Cartoonist Garry Trudeau, who has skewered politicians for decades in his comic strip “Doonesbury,” tells Rolling Stone magazine he remembers Yale classmate George W. Bush as “just another sarcastic preppy who gave people nicknames and arranged for keg deliveries.”
Trudeau attended Yale University with Bush in the late 1960s and served with him on a dormitory social committee.
“Even then he had clearly awesome social skills,” Trudeau said. “He could also make you feel extremely uncomfortable ... He was extremely skilled at controlling people and outcomes in that way. Little bits of perfectly placed humiliation.”
Trudeau said he penned his very first cartoon to illustrate an article in the Yale Daily News on Bush and allegations that his fraternity, DKE, had hazed incoming pledges by branding them with an iron.
A view of ‘torture’?
The article in the campus paper prompted The New York Times to interview Bush, who was a senior that year. Trudeau recalled that Bush told the Times “it was just a coat hanger, and ... it didn’t hurt any more than a cigarette burn.”
“It does put one in mind of what his views on torture might be today,” Trudeau said.
Having mocked presidents of both parties in the “Doonesbury” strip since 1971, Trudeau said Bush has been, “tragically, the best target” he’s worked with yet.
“Bush has created more harm to this country’s standing and security than any president in history,” Trudeau said. “What a shame the world has to suffer the consequences of Dubya not getting enough approval from Dad.”
Rolling Stone will publish the interview Friday.