This Week's 'New Yorker' Cover Is Spot On

by Lauren Barbato

It's been barely a week after the 2014 midterm elections, and America's still reeling from the results. By now, we've heard all about how the Republicans flipped the U.S. Senate — and now solidly control Congress — but there's no better way to confront the proverbial elephant in the room than the latest cover of The New Yorker. For its post-2014 midterms issue, The New Yorker confronted President Obama and the GOP head-on, turning that proverbial elephant into, well, an actual giant elephant taking up space in the Oval Office. How's that for literal symbolism?

The New Yorker cover story, titled "Obama's Elephant Problem," addresses Obama's very un-presidential midterm election — it's the first time in eight years that Republicans gained control of the Senate, and it could have some very serious ramifications for the Obama administration. House Speaker John Boehner made it very clear last week that Obama may find himself "playing with matches" if he overrides Congress on issues such as immigration reform and health care.

Ricardo Siri Liniers, the Argentine cartoonist behind the cover, elaborated on concept behind the drawing to The New Yorker:

I hope Obama finds some way to maneuver around this situation. In my first draft, I had the elephant sitting on Obama’s head. This version is a bit more subtle.

Here's the full New Yorker cover — read into it what you will...

This new Congress has yet to step onto Capitol Hill and it's already making headlines, with news outlets musing if Obama can avoid even more gridlock in Washington and finally deliver that elusive "hope and change." In an exclusive interview with CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer on Sunday's "Face of the Nation," Obama addressed his approach to the opposition he's sure to face when Congress resumes in the winter:

One thing that I do need to constantly remind myself and my team of is, it's not enough just to build a better mousetrap. People don't automatically come beating to your door. We've got to sell it. We've got to reach out to the other side and, where possible, persuade. I think there are times, there's no doubt about it, where, you know I think we have not been successful in going out there and letting people know what it is that we're trying to do and why this is the right direction. So there is a failure of politics there that we've got to improve on.

In the meantime, House Republicans have advised the lame-duck president to not try "going at it alone," so to speak, warning any individual action will further harm his already tenuous relationship with Congress. Yep, there certainly is a giant elephant in the room — and it'll be there for the next two years.

Image: The New Yorker