Forget the Hillary NYT Cover. Here’s the Political Solar System.

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
Jan. 23 2014 4:32 PM

The Political Solar System

Forget the Hillary New York Times Magazine cover.


Photo illustraton by Lisa Larson-Walker

The New York Times Magazine isn’t the only news outlet who can rip off Georges Méliès to satirize politicians. Here are the planets the Slate staff thinks best align with the various gaseous bodies that constitute American politics.

The sun: Barack Obama, whose sheer political mass will dictate the orbit of his political peers ... until 2016.

Mercury: Paul Ryan—like the patron god of financial gain, he’s fleet-footed (thanks, P90X!) and a bit of an errand boy for the GOP.


Venus: Sarah Palin—pretty but poisonous, and full of hot air.

Earth: Al Gore, naturally.

Moon: Newt Gingrich, fulfilling his lifelong dreams.

Mars: Chris Christie—like the god of war, you do not want to incur his wrath and his resulting reddish complexion.

Jupiter: Bill Clinton—notorious for his unfaithfulness, yet still looming large in the political solar system.

Saturn: Hillary Clinton—always slightly in Jupiter’s shadow, she is often characterized by her icy atmosphere.

Uranus: Ken Cuccinelli.

Neptune: John Kerry, god of the sea!

Pluto: Donald Trump. Sometimes he’s a politician, sometimes he’s not. And he’s way, way out there.

Emma Roller is a Slate editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter.



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

An Iranian Woman Was Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist. Can Activists Save Her?

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

The Ludicrous Claims Women Are Pitched at “Egg Freezing Parties”

Oct. 1 2014 11:48 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
Oct. 1 2014 1:11 PM This Company Wants to Fight World Hunger With Flies 
The Eye
Oct. 1 2014 1:04 PM An Architectural Crusade Against the Tyranny of Straight Lines
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 2:08 PM We Need to Talk: Terrible Name, Good Show
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Oct. 1 2014 1:53 PM Slate Superfest East How to get your tickets before anyone else.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 1:13 PM The Essence of Gender Roles in Action Movies, in One Supercut
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 12:01 PM Rocky Snow
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.