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Sanford cartoons by Stegelin! 

Frankly, as an editorial cartoonist, I entered 2009 with some trepidation. After years of politely providing their own jokes, George W. Bush and his rogues’ gallery had left the White House. With Obama still riding a wave of potential hope and change, I thought I might actually have to work to come up with material in 2009.

Thankfully, South Carolina politicians more than earned my taxpayer money by stepping in to fill the void. Jim DeMint, Lindsey Graham, André Bauer, Joe Wilson, Robert Ford, and Henry Brown all provided their share of humor and sound bites.

As with many an ensemble comedy, one breakout star overshadowed the rest of the cast: Gov. Mark Sanford. Indeed, there were some weeks I had to work to not do a strip about him. We illustrated his path from 2012 Presidential contender thumbing his nose at the newly minted Democratic stimulus (whether South Carolina needed the funds or not) to the disgraced lame duck Luv Guv facing ethics and impeachment charges and turning the governor’s mansion into a bachelor pad. Here are a handful of my favorite Sanford strips from 2009.

I did a number of strips on Sanford’s months-long refusal of Obama’s stimulus funds, but these were my favorites. The Fairey parody was especially fun.
Looking back, my caricature of Sanford really changed a great deal with the news of his affair. Of course, the public image of Sanford was rather different after his “Buenos Aires booty call” as well, so I imagine that’s only fitting.
I used to feel a little guilty bringing Jenny into the mess, but I’ve since found the contradiction between her requests for privacy and her subsequent media blitz too good to ignore.
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The week this strip ran, I was interviewed for the evening news about a Seattle cartoon portraying Boeing’s new South Carolina employees as stereotypical racist rednecks. Given that my strip depicted the Boeing deal as Sanford’s erection, I thought being asked if “offensive humor” was typical of a cartoonist’s job might be trick question.
The day after this ran, 28 of Sanford’s 37 charges were dropped. No word yet on the private jet.
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