Using drawings or cartoons to comment on the actions of a president is a tradition nearly as old as the nation. Political cartoons were the creation of the politically partisan press in the early 1800s. They became staples of weekly magazines during the 19th century and, eventually, a cornerstone of the modern newspaper industry.
Cartoons help make complex issues and personalities more accessible. They often have a great impact on attitudes about a chief executive. Many presidents felt like 19th-century New York politician William "Boss" Tweed: "Stop them damn pictures.... I don't care much about what the papers write about me. My constituents can't read. But, damn it, they can see pictures."