Democratic Debate

Roughing It, Volume 4


Hey, kids. It’s time to check out some cartoon ideas that didn’t make the cut. Each of these is from the batch submitted to CNN last week.

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We were set on the Democratic debates being our subject. This was a fun week as the newsletter was published on Friday instead of the usual Sunday. This made the deadline flexible and had me drawing in real time during the debate with Rich, my editor, sending me notes during. The rough above was sent Thursday morning before the second debate.

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I almost finished this one for my syndication. Maybe I shouldn’t be posting it here as I can always use it for a future debate. Maybe I’ll still do that if it’s not stolen by another cartoonist. I do like drawing Trump with Trump Bear.

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This was also drawn before the second debate. That’s kinda how it turned out too. Despite the accuracy, I still didn’t like it that much.

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I drew this one before the second debate. This one has two problems. The first is, it wasn’t a townhall-style debate. The second one is, this would have ignored the narrative that came out of both debates. But, it’s another one that I can probably use in the future, again, if it’s not stolen.

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This was drawn right after Kamala Harris took down Biden. My editor, who was watching it live like I was, wrote about the takedown and my reply included this cartoon, which was not very good.

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Rich kinda liked this one but another editor thought it was too grim. I think that’s the word they used. That didn’t automatically kill it, but we kept searching. I wasn’t in love with it.

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This is the idea we went with. They liked it but wanted to see more and wasn’t yet sure if this was the direction to go in. Rich said it may be the one to use. I drew a couple more but I kept going back fighting for this one. I knew it was the one.

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The idea here is, Harris just took out Biden and now was aiming for Trump. I didn’t love it and continued to push for the first bus idea.

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Honestly, I thought if I threw in some Klansmen, it’d make the other idea look better by comparison. Yikes! We can’t publish a cartoon with Klansmen, let’s go with that other idea. I don’t know if it worked that way because they finally chose my favorite after I pushed for it a couple more times. They ever agreed with me or got tired of hearing it.

In the future, every rough in the batch will have Klansmen except for the one I really want. Do you think they’ll catch on?

The cartoon, in its finished form, was a big hit on social media, at least on my accounts. I was a very happy boy. What made it really work out was that the Harris campaign released a childhood photo of her just as I was about to start drawing. I actually Googled for her childhood photo, seconds after the campaign had released it. It was kismet.

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Be Complicit

What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!! 

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch Me Draw.

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Kamala Scorches Biden


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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.

During night two of the Democratic debates, I was going back and forth with my editor at CNN with ideas and suggestions. Just as Kamala Harris took down Joe Biden, I started sketching an idea on the exchange. Within a minute, I got an email from my editor saying we should do something on it.

I didn’t send as many roughs as last week, twenty-five, but I did send eight. Even after I had sent this idea, my editor wanted to see more but said this is probably the way to go. I sent a few more but kept returning back to this one, twisting his arm. Finally, he relented. He either realized it was the best or I was too annoying. Either way, I’m happy with the choice.

We published the newsletter early this week and started planning right after I finished last week’s cartoon. I sent a couple ideas after Wednesday night’s debate, but we really picked up steam Thursday night. It was kinda like being back in a newsroom. I was pretty hyped up. All I needed was election night pizza.

I may do another cartoon on this topic since my clients will probably want one, and I’ll write my take on the debates with that one. This cartoon is for CNN’s exclusive use.

Here’s the rough.

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Be Complicit

What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!! 

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch Me Draw.

Democrats Debate


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I’m not a team player. I’m not a Democrat. Their greatest virtue is that they’re obstacles preventing Republicans from taking this country backwards.

I had several angles I could have gone with for my cartoon on the Democratic Debate. I could have gone with Sanders slapping down talking about Hillary Clinton’s email. Or I could have gone with Sanders providing his definition of a Democratic Socialist, which was very interesting. But I think the biggest take away from the debate was the stark contrast between it and the four Republican debates held so far.

The two debates for the low-polling Republicans were often referred as the “kids’ table.” Compared to the Democrats, all four GOP debates were the kid’s table.

The Democrats talked about issues. Actual issues. They talked about the threat of Climate Change, guns, foreign policy, race relations, domestic financial policy, and the business of running government. The GOP held four events focused on racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, hatred, xenophobia, denials of science and personal insults. I was watching Fox News afterward to get their take and they were bored. Sean Hannity referred to it as a snoozefest.

While I didn’t agree with John McCain or Mitt Romney on most issues, I couldn’t deny there were serious candidates. They were qualified for the presidency and were presidential with their campaigns (despite Sarah Palin being a part of one of them).

Sometimes, I wonder if the Republicans aren’t serious yet and right now they just want to be entertained. Their top three candidates are not serious nor are they presidential. Their top guy, Trump, is a reality show maven. He’s not a great businessman. He’s a great marketer. There’s a difference. Their number two guy, Ben Carson, doesn’t understand history, science or even how the debt ceiling works. Their third candidate, Fiorina, biggest qualification is that she’s a failed CEO. Anyone who believes any of these three candidates is presidential doesn’t have the mental capabilities to understand the Democratic Debate.

Republicans like to point out they have a deep bench. It’s an argument of quantity over quality. It’s a deep bench of lower tier candidates. If they had a genuinely formidable candidate they too, like the Democratic Party, would only have four or five candidates.

Here’s a contrast for you between the parties: While the Democrats were talking policy and real issues, GOP candidate Mike Huckabee sent out a racist tweet about Asians eating dogs. That really sums up the differences between the parties.

Other take aways from the debate: Bernie Sanders won. He didn’t introduce himself as much as he introduced what he stands for. That was a success. His only weakness came for his support of the NRA. His defense is that he’s from a rural state. He’s not running for the presidency of a rural state.

Sanders winning the debate will actually help Hillary win the nomination. She’s still in the lead and probably too far ahead for Sanders to catch. Hillary was confidant and didn’t hurt herself. She may have even helped herself. Most voters don’t think Clinton is trustworthy. That’s not gonna be important. Her husband, Bill Clinton, was nicknamed “Slick Willy.” Nobody ever had the delusion Richard Nixon was an honest person. Nixon and Bill Clinton both won the presidency twice despite those red flags.

Martin O’Malley helped himself, but not enough. He might score a cabinet position.

Jim Webb was out of place. The candidates were asked which special interest hated them the most. Hillary said Republicans. Sanders said Wall Street. Jim Webb said the guy who lobbed a grenade at him during his tour of duty in the Vietnam War. Webb is the only veteran running for president and his service is commendable. But when given the opportunity to name a special interest you fought again, you should probably be able to name one.

If it’s possible for Lincoln Chafee to bury himself deeper, that’s exactly what he did. When asked about voting for Glass-Steagall, he didn’t defend it. He didn’t say he was wrong. His excuse was he was new to the Senate and his father had just died. Admitting you’re wrong, that you made a mistake and you learned from it is a lot better than saying you were confused or you didn’t know what you doing.

The final takeaway is talk of Joe Biden entering the race. They can stop talking about it now. I’m making a not-so-bold prediction and that is Biden is not going to enter the race. I’m glad he’s not. He would make the race much more dramatic and interesting but I’d hate to see him tarnish his legacy. I believe his time has passed and it’s time for him to ride off into the sunset and enjoy being an elder statesman.

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