Sunday, February 17, 2008

Spare Some Change?

I did this sketch a couple weeks ago from the last debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on CNN. It seems everybody's running on a message of "Change", but with good reason: after eight long years of enduring George W. Bush, not just America, but the whole world could use some!

The majority of we Canadians have historically always favoured the American Democrats, so it should come as no surprise that I'm hoping to see either Barack or Hillary in the White House come next year. I personally prefer Barack Obama, as I remember seeing him interviewed a couple years ago on PBS' Charlie Rose show and he struck me as a guy with intelligence and integrity. Seeing him in the debates, he seems to be less biting in his attacks towards his opponent, as if that sort of mudslinging makes him uncomfortable. I like Hillary Clinton too, but I do have some reservations about her as she has been rather ruthless in her attacks on Obama. But that's just the nature of the game of politics and I'd be happy with either one of them as President. I figure no matter which one wins, that they'll surround themselves with wise counsel to keep them in check.

Actually, things are shaping up pretty good on the Republican side this time around too. It looks like the majority of Republicans have smartened up since eight years ago, and are now backing the more moderate and honourable John McCain. Fact is, I think they should have made him their man back in 2000, as many Democrats would have found him worthy of their vote too, being a straight up kind of guy who doesn't blindly toe the party line. Had McCain been president, I doubt that America would ever have ended up in the Iraq quagmire we have today.

In short, I think this is an exciting Presidential race with the top three contenders all being worthy candidates for the job. I hope Americans realize just how lucky they are in their choices leading up to the November election.


Rory said...

I agree the Americans should consider themselves very lucky: any one of those candidates could make a great president. All the Americans have to do is look north (to us Canadians) to see how hard it is to find three worthy leaders these days. We don’t even have ONE! With guys like Harper, Dion, and Layton being our three choices, Ottawa is looking more and more like the place integrity and charisma went to die.

I really enjoyed the Obama and Hillary caricatures Pete! Spot on as always!

Amir Avni said...

LOL cool caricature!
Both have pretty complicated faces in real life, you distill them really well.

Aaron Golas said...

Speaking from an American perspective, I have to tell you you're wrong about McCain. Whatever virtues he once had, he has since abandoned in an attempt to appeal to the Republican base. Furthermore, McCain would keep us in Iraq for somewhere between 100 and 10,000 years and more than likely take us into Iran (if Bush doesn't beat him to it).

Kitty said...

I live in the UK, so American politics are viewed from afar (though keenly as obviously, it affects the whole world, not just the US).

I love your cartoon - so observant (as ever). x

Craig Zablo said...

Well drawn and well written!

Pete Emslie said...

Hi Aaron,

I'll grant you that McCain has been trying to appeal to the more hardcore, social conservatives and foreign policy conservatives to secure their vote, but a lot of that is just the game of politics. I still maintain that McCain would not have likely voted to invade Iraq had it not been for the trumped up evidence presented then that we now know to have been false. Furthermore, had McCain become President eight years ago instead of Dubya, I don't imagine he would have gone looking for trouble in Iraq in the first place, likely limiting his military response to Afghanistan after Sept. 11.

I do know that McCain, having been a POW tortured in Vietnam, has been very vocal in his criticism of the conditions at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, even suggesting that the latter be shut down altogether. More recently, he has shown his disgust for the Bush administration's allowance for "Waterboarding" as legitimate interrogation, as he himself considers it torture and not condoned by international law.

Yes, he believes that America should not cut and run in Iraq, but rather, having created that mess, stay around indefinitely to see the job through. That's just the good soldier in him talking and, though I personally disagree with that stance, I can also appreciate it from his standpoint. Admittedly, I'd still far prefer to see a Democrat in the White House, but as the Republicans go, John McCain seems to be as decent and honourable a man as they've had in a long time.

Anonymous said...

Hello Peter! It's been far too long and I've only just discovered your new outlet plus your political commentary. First...excellent caricature of the two contenders for the Democratic race.
Now...straying from the artistic, weren't you telling me just a few years ago how much you respected Donald Rumsfeld? Did that change?
So, in advance of the coronations, let's do an advance reality check.
First, the naive notion that the President actually makes decisions is...well...naive! They're all just figure heads. Decisions and policies are made by important rich people, not actors.
So, in the silly horse race in November-
The warmongering Ms. Clinton, if elected, will follow along with Bush's plans, much as her husband had a "bomb first, pretend you didn't later" approach during his administration.
Obama cannot beat McCain but I'd love to see him beat that boring, putrid Hillary. I admit Barack is sounding more and more like Dennis Kucinich (my hero) minus the gutsy stance on true universal health care (like we have here in Canada) and impeaching Bush and Cheney (which might sound ridiculous until you listen to the great Ralph Nader, the man who SHOULD be president).
As for McCain, from knowing you, I guess you have a soft spot in your heart for this old coot. From my vantage point, I sense an ugly bitterness, a war mongering hateful attitude to the man which is why I'm predicting that he's a WINNER!
President McCain...yep...that's what America deserves. I can just see that grim smile of his on television telling yet another country's people they're going to get annihilated for the cause of "democracy". Watch out world!

Pete Emslie said...

Hi Greg,

Wow - it's been far too long since we've gotten together, and I'm glad to see you popping in here. Back in those early days of the U.S. response to Sept. 11, I'll admit I did admire the way Donald Rumsfeld handled the press conferences with the way he refused to divulge anything more than he cared to, however, that all changed once they went into Iraq and it became very apparent that his evasiveness was keeping something darker hidden. I still believe that Afghanistan is where they should be trying to make a difference, though I'm not sure that will ever change for the better either and I'm thinking we all should just pull out of there and leave the Afghanis to sort it out for themselves.

Perhaps I'm naive, but I still find it hard to condemn Bill Clinton's presidency, though I know you've made arguments against him for a long time. Funnily enough, I read a column by Rick Salutin that echoed your claims, so I'm not disputing what you've maintained but it is hard for me to accept I guess.

Anyway, I certainly make no claims to have as much deep knowledge of U.S. politics as you do so it would be foolish for me to argue with what you've said. I do hope that America chooses Barack Obama in November, as I just feel he may prove to be a breath of much needed fresh air. Hey, Greg, are you still at the same phone number? We really should get together for dinner sometime soon, so long as you promise me that politics will not be the only topic for conversation. :)

CJ Grebb said...

I'm a liberal-minded guy who will likely vote Democratic.

That said, I loathe how Democrats have embraced the "scare 'em all" method of politics when it come to McCain being a "war monger." It's funny coming from a party that's been screaming for decades about how their opponents use the "politics of fear." I guess what's good for the goose is good for the gander after all.

McCain is far from a "war monger." He's a conservative who feels that pulling out of Iraq too soon would leave a massive power vacuum that radical groups would fill in a hot second, and has given his honest opinion about Iran - a country that was always more of a "threat" that Iraq ever was. All of this "he's a War Monger" nonsense is just an attempt by the far left of the Democratic party to scare independents into voting Hillary or Obama. They know that a moderate like McCain has a very good chance of winning, and much like the far right, they're willing to say anything to keep that from happening.

Thad said...

How can anyone vote Republican in the fall? Can't they see what a failure the Bush administration is?

Thad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thad said...

BTW- The Obama caricature is great! But the Hillary one... You were too kind and made her photogenic. She needs to have that latent lesbian look.

Steve Hearn said...

Wonderful caricatures! Love you work!!

Ken Mitchroney said...

Damn funny drawing Pete. Thank you .

Eric Noble said...

Cool drawings. I'm glad we have some semblance of choice in this election. We have a black man, a woman, and the leader of the zombies.

Pete Emslie said...

...and apparently Ralph Nader too!

Greg will be happy....:)

Jack said...

It's pretty much over for Hillary. I haven't seen a black man beat a woman this bad since Ike Turner died.

Carlo Lo Raso said...

As usual, great drawings Pete. You've made these two look very appealing. Far, far more than they are in real life! You've got skills brother!


Anonymous said...

Your Caricatures are so nicely SIMPLE and clear of any 'junk' that I have to send you this note!!
I have been doing them for quite a few years and never get to be so 'clean'!!
I have to agree with your views of the candidates in the U.S.
Anyone will be a relief from BUSH!
"Bring our Troops Home" is what I think of our 'war'.
We need them here for our North and our Border.
~~~Keep the pens perkin' !!~~Crowquiller