Gay Marriage and a Happy New Year for Delaware

    Editorial cartoonist Rob Tornoe takes a look back at 2012 and a look ahead at 2013 through some of his favorite drawings from the past twelve months.


    When it comes to the end of the year, I’ve always preferred to look ahead, and with Governor Markell saying he expects Delaware to take up marriage equality, 2013 is already looking bright and promising.

    Certainly, Delaware experienced it’s share of big news stories. From Hurricane Sandy to the disgusting Eric Bodenweiser saga, a lot happened during 2012 for such a tiny state. But instead of simply rehashing old stories, I thought it might be fun to remember 2012 through the prism of some of my favorite Delaware cartoons.

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    Coastal Flooding and Hurricane Sandy

    Certainly, Delaware was lucky compared to New Jersey and New York when it came to the damage Hurricane Sandy wrought to our state. However, the rise in sea level leaves Delaware’s coast susceptible to flooding and potential damage on par with our coastal neighbors. However, there are those on the right that still want to believe that either this rise isn’t happening (it is) or that mankind as no role to play in either its cause or solution.


    The electric car company seemed to have been the whipping boy of the press all year, and for good reason. Delaware is on the hook for $21.5 million it gave to Fisker as an incentive to take over the abandoned GM Boxwood Road Plant . Production was intended to being in late 2012, and production goals were set at 75,000-100,000 vehicles a year, creating 2,000 factory jobs and 3,000 vendor and supplier jobs by 2014.

    The Boxwood Road Plant continues to sit empty and Delawareans wait to see if they’ll ever produce a single car here. Fisker might not be Solyndra, but they’re not Chrysler, either.


    As we watch the ground being coated with snow, it might be hard to remember back to July, when record-high temperatures scorched Delaware with eleven consecutive days of temperatures above 90 degrees.

    Obama’s evolution on Gay Marriage

    Obama might credit his own evolution on the issue for his new found support of Marriage Equality, but it was Vice President Joe Biden who opened his mouth about the issue on “Meet the Press,” backing Obama into a political corner, forcing his conversion. There are times when Delaware’s favorite gaffe-prone politician sticks his own foot in his mouth. This time, he pushed an important issue being obscured into the forefront and made it one of the defining issues of their first term.

    New County Castle Executive Race

    Due to the overwhelming number of registered democrats and relative obscurity of the Republican challenger, it was no surprise the democratic primary for New Castle County Executive wound up deciding the race. What a great choice for voters – a convicted felon and a corrupt figurehead whose attorney-wife represented influential real estate developers looking for government approval.

    I still wish former councilman Tom Kovach had run for County Executive. He would have had the disadvantage of being a Republican, but at least it would have given New Castle County residents an honest choice that didn’t involve a candidate who was ethically compromised in one way or another.

    Election 2012

    Much like the NCCo Executive race, the lean to the left of most Delaware voters created an uphill battle for Republicans looking to be elected to statewide office. In the end, Kevin Wade, Jeff Cragg and Tom Kovach couldn’t muster more than token opposition to popular heavyweights like Jack Markell and Tom Carper.

    My biggest regret of 2012? Not drawing a cartoon featuring Alex Pires filming himself as he spoke.

    Terrible Eagles           

    Delaware doesn’t have their own professional sports team, so most of us live vicariously through Philadelphia sports. Unfortunately, this year we were all let down by an uninspired Eagles team that seemed to fly apart at the seams. Coach Andy Reid took the brunt of the blame from fans who called for his ouster, and for the first time in 14 seasons, they may get what they asked for.


    Rob Tornoe is a political cartoonist and a WHYY contributor. See more of his work at, and follow him on Twitter @RobTornoe.







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