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STEVE BRODNER, a caricaturist whose work has appeared in many magazines including Mother Jones, Time, and Rolling Stone.



Look at that nose. It's a terrific nose. It's like without that nose I think he'd sort of look like Dick Van Dyke. Combination of Dick Van Dyke and W.C. Fields. That nose is just so much fun for everyone because you can make it very red. And the jaw. And kind of tiny eyes. Inscrutable eyes. You can't really make him out by his eyes. They are always kind of half closed. Or squinted in an impish laugh. He's in total control of his face like any good actor.

[he works on the right eye]

They're hiding. They're hiding eyes. They're closed a lot of the time. I think, even though he's learned the politician's trick of looking you straight in the eye, you really wonder what's behind those eyes. The eyes are the mirror to the soul, but where is the soul? Hard to figure. He's very hard to draw. 'Cause we don't know what he is. I wonder if he knows what he is.

He's sort of all over the place, but basically, philosophically right where the polls are, and can be pushed and made to adopt any point of view as long as it has cache with the voters or seems to. And like a huge creature, the landscape just sort of eating whatever's seems to be a good idea to eat that day. But eating I think is the big metaphor for him. He's large, he consumes, he consumes policy, he consumes issues, and consumes people by, you know, indirectly. He needs them. He needs those people to vote for him. To run his campaign. To feed him the power that he, he thrives on. And if that requires, if he sees by poll numbers that that requires the trashing of other people, even if it's weaker people like the mentally ill person he put to death in Arkansas, he'll just bloody well jump ahead and do it and get past it. And probably tell himself that he's doing it for the greater good. But that's assuming a lot of ego on his part, that he's the only [one] qualified to do it and that his choices are the only choices that anyone can make. See there's, there's an underlying arrogance to that power. So perhaps you can say the power has corrupted him.

So there's this big, this bigness. Big jaw, big lips, big nose, big hair. He's just round and there's curves everywhere. And hard to pin down. Hard to tell. Hard to, it's marshmallow-like. It's fluffy. It's balloon-like.

The shape is the defining feature. It looks like a dollop of mayonnaise that hit the kitchen floor. It just goes splat. It seems not to have any shape. It seems not to have any bone under there. It seems that if you grab it and just would squeeze it, and touch your, your fingers would all touch finally, cause the way I draw him anyway, is I don't sense that there's any bone there. It's just all kind of soft, fleshy, alien-like. He's sort of like a pod. It's like that movie, "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

These pods came down and imitated the people that they were, that they were next to. So, so Clinton is sort of like this pod that arrives down and finds that his best vehicle are Republicans. And he becomes one.

Clinton lives in the light. The camera light. He's a media maniac. His friends are in Hollywood, he knows how to do the Oprah Winfrey routine even better than Mrs. Dole. He's very comfortable with being out there in public, being seen. The curious thing is that for all of his media savvy, he leaves you knowing just what he wants you to know. There's no real ratio between the, the amount of time we see of him, the amount of time we see him on the screen and and what we know of what he's likely or liable to do on any issue. So he's not only good at seeming to be what he feels we need to seem him to be, or need to feel that he, he is, but he's also very good at at hiding. So he hides out in public. He hides by being very much in front, and not dodging and parryingn in the open. So skilled is he at that....we're left being impressed with his showmanship and sometimes forget to ask the relevant question, or to follow up the relevant question.

Clinton's color is interesting. It's always kind of ruddy and pink. Almost as if he's gotten the pinkness from rubbing up against so many people. He gets his energy from being with people, from listening to their ideas, glomming onto them himself, adapting, adjusting, stealing. He's, he's got an active, he's got an understanding of how important it is to be in the world and to be exposed to the daily changes and it looks, his face looks as though all that face time has caused him to break out sort of. It looks a little irritated.

And then...... Little closed eyes, squinty eyes. Squinting in the glare of the sun light, of the day light, of the media light. Appearing, very busy appearing to be one thing. Or appearing to be having one experience or another, whether or not he's really having that. I think he's good enough, good enough of an actor to, like Reagan, to persuade himself that he's actually having an experience. Regardless of what he's, of what another person might be going through at that moment. Like when his mother died. How he went right off on a foreign trip. As if it were just an inconsequential event in his life. That scared me when I saw that. Cause I thought, you know this is a person who's so into control, so totally absorbed in what he thinks he should be doing, vis a vis the way he must seem, that he's willing to ignore something that's extraordinarily fundamental to the life of anyone. The loss of a parent.

The hair? It looks, looks like it's made of plastic. It never changes, or hardly changes. Except it went gray very fast. And I don't [know] what the story is behind that. I have a feeling that during the campaign he was told that gray hair would make him look more Presidential, so I think he let it go gray. Or he maybe even dyed it gray. But if you remember in '92, he had blond hair for a time. Then it abruptly changed.

I like the bags under his eyes. The man doesn't sleep. He's been up channel surfing, talking to people. Overdrawn on every account. The question is, what will he do next? After this campaign, he can't run for this anymore. So how, how will he behave if there's no more election to win. This is a big question for me.

He's a show horse. He's an animal that's been trained to perform and forget it's very basic nature. Show horse, or show dog, or a bear in a circus. I see him as a bear, kind of bear like kind of guy. Balancing on the ball, waiting for applause, waiting for a piece of meat. I think a lot about what he, he is, is about denying his basic nature. And disavowing his past and hiding. We may never get to know him.

I think we know Dole already. Don't you? I think we know him much better already because I think he's, he's not the show biz character that Clinton is. It's on the table, it's out there, he's easy to read. That's interesting. [laughter] He's more readable.

It's in his favor I think. It's something I like about Dole, that he's straight forward. That you know I am what I give my life. You know, when he says, he doesn't think tobacco is addictive. Well of course you wouldn't think so. You know? His whole life has been involved in receiving money from these people. How could he disavow his life. I mean it all makes, it all fits in, it make perfect sense. Whereas Clinton, you know, what does any of it mean. I get more of a sense of meaning from Dole. Dole's life has meaning. He's a well drawn character in a novel. But Clinton is more like a Dickensian Uriah Heep type. You know, changeable, scheming, quiet but, but ah not above board person. I darkened his hair too much.


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