Some have expressed surprise at the elevation here of toothpick to political barometer, but it is indeed a very humble and yet marvelous device on closer examination. Let us consider the lowly toothpick which has been with us as long as the domesticated feline. Paleontologists have found scrapings on the teeth of neanderthals, which would seem to indicate that the dilemma of dislodging chunks of meat and veg from the grille predates such modern fancy grooming niceties as Dippity-Do, eyelash curlers and banana clips.
Toothpicks have been made from every conceivable material. The earliest were probably thorns as I described, or other such, and over time, people forged metal into toothpicks. During the eighteenth century, jewel-inlaid metal toothpicks were the fashion. Even the first multi-tool most people acquire, the Swiss Army Knife, features a toothpick. Basic!
When contemplating political choices, is it not a good thing to see how considerate the candidates are, how they take a bit of care to remove disctractions which would pull focus from the real discussion? I think so. Thus does the toothpick indicate a level of social grace and conscientiousness. I'll tell you when we get to the president who is the embodiment of the Toothpick Principle, but you'll have to wait like good boys and girls...
Moving right along...
Now, this is another one of those hairballs, and at this point let me mention how sick I am of drawing those poncey, fussy collars, so JQA gets to be a floating head. Sheesh. I'm feeling all frisky over the thought of a Roughrider gitup, though, so I suppose I have that to look forward to. ANYhoo...You can see from this expertly rendered portrait that JQA doesn't seem as at home with a toothpick as we know his opponent Andrew Jackson would have been, and that's entirely fitting: John Quincy Adams was technically not elected. Andrew Jackson actually won the popular vote, but Adams and his family had a great history in diplomacy and the highest office of the nation, so Henry Clay led the electoral college to opt in favor of JQA. JQA made Clay his Secretary of State. Cronies, much? Love the chrome-dome, by the way, and he looks a little intense. I'm thinking Ralph Fiennes for the Lifetime movie event. Loved the nose, though. Nice nose on that man. You may have have noticed all the noses I draw look kind of alike, but that's mebbe because I can't draw and stuff.
Total toothpick guy even though this is my worst drawing so far. At one time or another, I'm sure someone has hewn a very effective toothpick from hickory. AJ had an impressive head of hair which I had no hope of replicating, and this turned out a little Elvis/Liberace, er, sumthing. Here he is portrayed by Gabriel Byrne, as you can see, and he was a pretty handsome guy, in addition to being a badass. We love badasses, don't we, ladies? After the stinging defeat of the previous election, a very determined Jackson won the office in a landslide victory. He was the first poor-born US president, born to immigrant parents, and though he became immensely wealthy, he never forgot his humble beginnings. He was a duelling dude, and stared down the barrel of a gun more than once over slights or insults, which he never took lying down. He went to his grave wishing he'd killed Henry Clay. I have to say I personally adore Jackson for allowing the national bank's charter to lapse. He felt a national bank would be used to benefit the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the common man. I heartily agree. Jackson said "It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes." Nothing new under the sun, I suppose.
Coming up tomorrow: Martin Van Buren's Wild Hairs! More poncey collars! Presidents you never knew we had! It'll be ossum, possum! All the cool kids will be here.