Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the political forum: In numerous cartoons, Trump’s mouth has eclipsed his hair as the true defining feature, and the distinguishing characteristic that makes a Trump caricature one’s own.
Make no mistake: Political artists would feel bereft if you suddenly removed Donald’s swooping, side-feathered hairstyle from their sights. But it’s now those lips, oft-pursed in a scion’s defiance, where the hunt for caricature is afoot.
It’s hard not to notice, for instance, how The Post’s own Tom Toles has developed his Trump. Toles has long drawn the presumptive GOP nominee with a certain pachyderm girth beneath the helmet hair. But as Trump has fully come to the fore, Toles’s take now has a perpetual baboon mouth — a simian protrusion that gives the impression that this fellow is forever mouthing the vowel sound in “Yuuuuuge!”
Interestingly, the cartoonist Schot, drawing for De Volkskrant out of the Netherlands, has arrived at a similar, though less extreme, “silo mouth”:
Other cartoonists, meanwhile, have made it all about the lower lip, which protrudes like a penthouse porch — a jutting veranda of verbal tangents that seems, in multiple senses of the word, to so often be throwing shade:
Then there are the visual practitioners who give their Trump caricatures a sharp aesthetic bite by drawing the snarl of chompers — a protrusion that registers like some alarming cross of Elvis Presley, a foaming pitbull and Beavis and Butt-head:
And then there are those artists who focus on the smooth, if not smug, Politician’s Grin — the snake-oil smirk that editorial cartoonists have employed during the reigns of FDR, Nixon and Clinton. Yet the Trump take has that extra self-satisfied air of the rare politician who has skin in the electoral game, but not his entire hide:
So what type of Trump actions will next inspire the world’s cartoonists? On this count, at least, the candidate’s lips are sealed.