Their own Steve Bell writes as well as he draws: "George W Bush is a figure of such towering political idiocy that he will be an extremely easy act to follow politically. Could anyone possibly do a worse job? But in cartoon terms, it's a different prospect. Not one of the three potential presidents will be able to fill that vacant monkey suit.
It's not that they aren't good subjects for caricature. Each has a distinctive set of features that make them recognisable even from this side of the Atlantic. Clinton has two mad eyes that explode into life whenever she is surprised, delighted or feigning orgasm. McCain looks like an eager hamster that happens to wear a truss. Obama resembles that rubber man out of the Fantastic Four.
This is all grist to the mill of any self-respecting cartoonist, but there is even more promising material in store. Obama is black, Clinton is a woman and McCain is old.
Yet there are problems. Not one of them is as stupid as Bush, and they all speak perfect English. Worse still, they all have at least one redeeming feature. Obama is a stunning orator and has opposed the war in Iraq from the start. Clinton has a gratingly whiny voice and has flip-flopped on the Iraq war, but at least she has had the good grace, not to say common sense, to finally come around to calling for troop withdrawal. And McCain may be dementedly pursuing victory in Iraq, but he has bravely given the finger to the religious right in his own party."
Barry Blitt: "Obama’s ears and heavy eyebrows are his obvious features. "If you get those right, it’s hard to mess up. He’s actually pretty easy to draw, even for me. His body language is relaxed. You want to capture that — it’s not the norm among politicians".
Steve Brodner: "Clinton has a long, sloping nose that draws her face down and almost crowds out her mouth, which is small and feisty. It is as if her face twists to accommodate her various constituent groups. I see a kind of conflict in there. There is also something in her intensity: there may be traces of latent Nixon chromosomes in her sullen, victimised, enemy-listing, openness-averse, highly ambitious mien".