For the cover of New York’s Election Issue, we turned to the artist Barbara Kruger, who had created such a memorable cover for the magazine the week of Eliot Spitzer’s resignation. She came back with this image. Editor-in-chief Adam Moss says that he and the editors “were drawn to it, in part, for the three ways in which it could be interpreted: as Trump speaking (single word epithets being his specialty); as a description of Trump; and as a call on the election result. On this latter point, who knows — and we confess to being a little rattled when the Comey letter news broke just as we were shipping it. But in the end we felt that the power of Kruger’s image transcended any one meaning you could read into it. The issue analyzes many aspects of Trump’s extraordinary candidacy, and an important point is spelled out in the headline we appended to the bottom corner: Trump has already changed America, not much for the better. Which adds a fourth meaning: in that sense we are all losers too.”
For the editors’ post-election thoughts on this cover, see the November 14 “Reread” column.