I subscribe to a cartoon syndicate, and every morning a bunch of great drawings land in my Inbox. I have a few traditional cartoons, but most of the work that arrives is of political cartoons from across the world. This morning, I was struck by this political cartoon from Kerry Waghorn, a real master combining the essence of a person with their mission on earth. The image is Hillary Clinton’s face in the moon and three elephants sleeping on the ground below her. One elephants longingly looks up at her.
Seeing Waghorn draw Hillary as the “Man in the Moon” confused me. The GOP elephants below her are sleepy — but the one looking at her appears to be happy to see her.
I am trying to figure out the intention of this political cartoon. What is Waghorn’s angle on Hillary and the GOP? Are the elephants hopeful for her in an Obama-dominated world?
Or is she so far above the GOP that she can sit on the moon and lovingly smile down at her opposition?
Political cartoons tend to be read only one way, so having it cut both ways doesn’t really work because then the cartoon nullifies it own intention. There is no doubt Hillary is thrilled being in or on or of the moon.
Then I started to wonder if the cartoon was more about Hillary — playing on the “man in the moon” meme — and less about politics: She’s not the “man in the moon,” she’s the first “woman in the moon.” That seems a little too obvious though, and Waghorn’s work is always deeper and sharper than the surface assumptions allow.
Perhaps Waghorn is just letting us know that Hillary is, in fact, made of cheese, and the elephants are hungry.
What’s your take on this cartoon? The dominant colors are green and grey and black. It all makes for a curious mix of art and politics — just the way we like it — confusing and dense!