Drawing Conclusions About the Presidential Race

Cartoon of President Bush

hide captionControversy over President Bush and Sen. John Kerry's military records has provided plenty of fodder for political cartoonists.

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Mike Peters, Dayton Daily News

Sen. John Kerry is darned if he does, and darned if he doesn't — smile, that is. Take it from two people who should know — political cartoonists Mike Luckovich and Mike Peters. They bring their thoughts, and drawings, to a discussion with NPR's Renee Montagne about the 2004 presidential campaign.

"As much as I try to draw John Kerry looking happy, he looks like Abe Lincoln right before he went to the theater that night — it's kind of sad," says Peters of the Dayton Daily News.

"When he does smile, if he smiles big it looks sort of phoney," says Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I kind of feel for the guy because he's sort of stuck. He's probably got all these advisers saying, 'That smile is too big. It looks fake. Just a little less... He's in advanced smile lessons right now."

The Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonists also let their pencils do the talking about unscripted moments by Vice President Dick Cheney and Teresa Heinz Kerry, the Bush-Cheney campaign's fearful rhetoric and Sen. John Edwards' background as a trial lawyer.

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