, the counting of ballots has ended and the results have been concluded…except in Florida.  It was another historic event as essentially every election is in our continually great nation. The re-election of President Obama is the result of an unparalled effort equaled only by another miraculous achievement; his own first election and first term. At this time no one knows with certainty what his next four years will entail but hopefully it will culminate in progressive and remarkable things.

 The campaign was grueling for all involved and difficult for all those lucky/unlucky enough to live in a swing state. The television ads were merciless. The phone calls numbing. The sad reality of modern politics is that attacks are necessary. Both sides are forced to counter-balance each other with negatively brutal attack ads not to get an edge but simply to stay even. There was a time when it was the Vice-President’s or running mate’s job to be the “Attack Dog.” This trend of relentless attacks started many elections ago. It increases every four years. On that count we are all losing. Celebrities were part of the fray as Morgan Freeman narrated a powerful commercial for President Obama; Clint Eastwood aired his trumpeting endorsement of Mitt Romney. Honey Boo Boo endorsed Obama as another little girl tearfully pleaded for an end to the madness “I’m tired of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney “was her lament.
There were also good opportunities within the course of things as citizens had opportunities to meet and see the candidates and their surrogates in the flesh. A personal favorite was a last minute rally featuring former President Bill Clinton at Patrick Henry High School in Salem Virginia. I attended with my cousin and a little over twenty-two hundred others. I was amazed at the number of Romney bumper stickers in the parking lot. (There were zero hecklers in attendance.) Clinton was insightful, charming and funny. He is an amazing speaker, a tremendous public servant and ultimately a great man. We enjoyed it! (John McCain was in the area that same evening. He attracted about three hundred supporters.)

Another related event I attended was the opening of Melissa Ichiuji’s “Fair Game” exhibition at Galerie Lareuse in Georgetown (Washington, DC.)  Melissa’s primary medium is stitched fabric. She is becoming increasingly famous for her provocative dolls and figures. She utilized her considerable artistic skills to create charactures, stuffed heads mounted like trophies on the gallery walls. Her subjects/victims were the participants of both sides of the election. She uncannily and deftly satirized in much the spirit of Daumier the likenesses of Herman Cain, Paul Ryan and Ron Paul. Obama, Romney and their wives were included among the trophies. The Obama piece was met with such controversy that Sarah Palin (who is little known for her art world interests) has since purchased it.

I was able to enter the fray in many discussions on my job and through social media. Along with face to face discussions I created a number of graphics and cartoons for display, inspiration and humor. Many are featured here as illustrations. Obama’s acceptance speech was expectedly eloquent, heartfelt, touching and rousing. The President is gifted as much as he is the nation’s gift. Hope has been revived for many as some seem to be slipping deeper into delusion and dismay as a result of their shock and disbelief of the election results. Time and realization should bring them around and back to some sense of reality. We (the Obama supporters) will enjoy this brief season of happiness and satisfaction. This is the kind of moment we wish for; a spirit of co-operation and shared purpose that could last for months; possibly years. We can dream.