Initial Impressions
Editorial Cartoonists' Portrayals of the Campaign and the Candidates, Dec. 2002 and Jan. 2003.
Based on a non-scientific sampling mainly from the Cagle website, but also with some from other sites.
The 2004 Democratic field took shape in January 2003 as Sen. Edwards, Rep. Gephardt, Sen. Lieberman and Rev. Sharpton all announced their candidacies or exploratory efforts, joining Gov. Dean and Sen. Kerry.  Cartoonists took pen in hand to ink first impressions of the Democratic hopefuls.  In fact, however, these candidates have all been in public life for years, so there are past cartoons of them, in some cases many.  For example, Dick Gephardt ran in 1988, possible candidate Gary Hart ran in 1984, and Lieberman received a lot of ink when Gore named him as his running mate.

Many of the cartoons from this period allude to the sheer number of candidates (as in "Boy, there sure are a lot of them.")  Cartoonists honed in on traits of some of the candidates, while others remained ill-defined and little covered at this early stage.  Gov. Howard Dean was largely invisible on the national scene; only one work featuring just him was found, a "Doonesbury" strip; some of the multiple candidate cartoons omitted him (Deering 1/4, DeOre 1/7 and Ohman 1/22).  Ten cartoons were found centering on Sen. John Edwards; these included references to his legal background, his youth, his Southern-ness, his looks, and the possiblity that he is positioning himself to be selected as running mate by the eventual nominee. Rep. Dick Gephardt cartoons were rare; several were found focusing on the long odds he faces.  Relatively few cartoons on Sen. John Kerry were found; one referred to John F. Kennedy pretensions, and another to his being a liberal from Massachusetts.  Eleven cartoons on Sen. Joe Lieberman were found in this period, a majority of which addressed his relatively conservative views.  In seven cartoons, Rep. Al Sharpton was portrayed a burden to the Democrats; one particularly biting work presented him as a clown.  Three cartoons were found on former Sen. Gary Hart; one went right to the "Monkey Business" problem that likely will deter him from running.  One on Sen. Bob Graham portrayed him as boring.  A "Doonsbury" strip touched on Gen. Wesley Clark.   ema 2/3/03

The Field
*indicates distinctions made between the candidates
Gary Varvel-The Indianapolis Star-News 1/23
[A take off on the "American Idol" television program].  Six candidates (five labeled--Sharpton, Edwards, Lieberman, Dean and Kerry) stand before three judges.  The  judges, seated at a table below a "Political Idol" sign, are all expressing antipathy toward the candidates.

Jack Ohman-The Oregonian 1/22*
Six Panels.  Panel 1: "Democratic Presidential Candidate Reality Shows"  Panel 2. John Millionaire (Edwards).  Panel 3.  The Amazing Race (Lieberman "We finished first...I swear").  Panel 4.  American Idol (Kerry "Did I mention I was in Vietnam?")  Panel 5.  Meet My Folks (Gephardt with AFL and CIO hardhat workers behind him).  Panel 6. Fear Factor (Sharpton "Be very, very afraid..." also a skew-eyed donkey in the frame).

Mike Lane-The Baltimore Sun 1/22
Female donkey, wearing a Dems button, writing in diary.  A tear rolls down her cheek and there is a thought balloon with a picture of Clinton, sunglasses on, blowing away at the saxaphone.
Writing: "Dear Diary: Sigh.  Yet another candidate!  Will my heart ever go pitter-patter again?"

Jeff Koterba-Omaha World-Herald 1/21
Busy highway, eight lanes of traffic.  One sign over the highway says "Welcome to Iowa;" a second sign says "Democratic Candidates for President" and has arrows for four lanes.

Gary Brookins-Richmond Times-Dispatch 1/14
Two donkeys driving a car that has a lot of bumperstickers on the back (Gore, Edwards, Dean, Sharpton, Kerry, Lieberman, Gephardt).
One donkey to the other: "You realize if we get any more candidates, we'll have to get an SUV just to have room for the bumper stickers."

Chris Weyant-The Hill 1/15
A mass of donkeys line up at the start of a race; a 2004 banner stretches across the starting line; a donkey is speaking into a megaphone.
Donkey: "O.K., people, besides Al Gore, is anyone not running for president?"

Scott Bateman 1/15*
6 panels.  1. "Hey, Democrats: Who are you for in 2004...?"  2. "Gore!  I mean, Lieberman."  3.  "Kennedy!  I mean, Kerry."  4. "Clinton!  I mean, Edwards."  5. "Annoying dullness man!  I mean, Gephardt."  6. "Nader.  Again."

Ed Gamble-Florida Times Union 1/14
Donkey has pulled car up in front of a service station, which the sigin identifies as Congressional Retreads.  In front of the station are Gephardt, Kerry and Lieberman.
Donkey: "on the second thought, maybe I need to shop around for a new set of tires!"

Gary Markstein-Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 1/14
A storefront building with a Democratic Headquarters sign on top and a crowd visible through the front window..
Man to the crowd: "Is there anyone here not running for president?..."

Brian Duffy-The Des Moines Register 1/14
Two hogs leaning against a fence; one is reading a newspaper "Iowa News-List of Democratic presidential wannabes in alphabetical order: Dean, Edwards, Gephardt, Kerry, Sharpton (Continued Inside)"
One hog to the other: "Wouldn't it be easier to say who's not running for president in the Democratic party?"

Mike Peters-Dayton Daily News 1/13
Cat, arms/front feet raised, at podium with Socks for President sign on it; a reporter in front is speaking into microphone.
Reporter: "Yet another Democrat is forming an exploratory committee."

Jim Borgman-The Cincinnati Enquirer 1/10
Two men sitting on a bus stop bench reading newspapers--headlines "Dems Galore" and "In Race for '04."
One man to the other: "You're kidding!  I just formed a presidential exploratory committee, too!"

Jim Morin-The Miami Herald 1/8
Man and woman at home sitting on the couch.
Box: "Another annoying telemarketing call..."  Man, into the phone: "I am not interested in being the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate...Now leave me alone!!!"

Rick McKee-The Augusta Chronicle 1/8
Baby Eve holding up newspaper.  Headline reads "Democratic '04 presidential hopefuls pile up: Dean Kerry Edwards Gephardt Lieberman"
Baby thinks: "...and they call me a clone..."

R.J. Matson-Roll Call 1/8
Donkey, blindfolded on road to 2004 with many tails pinned on it: Edwards, Dodd, Kerry, Lieberman, Gephardt, Daschle, Dean, and folded up on top, Sharpton.

Bill DeOre-The Dallas Morning News 1/7
Bowling pins: Daschle, Gephardt, Kerry and Edwards.
Caption: "Democrats line up to run in 2004"

Mike Smith-Las Vegas Sun 1/7
Two panels.  Woman reading newspaper with headline "Democrats Line Up for 2004"
1. Woman: "Now I'm supposed to think about Joe, Richard, Al, Howard, Tom and two Johns?  Heck..."  2. Woman: "I've just barely stopped thinking about chad."

Joe Heller The Green Bay Press-Gazette 1/7
Inset panel: Close up of donkey.  Main panel: Wide shot of donkey shows many campaign buttons on suit. (Lieberman, Biden, Edwards, Kerry, Gephardt, Graham, Dean, Sharpton).
Inset panel: "The Democrats' plan to stimulate the economy is sure-fire!..."  Main panel: "Why orders for campaign buttons alone could pull the nation out of the recession.

Gary Markstein-Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 1/6
Man and woman in the living room.  He is reading the paper (Growing Field of Democratic Candidates for President), she is knitting.
Man: "I'm thinking of forming my own exploratory committee..."

Jimmy Margulies-The Record (New Jersey) 1/5
Donkey in laboratory, holding clipboard, wearing lab coat; beakers on the counter: Kerry, Edwards, Graham, Lieberman, Dean and Gephardt.
Donkey: "We're ready to prove the existence of clones."

John Deering-Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 1/4
Kerry on cello, Gephardt on violin and Edwards on triangle performing "The 2004 Overture" on stage.  To the side, bearing spear, wearing a Viking hat, and holding a shield is Hillary.
*This work is interesting for the instruments the candidates are shown playing.  Also note absence of Dean

Wayne Stayskal-Tampa Tribune 1/3
A media mob surrounds a man as a man and a woman walk by.
Woman: "What!?  Another Democrat announcing he'll run for president?"  Man: "I don't think so!  Too much excitement.  He's probably a Democrat announcing that he's not running for president!"

Oliphant 1/3
Race announcers describing mass of runners going by.
Announcer 1: "..And here comes Gebblepart, or whatever his name is, making an early bid for the lead over that little feller, Libbleman.  Obviously the leader, Ned..."  Announcer 2: "Right, Fred--or at least one of them.  I would say name recognition will play a big part in this Democratic race..."  "What would you say, Red?"  Announcer 3: "Yes.  Clearly, Ted."  Peanut gallery: "What about Senator Dayshol?"

Bob Gorrell-Creators Syndicate 1/--?*
Donkey with five campaign buttons on the front of his suit: "That vet with all the hair" "Lieber-whatis-face" "Another slick Southern moderate" "Gephardt (again)" "Ohgawd not Sharpton"

Doug Marlette-Tallahassee Democrat 1/--?
Crowd of reporters rushing to a manhole from which Osama bin-Laden is emerging.
Lead reporter: "At last we found somebody the Democrats aren't running for president!"

Doug Marlette-Tallahassee Democrat 1/--?
A crowd of clowns is issuing from a VW bug with license plate Dems 2004 and antenna banner 2004.

Gary Trudeau-Doonesbury 1/8
Conversation between the character Zipper and ?his roommate.
Panel 1: Roommate: Zip, whoever we pick to run for president has got to be fresh, someone no one's thinking of!
Panel 2: Zipper: I've got an idea!  I heard about this governor of a tiny state, like Hawaii or Vermont or someplace.
Panel 3: Zipper: His name is Howard Dean, and he's a virtual unknown, without a single grad student behind him!  He'd be totally ripe for the picking!
Panel 4: Roommate: Dude, he's already declared.  Zipper: See?  Who knew?  He's perfect!

Tim Newcomb-The Times-Argus (Montpelier, VT) 1/9
Dean in a rowboat, preparing to row off into the distance.  In the boat with him are several unidentifiable objects, perhaps bricks, labeled "Act 60," "Fletcher Allan," and "IBM."  Trailing behind the boat are logs labeled "Civil Unions," "Bernie," "Jeffords," and "Land Conservation."  In the water near the boat are the new Gov. Jim Douglas and a man holding a barrel labeled Bush 80% "Approval Rating."
Man: "Should we give him this?"  Douglas: "It'll catch up with him later"

John Cole-The Herald Sun (Durham, NC) 1/30  [title: "Be regular, Americans!"]
Man, woman and kid in front of the television; Edwards is on.
Edwards (from TV): "Ah'm John Edwards!  Ah'll work for regular Americans!"  Woman to man: "I he running for president or trying to get us to increase our dietary fiber?"

John Cole-The Herald Sun (Durham, NC) 1/22
Edwards with an 8-track tape labelled "John Edwards' Greatest Hit!" sticking out of the back of his head.
"(click). Ah'm John Edwards.  Ah represent regular people an' North Carolina values!  (click). Ah'm John Edwards.  Ah represent regular people an' North Carolina values.  (click)..."

Kevin Siers-The Charlotte Observer 1/11
Mount Rushmore with Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Lincoln and a smiling Edwards added on.
Lincoln: John Edwards says a resume is overrated!

Summers-The Orlando Sentinel 1/8
Two men on a street corner, one holding a newspaper with headline "Dems. Announce."  A baby wearing a "2004" banner crawls toward them.
Man: "Shouldn't baby New Year be wearing 2003?"  Other Man: "That's John Edwards."

Jack Ohman-The Oregonian 1/5
Edwards standing before a jury box filled with donkeys.
Edwards: "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, as a Southerner from the state of North Carolina, a major Southern state in the South, and as a Native Southerner who represents many other Southerners... [continues]"

Dwane Powell-Raleigh News & Observer 1/5
In a battered donkey--arm in a sling, neck brace, ear in a splint--talks to a smiling Edwards.
Donkey: "Tell me that again--you say you used to be a personal injury lawyer..."

Ed Gamble-Florida Times Union 1/5
View in the front window of Edwards 2004 headquarters.  A consultant is showing Edwards a proposed campaign sign that reads "Edwards he made millions the new-fashioned suing!"  (Signs on the HQ door read "Senator Edwards 'Southern Populist' Office" and "Come on in y'all")
Edwards to consultant: "that's not exactly what I had in mind!"

Kevin Siers-The Charlotte Observer 1/4
A smiling baby Edwards in a diapers bag with a John Edwards for President button on it.
Edwards: "My qualifications?"  "I'm the candidate with the least amount of baggage."

Bill 1/3
Edwards in box-like structure (unclear what it is) labeled "Candidate John" and "John Edwards 2004."  He holds a blow dryer.  American flag background.
Balloon: "Real Blow Dryer Sound"  Caption: Signaling his availability for the V.P. slot on the Democratic ticket, freshman Sen. John Edwards announces his exploratory committee for a presidential run."

Doug Marlette-Tallahassee Democrat 1/-?
Edwards, suitcase in one hand (stickers on it read N.H. Iowa, Fla. and N.Y.) and frequent flyer ticket in the other.
Edwards, singing: "In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina..."

Mark Streeter-Savannah Morning News 1/15
On the street a down-and-out man leans against a newspaper rack (Lieberman, et al).  He has a sign that reads "Forming Presidential Exploratory Committee--Please Help" and a hat to accept donations.  Two people pass by.
Man: "C'mon...I got at least as good a shot at it as Dick Gephardt."

Drew Sheneman-The Newark Star-Ledger 1/8
Gephardt prepares to rappel down "Presidential Bid Gulch."  A donkey, holding a scissors behind his back, waves to him.
Gephardt: "I'm going exploring!"  Donkey: "Have fun."

Randy Bish-Tribune Review 1/7
A couple of donkeys in suits; Gephardt is written across the top of the panel.  The donkeys are laughing with large "HA, HA, HA, HA" building off the "ha" in Gephardt.

Jerry Holbert-Boston Herald 1/21
Kerry hugging wife Teresa Heinz as a man and a woman look on.
Kerry: "This could be big for us, sweetheart!  The timing is right and the benefits could be tremendous!"  Woman: "Is he talking about running for President?"  Man: "No, Bush's tax plan that'll benefit the wealthiest Americans"

Henry Payne-The Detroit News 12/16/02
Two donkeys walking past large Kerry in 04 sign.  In the foreground are headstones, two reading Kennedy RIP 1980 and Dukakis R.I.P. 1988.
One donkey to the other: "Wow.  A smug liberal from Massachusetts.  Jeez.  When has that recipe ever let us down?..."

Dick Wright-The Columbus Dispatch 12/5/02
Gore dancing with donkey.  Kerry taps Gore on shoulder.
Kerry: "May I?..."

Bob Lang-Inside Politics 12/3/02
Kerry holding (or possibly in, with his feet extending through the bottom of) a small dingy named PT 109 1/2, J.F. Kerry, Capt., up on shore.  A fisherman, standing nearby, jacket labeled Mass., is ready to cast.
Kerry: "Hello...My name is John F. Kennedy and I'm running for president in 196...  No...  That is not correct, my name is John F. Kennedy and I'm running--  Darn!  I did it again!"  "Let me try this again...  My name is John F. Kennedy and I want to be your next president!  How's that?"  Fisherman: "Sad-- very sad..."

Jerry Holbert-Boston Herald 1/23 (this one is really more on Gore than Lieberman)
Man reading newspaper with headline Lieberman Joins Presidential Race.  Al Gore is next to him.
Man: "Lieberman would be a nobody if it weren't for you!  You made him what he is today!"  Gore: "I guess I can say...'I invented Joe Lieberman'  yeah, yeah... I like that!"

Mike Smith-Las Vegas Sun 1/19
Six images of Lieberman morphing into a figure with elephant ears and trunk.
Lieberman: "I'm..."  "a..."  "different..."  "kind..."  "of..."  "Democrat."

Randy Bish-Tribune Review 1/16
Lieberman, identified by the Lieberman '04 sign he holds, is poised on the bedspread atop a soundly sleeping man; there is also a sleeping dog at the foot of the bed.
Lieberman: "Well, I suppose, you'll want to run out and tell your friends about my exciting new campaign...Hello?"

Mike Keefe-The Denver Post 1/16
Lieberman holding up the tail of King George W. Bush's robe.  On the front of Lieberman's shirt are three words: vouchers, Iraq, and quotas.
Lieberman: "Sire, I've decided to run against you... May I borrow your platform?"

Tom Toles-The Washington Post 1/15
Two panels.  1. Man looking at "Lieberman for President" sign on a wall. Slogan reads "Let's get tough on Iraq, not accountants."  2. Man walking away having written on the sign, so that it now reads "Lieberman for President Bush."

Mike Thompson-The Detroit Free Press 1/15
Inset is close up of Lieberman.  Whole panel shows Lieberman wearing "I love school vouchers," "End Affirmative Action" and "Attack Iraq!" buttons; he stands in front of a "Try Busch Light" billboard.
Lieberman-inset: "I just announced my presidential bid"  Lieberman wide: "But my billboards have been up for a while."

Bob Lang-Inside Politics 1/14
Lieberman holds a sign "I am a different Democrat" while two voters, looking on, converse.
Lieberman: "Before I announce my bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, I want you all to read along with"  Voter 1: "OK, I'm he anti-Hollywood and pro-school voucher again?"  Voter 2: "That depends on whether he is an old new Democrat, a new old moderate, or an old new different--Aw, I give up!"

Bob Englehart-The Hartford Courant 1/14
Lieberman tossing yarmulke into ring.

Steve Sack-The Minneapolis Star-Tribune 1/10
Six panels. 1. Donkey says "Just a minute..."  2. Donkey gulps down no doz pills.  3. Donkey throws ice water in its face.  4. Donkey breathes smelling salts.  5. Donkey props open eyelids with toothpicks.  6. Donkey and Lieberman, who is standing on stage labeled Lieberman for Prez Announcement.  Donkey: "OK, Joe--Go crazy."

Bob Englehart-The Hartford Courant ??
4 Panels, Lieberman in each.  1. Jewish?  No Problem   2. Conservative?  No Problem   3. Democrat?  No Problem   4. Voice?  Problem    In addition to Lieberman is fingernails scratching on chalkboard.

Doug Marlette-Tallahassee Democrat 1/--?
Lieberman tosses a Mickey Mouse ear hat into a ring filled with other Mickey Mouse ear hats.
Caption: "Joe Lieberman Tosses His Yarmulke Into The Ring"

Scott Stantis-The Birmingham News 1/26
Sharpton at podium with "Sharpton for President" sign.  Donkey running away.
Sharpton: "I'm running!"

Mike Shelton-The Orange County Register 1/24
Donkey with five campaign buttons pinned to his suit (Gephardt, Lieberman, Dean, Kerry, and Edwards) grimaces while holding a Sharpton button that has a long, sharp pin sticking straight out the back.

Nick Anderson-The Courier Journal 1/23
Sharply dressed Sharpton trods through mud from campaign bus to the front porch of a farm house.  A woman on the porch is shucking corn and there are some hogs in the mud.  In the distance is a "Welcome to Iowa" sign.
Sharpton: "I'm Al Sharpton...  I'm here to speak for your disaffected young people, minorities, gays and lesbians..."  Woman: "Cletus!"

Rick McKee-The Augusta Chronicle 1/23
A donkey in a suit with a long neck; Sharpton is hanging from a swing around the donkey's neck.
Sharpton: "I'm running for President, and I'm in it to win it!...."  Caption: "Al(batross) Sharpton"

Jim Morin-The Miami Herald 1/22
Sharpton atop an overburdened donkey.
Sharpton: "Giddap!...and move your fat butt to the left, fool!!..."  Donkey thinking: "Well, at least he's not boring..."

Jimmy Margulies-The Record 1/22
Sharpton throwing a bomb into a ring with hats (Lieberman, Gephardt, Edwards, Kerry, Dean and Graham) as a donkey grabs his arm.
Donkey: "Your Hat, Al... You're supposed to throw your Hat into the ring!..."

Doug Marlette-Tallahassee Democrat 1/14
Sharpton in a clown suit holding up a "Sharpton for President" sign.
Sharpton: "I'm serious!"

Chan Lowe-Florida Sun-Sentinel 1/1
Woman, in drug store looking at sleeping aids, holds box labeled "Gore for Prez."  Pharmacist, behind her, holds box labeled "Graham for Prez."
Pharmacist: "That product has been discontinued.  May I recommend the new and improved version?"

Larry Wright-The Detroit News 1/26
Hart kissing a baby while donkeys in suits look on and comment.
Box: "News Item: Gary Hart considers running for president..."  One donkey to the other: "This could work!  He may be one of the few candidates we have where most voters aren't old enough to remember what it was he did!"

Steve Breen-San Diego Union-Tribune 1/11
Hart sitting on the end of a dock, a woman on his lap, sticking his toe in the water.
Caption: "Gary Hart tests the waters for a presidential run..."

Gary Trudeau-Doonesbury 1/6
Conversation between the character Zipper and ?his roommate.  [See Dean 1/8 and Clark 1/18]
Panel 1: Roommate: Hey, Zip, you heard about these guys who've been pushing Hart to run for president?  Zipper: Who?
Panel 2: Roommate: Gary Hart.  Former Senator.  Couple of grad students came up with the whole rationale for a Hart campaign.
Panel 3: Roommate: We should do something like that, man, become kingmakers like these two dawgs!  Zipper: Yeah, right.  They sound like losers.
Panel 4: Roommate: If he runs, they're quitting school.  Zipper: Yo, yo, yo!  I'm all ears.

Gary Trudeau-Doonesbury 1/18
Conversation between the character Zipper and ?his roommate.
Panel 1: Roommate: Hey Dude, How about enlisting Wesley Clark?  Zipper: Wesley Clark?
Panel 2: Zipper: You mean Wes Clark?  The guy who runs the equipment cage at the gym?
Panel 3: Roommate: No, General Wesley Clark!  The former commander of NATO forces in Europe?  Zipper: Oh, him.  Hmm...I dunno, man, tough call.
Panel 4: Roommate: Tough call?  Zipper: Yeah.  We should probably sound them both out.

Randy Bish-Tribune Review 1/14
Head and shoulders drawing of Daschle.
Daschle: "I won't run."  "My mouth, however..."

Scott Stantis-The Birmingham News
Daschle flat on the ground, running shoes up in the air behind him with laces tied together; laces labeled "Senate" and "Defeats."
Daschle: "I've decided to stay where I am..."

Larry Wright-The Detroit News
Daschle in the foreground with his hands very close together; donkey behind him with arms stretched far apart.
Daschle: "I came this close to running for president."

This survey does not focus on President Bush, but a couple of examples were found.
Jeff Danziger-Tribune Media 1/20
Troops headed by a man looking at "Polls."  A sign, "Baghdad by Election Day," points ahead.
Caption: "General Karl Rove"  Man: "Ready?  On my signal..."

Gary Markstein-Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
2 panels: 1. Bush at podium.  2. Bush seated in Oval Office.  He's wearing a 2004 button.  There is a downward sloping economy chart behind him, and a picture of Bush senior on the desk signed "Son-It's the economy!-Dad"
1 Bush says: "My economic plan is about jobs..."  2. Bush thinks: "Or, more specifically, my job..."

Copyright © 2003  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.  All Rights Reserved.