I’m what I would call a casual fan of comic books. I’ve certainly seen most of the big budget summer-blockbusters that Marvel and DC books have birthed and there are surely a few boxes packed away with stacks of beautifully drawn stories from the late 1980’s when I took up collecting as a serious hobby.
I may have fallen off a little since then, but I do know that in a lot of great super hero stories, there comes a time when there is a villain of such evil, who is so powerful and could destroy things for so many people that a hero will have to swallow his pride and team up with his nemesis to defeat it. (*see Superman 2, X-Men 2, Spider-Man 3)
Instead of reading comics, newly crowned Defender of the Universe Barack Obama says he’s been reading Abraham Lincoln, and perhaps influenced by Lincoln’s “team of rivals” cabinet, he met with Hillary Clinton last week, now the wire is abuzz with rumors that she is being vetted for the Secretary of State position. Yes, that is the same Hillary Clinton who questioned Obama’s readiness to lead and who, when it became evident that her party would not nominate her, was thought to have taken a large percentage of female voters with her, perhaps leading to Sarah Palin being unleashed on the world.
Of course that was a lifetime ago, politically speaking, Hillary made amends and Obama went on to defeat the ominous Republican Party in what became a bitterly contested and long battle. But now, here comes John McCain flying into Barack’s headquarters in Chicago eager to let water start running under the proverbial bridge, because Republicans, Democrats and the country faces a much bigger opponent now: the Economy. Yes that growing, soulless black hole that is swallowing up America’s finances and houses has gotten so out of control that the National Debt Clock in New York City has run out of digits to display it. This is the kind of problem that goes beyond squabbling over sound-bites or accounting for intangibles, and it could doom us all.
Luckily for us, the starry eyed citizens, Obama is smart enough to know that his powers of charisma and ability to make a speech alone are no match for the giant hole the economy has fallen into, so he’s calling in help. Now whether these former rivals actually end up with a spot in the cabinet or are, as they would chivalrously claim, just putting their country ahead of their political goals remains to be seen, but even though Obama’s mantra of “change” may seem a little blurry now considering that he’s holding court with several Washington mainstays, it is refreshing to see a person with his influence seeking council from someone other than God or the nearest flunkies.
It’ll be interesting to see how this all will play out, certainly the circumstances are dire and the odds look stacked against our heroes, but that’s how any comic book would have it.