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Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Newsweek Cover Depicts Obama as Napoleon

A triumphant President Obama is being depicted as the French general and emperor Napoleon on the cover of the latest Newsweek.

The illustration of Obama wearing a blue-and-gold waistcoat, looking like a haughty emperor with the White House in the background, is accompanied by the headline: “The Obama Conquest, Lucky General or Master of the Game?”

The image is sure to draw plenty of praise and scorn. At first glance, the comparison seems apt, since Napoleon is considered a military genius who was always several steps ahead of his opponents as he led the French army to conquer most of Europe in the early 1800′s. Obama’s resounding victory over Romney is already burnishing his image as a master campaign strategist who had the electoral college locked up before the campaign even began with his superior ground game and registration advantages.

But in asking whether Obama’s wins are the result of “luck,” Newsweek will surely piss off many Obama loyalists. With back-to-back decisive wins, with substantial evidence of the years of planning that went into the Obama strategy, with the president’s beginnings as a community organizer being employed in devising a ground game that activated turnout better than any campaign in modern history, many people will wonder why the word “luck” is entering the picture.

There will also be musings about whether Newsweek was referring to the president as a petty tyrant, which is the modern characterization of Napoleon—so much so that the psychological community actually came up with the term “Napoleonic complex” in the early 1900′s to describe someone who has an overbearing personality to make up for his small stature. Clearly the 6-2 Obama is not height-challenged, so that part of the Napoleon comparison doesn’t work—though a closer examination of the average male heights in the early 1800′s revealed that Napoleon was about 5-7, which was average height for men at the time. So a century of psychological evaluation of short obnoxious men was actually based on incorrect information.

In the end, General Obama is likely to not worry much about the Newsweek depiction as he has more important matters to occupy him, such as the running of the globe.

Incidentally the magazine has announced that at the end of the year it will revert to just an online version—but it will continue to produce covers for its tablet format.

 

About Nick Chiles

Nick Chiles is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. He has written or co-written 12 books and won over a dozen major journalism awards during a journalism career that brought him to the Dallas Morning News, the Star-Ledger of New Jersey and New York Newsday, in addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief of Odyssey Couleur travel magazine.

Comments

  1. Someone needs to do some visual fact checking. This is not the design of the uniform Napoleon wore as Emperor. In fact, it is almost identical to five paintings of the first Commander-in-Chief, George Washington in Continental Army uniform. Simply search Google Images for "paintings George Washington" and then do "paintings Napoleon" and you will see what I mean.

    • Joyce: PERFECT! I was getting furious when I heard the Fox News commentators a little earlier. I am not an American. But at lest I know the difference between the uniform of the "Continental Army" and the "Imperial French Army". Making arguments like this, makes Fox News and others simply look "uneducated" at the least. Another point for Obama to send more money on education in the US….

    • Joyce, thank you. Especially Fow News needs some education on 18th Century uniforms…Blue & Gold = Continental Army; Blue & White = Imperial French Army. So, guys, be careful, todays uniforms are even less easy to distinguish…

  2. Americans don't even know the differences in Uniform? Can't you tell that George Washington wore the Uniform of the "Continental Army"? Blue and gold = America….Blue and White = France…Be careful, uniforms today are not that easy to distinguish.

  3. So typical of the white liberal press, Showing Obama dressed as a EUROPEAN (white) general. Why not show him wearing the Leopard skin loincloth of an African chief? He is of an African background, after all.

  4. White liberals really do believe that when American ceases to be a white nation, it will somehow still be a western nation. How foolish of you.

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