Cory Booker

Punchy Joe


CNN07282019

Here’s your weekly cartoon for CNN’s weekly newsletter, Provoke/Persuade. Please sign up to get these in your inbox every Sunday for the rest of your life.

There will be two Democratic debates this week on CNN, one on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. They’re being staged in Detroit. Michigan is a state Trump surprisingly won in 2016 with a huge assist from Russia. It’ll be a major battleground in 2020.

What analysists are focusing on before the debates are that on night one, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders will be on the same stage. On night two, Biden’s podium will be between Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, the two candidates he’s been feuding with.

The expectation is that Warren and Sanders, the two most liberal and socialist candidates, will have to go after each other at some point. I don’t expect that yet. It’s too early. What we can expect on night one is a moderate Democrat going after both of them. We may see the socialists team up.

Biden has promised not to be as polite as he was during the first debate where Harris took him down for his stance in the 70s on mandatory busing. He’s also been at it with Booker who has demanded Biden apologize for boasting about his working relationship with segregationists in the past. Biden wasn’t ready in the last debate. Will he be ready now?

Biden is the favorite candidate at this point and leading in the polls. Even a Fox News poll has him beating Trump. But what happens when he’s on a debate stage with Trump? Personally, I’d rather see Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor, prosecute Donald Trump to his face.

Other things to look for is that Andrew Yang has been going at it with Michael Bennett. Does anyone care?

We can look at Tom Steyer. Oh, wait. He won’t be at the debate and is one more candidate we don’t need.

Will Pete Buttigieg build, fall, or continue to tread water? Will Julian Castro build on his great performance from the first debate? Will Beto finally fold and drop out?

That’s the thing to look for after the debates. After the last one, Eric Swalwell did us all a favor, and himself, and dropped out. He’s doing a great job in Congress and that’s where he should stay. But right now, there are too many candidates. I’d like to see ten of them drop out. C’mon, guys and girls. Go home.

Previously, I didn’t have a favorite. I was going back and forth between the candidates and there are several I still like. But, now I do have a favorite and its been that way for the past few weeks. My pick is Kamala Harris. I like her. She’s a fighter and Donald Trump is afraid of her. I love the job she’s performed in grilling Trump nominees from her position in the Senate. I’m not saying she’s going to win, but that she’s who I want to win. At least for now. I have the right to change my pick. But right now, Kamala is the only one I can feel any excitement for.  I think with the right campaign, she can beat Trump.

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Bernie Rides Again


cjones02252019

Bernie’s back! Yesterday, the Independent Senator from Vermont announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election. Sanders will ride his brand of democratic socialism for a second time through the Democratic primaries. Bernie was the only alternative for Democrats in 2016. This time, the back of the unicorn is a lot more crowded.

Before we address the campaign of Bernie Sanders, let’s go through the other Democratic candidates, in order on the unicorn. We’re only going to cover those who have announced so far. So, no Biden or Beto analysis.

Kamala Harris may have had the most impressive announcement, up to this point. She raised $1.5 million in her first 24 hours. The Senator from California is a former prosecutor and state attorney general. If she makes it through the primaries to her home state, she could win the nomination. She’s expected to do very well in the early primary state of South Carolina where black women are an important voting bloc in the Democratic primary. Harris has rejected democratic socialism and identifies as a capitalist. Republicans have attempted to make something out of her dating former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and for admitting she smoked marijuana while in college. In the era of Trump, good luck with that. Harris has been very impressive and tough while questioning Trump nominees and cabinet members from her positions on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. She scares Republicans. Being charismatic, tough, intelligent, and a black female, she will give Donald Trump nightmares. I don’t think he has a nickname for her yet. If she doesn’t win the nomination, she would make the perfect veep candidate with her skill at grilling people. It may be enough to make Trump drop Mike Pence from his ticket. She would eat either of them alive in a debate.

Pete Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He’s 37 and the first openly gay candidate for the Democratic nomination. Being gay and from Indiana, the only person he’s scaring so far is Mike Pence. His hopes are very thin, but I thought the same thing about Sanders’ 2016 campaign. One candidate is going to surge, at least for a moment and grab everyone’s attention. Could it be Buttigieg? I don’t think so, but he’ll probably increase his national profile from this campaign. If he does gain any sort of traction, expect Republicans to twist his last name into the nickname “Bootygay.”

I had high hope for Cory Booker back when he was mayor of Trenton, New Jersey. The man exhibited charisma and intelligence. He’s also been impressive on the Judiciary Committee, along with Harris questioning Trump’s appointees, like Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. He was the first Senator to ever testify against a fellow Senator’s appointment to the cabinet, opposing Jeff Sessions to lead the Justice Department. Booker has not caught fire yet and it doesn’t seem like he will. He’s a vegetarian and if you watch Fox News, they’re warning us he’ll ban meat. But, if you watch Fox News then you’re probably not the type of person to read this blog. If he doesn’t win the nomination, he’ll be on the eventual nominee’s short list for his or her running mate, just like he was in 2016. People like Cory Booker.

Elizabeth Warren also scares Trump. She’s smart, female and she loves to troll him. Much has been made about her ancestry, but will voters care much about something so insignificant from her past while focusing on the future? Trump, as you know, has given her the racist nickname “Pocahontas.” With both being from New England, Warren will challenge Sanders for the New Hampshire primary. She might catch fire…or she may have missed her opportunity in 2016, much like Chris Christie when he skipped 2012, ate a bridge, then ran in 2016 only to lose to a dumbass like Trump.

Julian Castro is the former mayor of San Antonio and HUD Secretary in the Obama administration. At 44, he’s young and will also raise his national profile by running. He was on Hillary Clinton’s short list for the veep spot in 2016. After dropping out of this race, he’ll be on the short list again. He’s Hispanic and from a large electoral state like Texas. If nothing else, he brings gravitas on the border issue.

Kirsten Gillibrand is the Junior Senator from New York. Unlike the last senator from New York, she won’t win the nomination. Being that the Democrats already have New York, and there are more exciting choices among the women in the party, she probably won’t be on the short list. And because the Democrats have New York, she can land in a Democratic president’s cabinet. Republicans have made some noise over her asking, while in South Carolina, if she needed to use a knife and fork to eat fried chicken or use her fingers. But then again, Trump is from New York City and has been seen eating slices of pizza with a knife and fork instead of the New Yorker way of folding and cramming.

John Delaney was the first candidate to announce and nobody knows why he ever bothered. He’s a former Congressman from Maryland. He’s a middle-aged bald white guy. This is probably the first time you’ve ever heard of him unless you live in his district…and then, yeah probably still the first time.

Tulsi Gabbard….No, No, No, No. Just no. Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, is young at 37, Hindu, a veteran of the war in Iraq, and part Samoan. So what’s wrong with her? She voted with Republicans for extreme vetting of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. She was against civil unions (voted against them while in the state legislature in liberal Hawaii), and gay marriage, but now supports them. The big problem with this is…she was an advocate for gay conversion therapy. For me, she may as well have worn blackface. Gay conversion therapy is abusive. I’m glad she’s against it now, but I don’t want a president who once supported it…and we probably already have that. Her campaign is already in disarray so she may not even make it to the first debate. I think her entire campaign missed her announcement. She was the first congresswoman to endorse Bernie in 2016. She does have a future in the party, but not as president.

Amy Klobuchar, the senator from Minnesota, might have the best temperament to be president, especially one who has to repair all the damage inflicted by Trump. She is not the best candidate. She’s considered a moderate Democrat and was impressive announcing her candidacy in the midst of a snowstorm. Donald Trump is afraid of rain. It’s hard to find any Republicans bashing her much because they all like her. Her Republican colleagues in the Senate only have praise for her. There has been criticism that she’s tough on her staff, which leads one to ask…That’s all you got on her? Tough on her staff? Have you seen Trump and his staff? Please.

There are two other Democrats running you’ve never heard of them so I didn’t bother giving them seats on the unicorn. But for all intents and purposes, they are Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang. See? You never heard of them. Do you wanna know who they are? It doesn’t matter.

This brings us to back to Bernie Sanders. I underestimated him in 2016. While Hillary had her “Scooby Van,” I drew Bernie in a van down by the river, and USA Today ran the cartoon. So, that paper was surprised too when Bernie took off. While I don’t expect him to recoup the momentum he gained in 2016, he did raise $4 million within 12 hours of his announcement yesterday. At this point, it’s up to $6 million. His average donation is $27, which makes his campaign very grassroots.

Do you want to troll a liberal chatroom? Bring up Bernie. A lot of liberals love him. A lot hate him. Many go for his Democratic Socialism and his frank style of speaking. They find him honest, but an intelligent honestly, not one of those stupid honest guys like Trump. Democrats who oppose him point out that he’s not even a Democrat and some blame him for Clinton’s defeat to Trump. Bernie supporters blame Clinton for cheating in the primaries.

Two things. Clinton didn’t steal anything from Sanders in the primary. He lost. Get over it. Bernie did not hurt Clinton in the general election. Many of his supporters did. Bernie has every right to run. Let him run. He will bring a great debate on topics that need to be discussed. he will also turn 80 in his first term if he wins, so keep that in mind. Yes, age should be a factor.

It’s not just Bernie who’s older. His campaign is older. He has a base but does that carry over into the primaries? His crowd sizes didn’t. With his fundraising ability, Bernie will be in the campaign until the bitter end. Start your squabbling now.

One thing all these candidates have in common; they’re all better than Trump.

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