Barack Obama turned fifty on August 4. I guess the most common reaction to this piece of information is something like “Well.. good for him.” Or that’s what I was thinking, anyway. Still, it made me look up the Obama cartoons on toonpool.com (full list here). While doing so I noticed, that Mr. Obama rose to global fame about the same time that our site went online and has, in a way, accompanied us ever since

The first Obama cartoon was posted on January 9, 2008, not quite two months after toonpool.com was opened to the public. I have to admit that I’m not really sure about this particular cartoon’s meaning. Still, browsing through over 1700 Obama cartoons brings up a few memories and gives some insight into the way in which editorial cartoons and caricatures develop. If you would like to take a look into three years of political cartoons, here’s a rough timeline. [Unfortunately, the links in the titles are not permanent - things will change as soon as new Obama cartoons are added, but everything should be fine for couple of days]

Phase One : Democratic Primaries (~Januar-June 2008) [Wikipedia]

A lot of fierce battles between Obama and Clinton here. I really liked the Monty Python cartoon. Some apparently thought that McCain would profit from this.

Phase Two : Obama VS McCain (~June-October 2008) [Wikipedia]

A lot of cartoons about everyone idolizing Obama here. This was also the time when he traveled to Berlin. And the time Sarah Palin showed up. On a sidenote: I remembered people talking about Obama walking on water.. but John McCain?!

Phase Three: Winning the Elections (November 2008) [Wikipedia]

Boy, were cartoonists enthusiastic about this. By January, a couple of  people began to get tired of it, though.

Phase Four: Obamacare (~August 2009- March 2010) [Wikipedia]

We have cartoons about its unsuspected difficulties, its cost, and – of course – about  “death panels” (in case you forgot about those: more Wikipedia).

Phase Five: The Nobel Peace Prize (October – December 2009) [Wikipedia]

That one was a bit weird.

Phase Six: Nuclear Disarmament (April 2010) [Wikipedia]

There weren’t too many bad things people had to say about New START.

Phase Seven: The BP Spill (April-July 2010) [Wikipedia]

The “walking-on-water” thing was used a couple of times here. By the way.. does anyone know what things are like on the Gulf Coast?

Phase Eight: Midterm Elections (November 2010) [Wikipedia]

People who hadn’t heard about the Tea Party movement definitely did after November 2.

Phase Nine: Osama Bin Laden (May 2011) [Wikipedia]

If we have learned one thing from this, it’s that “Obama” sounds almost like “Osama”.

Phase Ten: The Debt Ceiling (~July-August 2010) [Wikipedia]

It was a wild ride, but we are safe now, right?


Paul Hellmich (Twitter)

title image by Tjeerd Royaards

© toonpool.com

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