Matt Wuerker is a political cartoonist for POLITICO and is part of the cohort covering the Democratic National Convention this week. The Gate’s Dylan Wells caught up with Wuerker in Philadelphia, where he discussed his role at POLITICO, demonstrated his artistic skill, and gave us a sneak peek at his cartoons. Please enjoy the images that accompany his explanation below.
Gate: What do you do for POLITICO and what is your process for making these cartoons?
Matt Wuerker: I am the editorial cartoonist for POLITICO, which means that my opinions are my own and they don’t represent the opinions of POLITICO. So I’m like a columnist: I get to sort of bring my own opinion to bear, but I express it in the form of pictures. My role here at the convention is to witness, and to sort of be reporting on it. If you think about it, there are millions of dollars being spent here, and hundreds of people trying to put a particular spin on what’s going on, and I’m here to put my own spin on what’s going on. And some of it is positive and some of it is negative—it’s all commentary about what’s going on.
Gate: What is the message behind the piece you’re working on right now?
Wuerker: Right now I am doing an image where one clip on one side says Bernie and the other side is Hillary. On one side, are the Bernie Bros—who are the “Bernie or Bust” guys, and they’re the “bros,” and then reaching, trying to bridge the gap, is Bernie himself. Basically, last night, he sort of said it’s time to cross over to the other side here. And the big test will be how many of his supporters listen to Bernie and how many of them want to go on. You know, he launched an insurgency and was always talking in terms of a revolution in the party and now he’s got to talk his supporters into crossing over and going over to somebody who is much more status quo.
Gate: Have you made any cartoons focusing on Tim Kaine or Mike Pence yet?
Wuerker: I did this caricature of Tim Kaine over here, and it’s just over the bridesmaid for Hillary. The thing that’s interesting is that the Clintons really ran the Democratic Party for at least eight years and then the Obama team came in and kind of took it over, and now the Clintons are coming back in. So this whole thing is playing on the idea that they’re renewing their vows, the Democrats and the Clintons. They’re working on a new deal.
Dylan Wells is a third-year Political Science major and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations minor. This summer Dylan worked at ABC News' Washington, D.C. bureau as a Political Unit Fellow. Previously, she interned twice at the Institute of Politics as the Events Intern and the Summer Programs Intern, and with POLITICO Live at the DNC. On campus, Dylan serves on the boards of TEDxUChicago and Chicago Strategies. Last year she served as The Gate's Elections Editor, and was the recipient of the inaugural David Axelrod Reporting Grant, which she used for a story on domestic human trafficking. Dylan enjoys traveling, exploring the Chicago brunch scene, and playing with her dog, Wasabi.