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Cartoonists Sharpen Pencils for 2004 Campaign

The presidential campaigns are in full swing even as Democrats and Republicans head into their nominating conventions. All this is great news for America's political cartoonists. NPR's Renee Montagne gets the skinny on drawing the candidates from two Pulitzer Prize winners: Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Mike Peters of the Dayton Daily News.

Cartoonists love to exaggerate the features of their favorite subjects and John Edwards, Democrat John Kerry's running mate, is no exception. Both caricaturists are fixated on Edwards' big-toothed smile. Luckovich says he's convinced the North Carolina senator was separated at birth from Britney Spears. Peters agrees: "Yeah, if you put teeth and hair on a smile button, it truly becomes Edwards."

President Bush's ears are another target for Luckovich. "When he was first elected, he had an aura of not knowing exactly what he was supposed to do... and [Vice President] Cheney being the grown up, sort of," Luckovich says. "So I started making Bush a little smaller, but his ears grew larger. And then when 9/11 happened, I made Bush a little bigger and his ears got smaller. But then time passed and his ears got big again."

Peters thinks Kerry looks like he belongs on Mt. Rushmore. "He's so easy [to draw]. He has that hair, that strong jaw."

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