The 2016 Presidential campaign might not be the proudest moment for our nation at large, but kudos should be given to American graphic designers and editors for capturing the craziness on the covers of several magazines. We’ve picked our favorites from those hopeful months in 2015 through the current reality-TV nightmare we’re currently experiencing. We’ll update our picks up until every ballot has been cast.
Josh Jackson is Paste’s founder and editor-in-chief.
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Time (January 2014) - A full three years before our nation's 45th president gets sworn into office, Time magazine kicks off the painfully long election season with a cover story on the inevitability of second Clinton administration, something looking quite prescient right about now.
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The Week (April 2015) - After her first presidential campaign ran up against the Hope and Change of 2008, Hillary Clinton looks too woo the same voters who snubbed her for Barack Obama.
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Newsweek (May 2014) - More than two years before the 2016 presidential election, Newsweek takes a look at the presumptive Republican establishment choice, a man who would be the third in his family to rise to the highest office in the USA. In this analogy, I think W is Joffrey.
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Daily News (June 2015) - We thought the idea of the host of The Apprentice running for president was a joke. Then we remembered that clowns aren't funny.
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The New Yorker (July 2015) - This illustration by Barry Blitt perfectly captures the effect of The Donald on what was supposed to be a dignified race among an all-star field of candidates and instead became a platform for the world's most famous bully. "Run away, Little Marco."
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The Nation (August 2015) - For a brief minute we all thought Scott Walker was as villainous as the GOP was going to get. But he wasn't even the Zodiac Killer.
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Mother Jones (September/October 2014) - No one predicted the appeal Bernie Sanders would have in the Democratic primary, preventing Hillary Clinton from waltzing straight through the primary uncontested. Even the teaser for this stories betrays any real belief: "Maaaybe a wild-haired socialist from Vermont won't win the presidency. But Bernie Sanders just might change politics for good."
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The Economist (January 2016) - By the beginning of 2016, things were starting to get ugly on both sides of the aisles with Bernie Sanders launching a legitimate challenge to Clinton and Donald Trump basically proving that what's good for ratings is what every talking head on cable news is going to yammer on about ad infinitum.
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The Week (January 2016) - Millions of Americans were feeling the Bern as the actual election year got underway.
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The Economist (February 2016) - When Trump started winning actual delegates, The Economist asked the question so many of us were thinking.