Visual Comment of the Week

Borrowing an idea from the FT’s resident cartoonist, Ingram Pinn, I will be submitting a cartoon every Sunday to Slugger giving a visual comment on the week past. So hopefully this will be the first of many to come. I’ve also teamed up with Aaron Callan who’ll be working alongside me on this weekend project providing analysis on the week’s main event. And so over to Aaron:

I would like to welcome you all to my first blog for Slugger O’Toole. This weekly post will be accompanied by some excellent cartoon from a Slugger regular, Brian Spencer. I will be, along with Brian’s pictures, reviewing the past weeks events and giving my thoughts on them. These will range from events at home and abroad.

The weekly news was dominated, by the storm nicknamed Frankenstorm or Hurricane Sandy, which hit the east coast of the United States. However, the storm cannot match the velocity of the constant bombardment of information from this year’s Presidential Election. Both of which will have serious implications for the American people this week.

It is possible to compare both these issues. One can think of the US Presidential campaign in terms of this storm. An area of cold air meeting the hot air and creating a super storm which has caused damage and mayhem everywhere!

Rebuilding a consensus after such a damaging campaign will be difficult for both sides involved, much like the rebuilding after a storm. This is because the two parties have hardened their views during the race to the White House. A race, may I add, which seems to have lasted as long as a term in the White House! The Republicans, under pressure from the Tea Party, pushes further right forgetting that their great hero Ronald Reagan started life out as a democrat and often worked well with the democratic speaker of the house during his presidency, Tip O’Neill. Richard Nixon once famously said, when running for nomination for the Republican Party, you had to dive to the right in primaries and move to the center in the general election. The politics of America always works best when the left and the right work together. This was best illustrated by the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

With just a matter of days left in this campaign, it is still too close to call. Daily polls give us a different picture each passing day. Unfortunately, for America, it may come down to a dozen swing states deciding the outcome of the election. If Obama wins, hopefully he will have learned some lessons from the last four years. Like Reagan and Clinton before him, Obama will need to build bridges between Democrats and Republicans on the hill. He may also have to face the opposition of both the House and the Senate being dominated by the Republican party. On the other hand, if we have a Romney win, hopefully he will rediscover the Romney who was Governor and the man who headed up the Olympics in Salt Lake City. Regrettably, for Romney, he seems to have gone further and further to the right. He may possibly be haunted by the shadow of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party on Fox Channel. This is an unhealthy development for the Republican Party and does not represent the party which Reagan or Nixon led.

However, to get back to the storm, it was sad to note that 96 people have lost their lives during the storm. With events and meetings being cancelled during a pivotal point in the race, who can say what effect this will have on the outcome of the election. Once the storm subsides, we hope to see American lives can return to normal. Hopefully, we can say the same once the Presidential election ends.