This cartoon is a smorgasbord of images: a little something for everyone.
In searching for a vehicle to make my point, I intentionally harked back to those heroic equestrian statues of George Washington, because the Washingtonian resoluteness in the face of adversity is what John McCain is trying to evoke by suspending his campaign and returning to the capital. Here is the great leader marshaling his troops, rousing their morale when things seem at their most hopeless. He did, curiously, use the word, "patriotic," when he made the announcement that he was temporarily folding his tent for the greater good of the nation.
Of course, the image of the mounted leader is also reminiscent of Napoleon, and we all know what happened to him.
In keeping with McCain's militaristic persona, I dressed him in a 19th Century U.S. Cavalry uniform, and Baby Boomers will recognize Cpl. Agarn's buffoonish head cover stylization from the television series F Troop.
Finally, for you art historians, I wasn't consciously channeling Picasso here (God forbid!), but when I finished the drawing, I realized that the horse definitely has the same facial expression as the rearing steed in Guernica, which brings an element of chaos to the picture.
After all that, what the hell does the cartoon mean?