The Labors of Barack Obama Posted on July 20th, 2008 by

Proving that classical mythology never goes out of style and that you can never take an analogy too far, Maureen Dowd compares Barack Obama’s upcoming political trials to the Labors of Hercules.

Barack Obama is about to embark on his own Feats of Strength…In the next six weeks, he will have to successfully complete a number of tasks..

Because Obama started from scratch a year and a half ago in his amazing presidential odyssey, he has to swiftly and convincingly perform the political equivalent of the Labors of Hercules.

Cleaning the Augean stables in a single day seems like a cinch compared with navigating the complexities of Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Palestine and Jordan in a few short days.

Instead of slaying the nine-headed Hydra, he must bedazzle three European countries without causing Middle America to begrudge his popularity with a bunch of foreigners.

Instead of obtaining the girdle of the Amazon warrior queen Hippolyte, Obama has to overcome the hurdle of the Amazon warrior queen Hillary.

Obama must capture his own equivalent of the Erymanthian Boar, deciding how much to grovel to get Bill Clinton in his corner, and he has to calculate whether the Big Dog will be help or hindrance, or both, as he was with his wife, and how to use him, if at all.

Obama’s last summer labor should be the simplest for him, nailing his Denver convention speech. Not half as hard as getting past that 100-headed dragon to steal the Apples of the Hesperides.


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