“Economist” Cartoonist Kallaugher Dishes on His Drawings

It may have taken some time to get Obama's features in line, but after 33 years with The Economist -- and countless international figures to interpret -- Kevin Kallaugher just hopes that his connections between politics, current events and pop culture resonate with his readers. 

"Sometimes the people just don't get it," he said, "but sometimes the cartoonist doesn't get it either."

Sunday night, Obama got it: An entire artful evening, lightly at the expense of his green first-year gaffes.

This one-night only exhibition of Obama's most humorous moments during his first year in office proved cartoonists don't have to disagree with politics to make fun of them. 

This Art Soiree, a bi-weekly event, featured a dozen or so of the best works of satirists from The Economist, The New York Times, The Huffington Post and other news organizations, all poking fun at the first year of Obama at Hudson Restaurant Sunday night.  

Economist editorial cartoonist, Kallaugher (KAL), and his wife cut short other weekend plans so they could return to D.C., and attend the artful evening in the West End over the MLK holiday. 

"You so rarely get to talk with someone who appreciates your work," he admitted. "I thought it was worth it to be here." 

He also shared that drawing Obama wasn't always so easy.

"You get a lot of practice drawing these figures over time," he said. "I've actually probably drawn Putin more times than Biden over the past months ... but some of my favorites have been Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush since they gave us so much fodder." 

And although he considers his cartoon more like a political column, he's willing to joke even about figures he admires.  Explaining why some of the evenings prints pay more homage to the man (Obama) than his methods and policies, KAL quipped, "Sometimes we're not making fun of the politics. The persona can be pretty funny, too." 

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