The first of three Presidential debates between President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney takes place this Wednesday. This cartoon by Clay Bennett of the Chattanooga Times Free Press portrays the debate as a boxing match. Obama is waiting in the ring with the referee. Meanwhile, the challenger Romney is being carried into the ring by his Republican seconds (note the elephant logo on their backs). And are those drops of blood on the floor (which, in fact, looks like snow)?
The cartoonist has reversed the clichéd image of the dazed and defeated boxer being helped from the ring by his seconds at the end of the fight. The suggestion is that Romney has suffered a metaphorical knockout before the debates even start, following a series of gaffes and missteps which have given Obama the advantage. In fact, the latest polls show Obama with a two-to-eight-point lead over Romney.
The title of the cartoon is "The Main Event". The term occurs primarily with reference to combat sports such as boxing, professional wrestling and mixed martial arts. The main event, generally the most prestigious match on the card, has the most promotion behind it. The match commonly involves a contest for a top championship (source: Wikipedia).
• Obama, Romney prep for debate showdown (CBS News)
• Presidential debates 2012: Romney, Obama to duel on Wednesday (Newsday)
• Romney debate challenge: High stakes, lowered expectations (CNN)
• US elections: Mitt Romney prepares for key televised election debate (The Telegraph)