Saturday, October 21, 2017

Election Quadranscentennial

Return with us this Solaceback Saturday to that halcyon moment only a quarter century ago when America stood at a crossroads and elected not to go with the egotistical millionaire claiming to have all the answers.

These are some of my cartoons from October, 1992. With only a month to go before the election, the representatives of the two major party nominees had finally agreed to a debate schedule and formats, only to have H. Ross Perot, who had quit his independent campaign in the summer, announce that he was back in the race.

Wisconsin's First Congressional District was represented by eleven-term Democrat Les Aspin. 1992 would be the last election for that seat in which a Democratic victory was virtually assured. As Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Aspin had only token opposition from Janesville realtor Mark Neumann in 1992, and attacks on him by Republican interest groups and a national newspaper barely dented his popularity in southeast Wisconsin.
President Clinton would choose Aspin to be his Secretary of Defense in 1993, necessitating a special election. And while that election would be won by Democrat Peter Barca, it was only by 675 votes, and Barca would lose to Republican Mark Neumann in the rematch the following year. After 1996, the Democratic Party all but stopped contesting the seat entirely. Redistricting in 2001 and 2011, the decline of the auto industry, and widening exurban sprawl out of Chicago have made Wisconsin's CD1 safely Republican.

H. Ross Perot had originally entered the presidential race by promising on Larry King's CNN program to run if enough people committed to support his campaign. His withdrawal from the presidential race in July — making unsubstantiated claims that Republicans and the CIA had doctored photographs to portray his daughter as a lesbian and thus ruin her wedding — came as a stunning betrayal to those who had done the legwork to get his name on their state ballots, since polls had been showing him running ahead of both President George H.W. Bush and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.

This next cartoon spoofs a Bush campaign ad which blurred Bill Clinton's face while accusing him of flip-flopping on the issues.

Tune in again next week for the exciting conclusion of Decision 92!

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