Comic Book Elections: Pepper Potts for President

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Tales of Suspense #75 (1966) - Marvel Comics
Tales of Suspense #75 (1966) – Marvel Comics

I was watching ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos last Sunday when, in the midst of a roundtable discussion about Donald Trump’s new presidential campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, political analyst Matthew Dowd used the analogy that, “It doesn’t matter if Iron Man puts Pepper Potts in charge of the campaign, Tony Stark’s still running it.”

Kellyanne Conway - by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0
Kellyanne Conway (or Pepper Potts?)

That ingenious and spot-on remark caught me off-guard and I found it interesting in many different respects, the least of which was learning that on some level Matthew Dowd must be a comic book fan – and he’s not afraid to flaunt it, even on a high-profile and highfalutin network television show. (Kudos to you, Sir!)

The other thing that struck me was that Mr. Dowd felt confident that his comic book analogy would be understood by the mainstream audience watching the This Week show, something that would not have been true ten years ago.

When the first Iron Man movie was released in 2008 there was probably only a handful of non-comic-readers that knew who Tony Stark was, and you can bet that none of them had ever heard of Pepper Potts before. So, my fanboy/girl friends, congratulations, we’ve gained some ground in the mainstream media.

Dowd’s comment also made me wonder, if Pepper (i.e. Kellyanne) IS managing Stark’s (Trump’s) campaign, then why the Hell isn’t she the one running for President? She certainly is the brains of the operation at this point – so shouldn’t SHE be the person actually in office?

Let’s take Dowd’s analogy to the movies. In Iron Man 3, not only is Pepper managing Tony’s businesses, she also uses her newly acquired Extremis powers (I call it Extremis, Extremis powers!) to save Tony’s skin – not unlike what Mrs. Conway is attempting to do to the Donald’s floundering campaign.

Tales of Suspense #47 (1963) - Marvel Comics
Tales of Suspense #47 (1963) – Marvel Comics

Iron Man is overall the most political of all superheroes (with Captain America probably a close second), but in the end, outside of having a lot of money (and possibly the Playboy thing), Donald Trump doesn’t really have much in common with Tony Stark – especially in regard to any superheroics.

Maybe the biggest question here is who’s going to be ‘Happy’ in this election scenario?

Kellyanne Conway photo by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.