Trump’s First State Of The Union Speech … In Drawings

WHAT I SAW--This was a highly anticipated speech. Would Trump go off script? Would he be combatitive, or attempt to bring everyone together? What color would his tie be? Would any members of the Congress walk out? Would some wear white, black, have roses on their lapels?

I’m not going to analyze what happened, even if I would like to. What I can give you is a few drawings that I did during the speech. It’s difficult drawing from a monitor or television because I am beholden to camera operators. They may be lovely people and are very talented, but I wish they would stay on one image long enough for me to draw it. I am fast, but not that fast. So I was not able to get Ivanka and Jared, other Trump kids, or Chuck Schumer, Jeff Sessions, Corey Booker, Mitch McConnell, or the members of the Supreme Court (although I could probably fake that: black robes). I don’t like to draw from photos, so what you get from me usually is what I see in the moment it happens.

My favorite thing to do is grab an instant no one else noticed, or the still cameras didn’t pick up. Last night, this drawing was one. It was of Nancy Pelosi talking to a colleague behind her. When a twitter follower saw my drawing, they thought she was shhhh-ing someone. I saw the actual moment, and felt she was talking quite loudly as the president was speaking, and to me, it looked like she was trying to get this person to walk out with her. But I could be totally wrong.

Another favorite was this one of Bernie Sanders. I saw his face, and he looked incredibly surly, his body sort of slumped in his seat. I drew this mostly from memory (I’ve drawn him a lot) after seeing the camera land on him; I wanted to capture his look of displeasure. There was similar look on Corey Booker’s face, although Senator Booker’s expression appeared to be one more of anger.

Before it all began, I saw Trump leave the White house to head to the Senate in what is referred to as the “Beast.” It’s a heavily armored limosine.

The First Lady arrived alone.


My favorite part of every single SOTU: The Sergeant At Arms of the House of Representatives announces the President before he enters the hall:

And then Trump arrived.

And here are some of the moments I was able to catch during the hour and twenty minute speech:


(Liza Donnelly is cartoonist/writer for New Yorker, CBS News, CBS This Morning, Author, performer, TED speaker, global traveler. Looking to change world with humor at  Posted most recently at