This cartoon is a great example of hyperbole (hy-PUR-buh-lee), a favorite tool of political cartoonists. Hyperbole is a deliberate and obvious exaggeration. Here, the cartoonist uses it to poke fun at the presidential election process (see pp. 6-10). Study it, then answer the questions.
1. What has the couple just done? --
2. How do you know? --
3. What is the couple's reaction to the man's question? --
4. What is hyperbolic about the situation shown? --
5. What would you say the cartoonist thinks about the timing of presidential primaries? --
1. voted in the November 2008 presidential election
2. Clues include: the boxed caption/title with the date, signs on the walls behind the couple. Their backs are to the door, indicating that they are leaving, not arriving.
3. surprise and/or puzzlement
4. The man's question indicates that the first primary for a presidential election four years in the future is being held absurdly early--just one week after the 2008 presidential election. Another absurdity: The man is asking who the couple would vote for in 2012 before anyone even knows who won the 2008 election.
5. Primaries are being held too early in the presidential election process, and/or the jockeying of states to be first is becoming ridiculous.