McCain: Good Sport? Grump?

Like my colleague Katia, the LA Times’ James Rainey, too, called up some editorial cartoonists recently (we did it in the wake of Cover-Gate; Rainey had been working prior to Cover-Gate on a piece about how “cartoonists are disappearing like brunet anchors at Fox News” and how the loss “continues to numb- and dumb-down an audience that doesn’t need any help sinking into complacency”.)

Reading Rainey’s piece, I see that we’re also not the only ones who don’t necessarily think of John McCain, as Maureen Dowd described him in her New York Times column yesterday, as “a guy who can be teased harmlessly.”

When asked by Rainey which presidential candidate they’d prefer to work with (and how/why), here’s what one cartoonist said:

“McCain’s reputed explosive temper is a tantalizing prospect,” said Steve Kelley of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “as is Obama’s abiding belief that there is no problem so simple that government can’t find a way to waste enormous resources failing to fix it.”

On the visual side, Kelley sees something of a replay of the 1996 election between President Clinton and Sen. Bob Dole. In shorthand: “Mr. Charisma against the guy who yells at kids to stay off his lawn.”

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.