Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hillary Clinton: The First Lady Sings the Blues

One of my colleagues produced a caricature of Hillary Clinton this week that was perhaps a little less than successful. Well, at least according to one of the people who posted a comment on his Facebook feed it was. The commenter conceded that Hillary's having changing hair styles over the years could have contributed to the caricature falling short.

That got me to thinking. I've had my difficulties drawing Mrs. Clinton in spite of having nearly a quarter century to get her right, and those changing hair styles are only part of the problem. So, with apologies to Bernie Sanders (and Martin O'Malley) fans, I've dug up a handful of my efforts to capture the essence of Hillary.

My first attempt was this cartoon for the UWM Post from April, 1992, featuring the wives of the three general election presidential candidates. Her face should have been rounder than I drew it. (And no, that's not really Mrs. Perot.)

This one followed Bill's election, as he hit the first road bump of his presidency even before his inauguration; you might notice that I'm still making reference to candidate Clinton's claim that the nation would be getting two presidents for the price of one.

His first two nominees for Attorney General were compelled to withdraw over accusations that they had hired illegal immigrants as domestic help. ZoĆ« Baird and her husband had hired two undocumented Peruvian immigrants as nanny and chauffeur for their kids, and Republicans nicknamed the furore "Nannygate." The next nominee, Kimba Wood, turned out to have hired undocumented immigrant child care workers, too; so Mr. Clinton's third and final choice was the unmarried, childless Janet Reno.

There are multiple references to explain in this cartoon from 1996. New York Times Columnist Bill Safire penned that Hillary Clinton was "a congenital liar" during the Whitewater investigations doggedly led by then New York Republican Senator Alphonse D'Amato. D'Amato's investigation -- and career -- went nowhere, but Safire's accusation has become central to conservative attacks against her ever since.

Bill Watterson had recently quit drawing his "Calvin and Hobbes" cartoon at the peak of its popularity; Calvin's snowball attacks on Susie Derkins had been a running gag of the strip. My credit to Watterson in the cartoon refers to a comic strip running in the rival to the UWM Post, the very conservative UWM Times, which ran as a regular feature a cartoon whose leading character was a thinly disguised version of that image of Calvin peeing on stuff, which you've probably seen in the rear window of a car or pick-up. (Neither that image, nor the UWM Times cartoon, were in any way licensed.)

By 1999, the Illinois-born former First Lady of Arkansas was putting herself forward as a candidate for Senator from D'Amato's and Safire's home state.

Now, I've skipped over some cartoons about health care reform and Republicans' impeachment of Bill Clinton. I might come back to them someday, or not. I will rerun a few of my cartoons about Hillary Clinton's elected career some Snapback Saturday soon.

It's a much deeper well than my archive of one Bernie Sanders cartoon. (So far.)

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