Now there’s a highly unlikely couple.
On our most recent Caglecast podcast we asked three great editorial cartoonists to discuss drawings that depict the famous duo’s politics, cultural influence and, of course, their hair.
I’ll spare readers what Jeff Koterba, Rick McKee, Taylor Jones and I said about Trump or his politics — except to confess that we coupled him with Swift just because nobody watches if we don’t have the Donald to mock and skewer.
We old guys generally agreed that she was a talented and beautiful person who despite being hard to caricature was fun to draw. Plus, I like Taylor Swift’s kind of politics just fine.
She too criticizes Trump. She is a pro-choice feminist. She supports LGTBQ rights and gun control. She voted for Biden-Harris in 2020. And she’s all for the removal of Confederate statues in Tennessee, where monuments to racist traitors are ubiquitous.
I’m a Swiftie – mostly for political cartoonist reasons. Another Swiftie is Jeff Koterba, who has drawn for over 30 years for the top newspaper in Nebraska.
We discussed his cartoon that showed a wall poster of Taylor on stage in a young girl’s bedroom and a poster in her brother’s bedroom that showed a busty Dolly Parton on stage in shorts with a bare midriff.
Jeff said he was looking for an upbeat and pleasant take on a world filled with awful terrible things like war overseas and nasty partisan politics at home.
Speaking of which – or should I say “drawing of which”? – Rick McKee’s Swift cartoon showed Uncle Sam buried under an avalanche of 20 important boulders like “Inflation,” “Ukraine War,” Govt. Corruption.”
A news reporter is bent over asking semi-crushed Uncle Sam, “How do you feel about Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift?”
McKee, who was the cartoonist for decades for the Augusta Chronicle in Georgia, was reacting to the Taylor Swift frenzy in the national media last summer. Though not a devout Swiftie, he admits being “a recent convert” to understanding her massive appeal.
Taylor Jones, who draws for the Hoover Digest at Stanford, showed Taylor Swift on stage surrounded by a bunch of birds. She asks, “Are you my fans too?” and one says, “We’re chimney Swifts — the original Swifties!”
When I said I found it hard to draw attractive people like Taylor because their features are, by definition, too normal, too smooth and boring looking, Jones disagreed.
“To me,” he said, “Taylor Swift is pretty distinctive looking…. She’s got very thick hair” and there’s hardly “any space between her bangs and her eyes.”
I added that in addition to her great smile, her teeth are not just distinctive, they are cute. Usually you’d think teeth should not be noticeable.
Jace Graves, the writer among us, said, it’s not just that Taylor Swift is beautiful. It’s that “she’s aware of her imperfections and she’s very real. I think that’s one thing that draws people to her.”
We discussed other cartoons from around the country starring Taylor Swift, including one by John Darkow that played off the fact that Time magazine named her its Person of the Year.
As two AI robots are looking at the Time magazine with Swift’s face on the cover, Darkow has one saying, “We’ll let them have this one” and the other saying, “But it’ll be the last.”
Eventually we picked up on the subject of Taylor Swift’s gigantic impact on the sports world because of her romance with K.C. Chiefs star Travis Kelce.
Dave Whamond’s cartoon had Taylor Swift named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year – and the NFL’s MVP.
We spent most of our 40 minutes focused on Taylor Swift and the impact she’s had on the economy, culture, sports, politics, the music industry and the hearts, minds and bodies of young girls.
We had virtually nothing negative to say about her – which was a refreshing change for our profession.