Pope Pius XI (1922-39) provided the inspiration that resulted in the Democratic Partys selecting a youthful and eloquent African American, said by his opponents to lack the experience necessary for the Oval Office, as their standard-bearer.
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama? No, New York Gov. Timothy Pettigrew.
Obama, if current polling proves accurate, is on the verge of a very real and historic victory. The fictitious Pettigrew, meanwhile, was the creation of Berry Reece, a Yazoo City, Miss., native and Notre Dame graduate, and New York-based cartoonist Joe Sinnott. The six-part Pettigrew for President series ran in the January-June 1964 issues of Treasure Chest, the Catholic educational systems response to the violence and vapidity of such comic book heroes as Superman and Batman, but also part of a broader effort commissioned by Pius XI to instill civic virtue in U.S. parochial school students.