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Posters Show Obama as Superhero, Sun God, Saint

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Posters Show Obama as Superhero, Sun God, Saint

Election 2008

Posters Show Obama as Superhero, Sun God, Saint

Posters Show Obama as Superhero, Sun God, Saint

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/92021515/92021493" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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"Yes We Can" by artist Antar Dayal From store.barackobama.com hide caption

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From store.barackobama.com

Artists who back Democrat Barack Obama depict the presidential candidate as a transcendent figure. One poster shows Obama with a halo. Another likens him to a revolutionary peasant.

Steve Seidman, chairman of the strategic communication department at Ithaca College, tracks the role of iconography in politics. He finds a long tradition behind a recent Obama poster, "Yes We Can" by artist Antar Dayal, in which the candidate's face is turned toward the horizon.

"He's gazing into the distance, almost like a visionary," Seidman says. It's a common approach, the professor says. The Obama rendering reminds him of posters for presidents Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and the first George Bush. "Even Adolf Hitler — posters in his election campaigns in Germany have shown him gazing into the distance."

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