New Yorker Cover Puts Santorum in Doghouse, Romney in Driver's Seat

New Yorker

In the whirlwind of stumbling and surging front-runners, ebbing and flowing momentum and winning then losing primary battles, even the cover artist for the New Yorker has had to rethink how to portray the GOP primary.

But for this week's New Yorker cover, which has already ignited a hailstorm of hilarity from Twitter and the blogosphere, artist Bob Staake seems to have struck metaphorical gold.

Channeling the now-infamous story of Romney's dog Seamus' 12-hour ride strapped to the top of the family station wagon, a sweater-vest-clad Rick Santorum peeks out of a doghouse roped to the top of that unmistakable Romney-family vehicle. A cool and confident Romney sits in the driver's' seat  as the red wagon races down the proverbial highway (Path to the nomination? Road to Super Tuesday?) in Staake's "State by State" cover art.

But a week ago, when Staake said he first came up with the dog-on-the-roof cover art idea, the candidates were switched, with Romney perched in the doghouse and Santorum taking the driver's  seat.

"It was originailly flipped," Staake told ABC News. "But for Romney, clearly his political fortunes  have suddenely changed. He is now in the driver's  seat, so I put Santorum in the doghouse."

One week ago all signs showed Mitt Romney was within inches of losing his home state's primary in Michigan, a loss that could have proved devastating for  his campaign. But after pulling off a clutch, if not close, win in both Michigan and Arizona last Tuesday, as well as Washington on Saturday, Romney recaptured the momentum going into the  pivotal Super Tuesday 10-state voting spree March 6.

Staake said the cover was intentionally vague, allowing readers to fill in the blanks with their own interpretations.

"A good New Yorker cover does not tell the entire story," he said. "It only lives and breathes when the individual reader has that 'aha' moment. I think there are a lot of ways people can go ahead and interpret this cover."

But personally, Staake said he just thinks it's "funny," even funnier than the original concept that had Romney in the dog house.

"Maybe Santorum would have a sense of humor about it and would kind of giggle about it," Staake said.

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