As far as presidential busts go, the Smithsonian will not be calling anytime soon, Rodin will not be replaced in any museums, but Madame Toussad may be taking a few notes and measurements for a full body Obama upgrade in wax. This pre presidential bust is made out of luscious Iowa butter and sitting in a Toledo, Iowa gym under hot lights as swarms of people view the Butter Lady's latest masterpiece. It is considered an electoral honor to be sculpted in a buttery tribute in Iowa. The sight of giant butter heads always draws big crowds at the Iowa State Fair held in the hot August sun. Obama's only concern, well two concerns actually, was he had the audacity to hope that his ears were not made too big for the butter head. A balancing problem, I'm sure...for the bust, but the artiste said she remained true to the subject matter presented and that's just the way it was.(Photo courtesy Joshua Lott/New York Times)
Barack Obama really likes the art piece complete with symbolic red and blue professional draping and said so. A bored press corps also got a kick out of it. But still, that has got to be distracting making a compelling closing argument for Iowans presidential caucus votes while staring at your own butter head with the 78 year-old proud dairy sculptor beaming up at you from a fold-up chair right in front of you. If anyone was throwing three pointers, the positioning of the head was politically perfect, though precarious, right under a basketball hoop, a place of honor befitting Obama's favorite sport.
Norma Lyon does her best work in dairy products, either selling them or making sculptures. Obama's bust took two weeks to make and was kept in deep freeze until it was time to display him in butter to the whole World of Iowa - the only place that matters in American politics right now through 3 January, 2008. After making a man's head out of butter, Lyon's is Fired Up & Ready to Go caucusing for Barack Obama with creamy bust in tow. Weather in Iowa right now will freeze her creation, but not participation. Go Obama! (Reuters photo)
Again, the hopeful and sometimes bleak journey of Barack Obama is best told in his own autobiographical words torn from his heart in Dreams from My Father.