2016 U.S. Election Cartoonists’ Perspective

Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. (Image: DonkeyHotey/ flickr.)

VOA News

Cartoonists are having a ball with this election.

Trump’s bombast and Clinton’s caution put both candidates at the center of nearly every satirist’s jokes.

Both Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are well-known to the public. Their campaigns are also fraught with scandal, secrets and vastly different ideas.


(Drawing by Politico Magazine Cartoonist Matt Wuerker)


“It’s easy to depict [Trump] as a 70-year-old balloon of bombast, topped by artificial-looking hair— colors that don’t exist in nature.” – Michael Cavna | Washington Post. (Drawing by Politico Magazine Cartoonist Matt Wuerker)


(Drawings by Ramses Morales Izquierdo | Cuba and Oleh Smal | Ukraine)

VOA spoke to Pulitzer Prize-winning POLITICO cartoonist Matt Wuerker and Washington Post’s “Comic Riffs” cartoonist Michael Cavna on how this cycle’s cartoons differ from previous elections.

Trump is no stranger to the limelight

His years in the real-estate business and reality TV made him a household name and the butt of many jokes.

Donald Trump’s signature phrases have evolved from his days on “The Apprentice” (“You’re fired!”) to the campaign trail (“It’s going to be huge!”). He is extremely recognizable with his orange-tinted skin and wispy blond hair.

VIDEO: Cavna on Trump’s unique hair and the art of the the comb-over

“It’s hard to satirize somebody who is already way out there. So Trump tests you that way.” – Matt Wuerker | POLITICO Cartoonist

Donald Trump presents a unique challenge for cartoonists. Since Trump already exaggerates the way he speaks and presents himself, cartoonists have to find original ways to portray him.

Cartoonists emphasize Trump’s physical appearance and portray him as attention-seeking, loud-mouthed bully.

Some international cartoonists have depicted Trump as Godzilla, a Ku Klux Klan member and even Adolf Hitler.

VIDEO: How cartoonists around the world see Trump

The Clinton Legacy

Hillary Clinton has been on cartoonists’ drawing boards for decades.

Before the campaign, she served as secretary of state, first lady and U.S. senator from New York.

Drawing ‘Two-Faced’ Hillary

Hillary Clinton’s years in the spotlight have helped damage her public image: her husband, former President Bill Clinton’s affair while in office; her failed presidential bid in 2008; a deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, during her time as secretary of state; and, most recently, a scandal over her use of a private email server while at State.

For some, Clinton has a reputation of being dishonest, inauthentic and willing to do anything to become president.

Cartoonists emphasize Clinton’s political correctness and portray her as robotic, dishonest and pandering to the electorate to win the presidency.

VIDEO: Cavna on capturing Clinton’s exaggerated ambition

“A lot of people don’t realize that political cartoonists… fancy ourselves just as serious as a political columnist.” -Matt Wuerker | POLITICO

Cartoonists have targeted both candidates’ high poll ratings for “unlikeability.” They share a belief that the presidential election will come down to which of the two is disliked, or even hated, less.


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