Favored U.S. Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama continued his historical campaign last night at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York City, where he once again courted the coveted “geek vote” by including in his speech the revelation that he was born on Krypton and sent by his father, Jor-El, to “save the planet Earth,” a clear reference to Superman.
The Catholic charity dinner, hosted annually since 1945 in honor of former New York Governor Al Smith — the first Roman Catholic to run for President of the United States — is a traditional stop for candidates during an election year, and provides opponents with an opportunity to tell jokes at each others’ expense in a neutral and extremely lighthearted atmosphere.
Obama previously associated himself with superhero comics’ most beloved icon in a famous photograph of the Senator posing with the Superman statue in downtown Metropolis, Illinois; and in “Obama-man,” an illustration by hugely popular comic book artist Alex Ross that depicts the Senator in the classic Clark Kent-Superman mold.
The Democratic Senator from Illinois also referenced geek paragon Mad Magazine, remarking, “It’s been said that I share the politics of Alfred E. Smith and the ears of Alfred E. Neuman.” Additionally, Obama has been endorsed by indie comics mainstay The Savage Dragon as well as Comics Industry for...Obama!, an organized group of comics professionals. Further, the Senator was reported to have identified "Star Trek" actor Leonard "Mr. Spock" Nimoy at a campaign event and acknowledged him with the Vulcan gesture of respect.
Beleaguered Republican candidate Senator John McCain may have been appealing to right-leaning geek constituents by spending the evening sitting next to Cardinal Edward M. Egan, head of the Archdiocese of New York, whose bright red robes invoked memories of the Imperial Guard of legendary “Star Wars” villain Emperor Palpatine, who McCain is said to resemble strongly.