© The New Yorker Collection 2008 Farley Katz from cartoonbank.com.All rights reserved.

Century Marks

Presidential prognostication: In a 1958 essay published in Esquire magazine, Jacob K. Javits, a liberal Republican senator from New York, predicted that the U.S. would elect its first black president in 2000. This president, he imagined, “will be well-educated. He will be well-traveled and have a keen grasp of his country’s role in the world and its relationships. He will be a dedicated internationalist with working comprehension of the intricacies of foreign aid, technical assistance and reciprocal trade.” Javits also predicted that “despite his other characteristics, he will have developed the fortitude to withstand the vicious smear attacks that came his way as he fought to the top of government and politics” (Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s introduction to Barack Obama: A Pocket Biography of our 44th President, by Steven J. Niven, Oxford University Press).


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