Huckleberry Finn for President?

E.W. Kemble’s drawing of “Huckleberry Finn with a Rabbit” from the original 1884 edition of Mark Twain’s great American novel.So far I’ve deliberately eschewed the hurly-burly of daily politics on this blog. I’m making an exception now because this crosses into the higher realms of pop culture history. After a certain Republican wannabe won the Iowa caucus last Thursday night, everyone is trying to wrap his or her lips around the name “Huckabee. ” Sounds presidential, right? It’s right up there with Millard Fillmore.

Right wing evangelical voters are said to be responsible for Mike Huckabee’s surge in Iowa. I think he’s also getting a leg up from nostalgic baby-boomers like me whose drug-addled brains switch name-recognition synapses and think of Huckleberry Hound. Hanna-Barberra ripped and riffed the name, of course, from Huckleberry Finn. And who wouldn’t want a misfit like Huck for President? Or better yet, Jim? He has more integrity than any other character in American fiction.

Ms. Modigliani, who brings a Canadian’s bemused perspective to this  election quagmire, reconfigured the name as “Bumblebee.” The spin-meisters should keep an eye on that emerging trend. The bumblebees are headed for extinction.

A Note on the Image: E.W. Kemble’s drawing of “Huckleberry Finn with a Rabbit” comes from the original 1884 edition of Mark Twain’s great American novel. [Source: Wikipedia] I’ve written elsewhere about Huck Finn’s resemblance to Gavroche in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.

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