Saturday, July 23, 2016

Democratic Conventions Past

Last week, I dusted off a selection of my cartoons about Republican National Conventions. For Stepback Saturday this week, I ought to give the Democrats equal time.

There's just one problem about that. As Hillary Clinton demonstrated yesterday, Democratic nominees' vice-presidential picks are often spectacularly uninspired.

Walter Mondale's choice of New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro was surely intended to be bold and ground-breaking. The choice may have come off as such, if not for a perception that Mondale was yielding to feminist demands, or for his too-public "P.R. parade of personalities" (as Jesse Jackson called it) to his home in Minnesota before making his choice known. Besides, rival Jackson had beat Mondale to the punch by promising to name a woman to as his running mate if he had won the nomination.

1988 nominee Michael Dukakis played it too safe with the choice of Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen to balance the Massachusetts governor's ticket. Jesse Jackson had been the strongest of Dukakis's rivals for the nomination, and his supporters were disappointed that he didn't get the #2 spot.

And that's it.

Nobody got booed off the stage at the Democratic National Conventions of the 1990's, 2000's or (so far) the 2010's. As Veep picks, Al Gore, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards and Joe Biden didn't inspire me to rush to my drawing board to laud them as wonderful choices or to bemoan them as terrible ones. I have been inspired at other times to draw cartoons about each of them (which is more than I can say about Timothy M. Kaine), but not about their vice presidential nominations.

So screw equal time. Here's a cartoon about behavior by the front-row Texas delegation at George W. Bush's 2000 Republican National Convention, even though it was drawn three months later.

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