A Chaotic GOP Debate

How did they do?

Liza Donnelly
4 min readAug 24


Last night was the first candidate debate leading up to the 2024 Presidential election. In the past, I have live-drawn it from my television; last night I did not. It was a chaotic two hours on stage, but that has not stopped me before! I was unsure of the value of live drawing events like this, having done it for almost ten years now. That said, I wish I had. Quick drawings with key sound-bites, as I try to do, provide a unique take. Next debate, expect to see my live drawings. Here is one such debate in 2020 that I drew, one of the many here I have shared over the years in this column. But for now, I share words and a few sketches done before the debate yesterday.

Chris Christie

Christie didn’t do himself any harm, but he did not stand out as much as I thought he might. He was there to go after Trump (thanks god someone is), and Trump was not there.

VIvak Ramaswamy

Ramaswamy took a lot of air out of he room through sheer arrogance and white teeth. He loudly bulldozed over his rivals, although they were left standing. He will get a bump out of this, but his positions are Trump-like and scary, as is his lack of experience.

Mike Pence

Pence was less milquetoast that I expected, but his santimonious Christianity was too much for me. I think Ron DeSantis got lost in it all, fading into the background with Scott, Hutchinson and Burgum (not to be petty, but how can we elect someone with that last name?)

Nikky Haley

For me the stand-out was Nikki Haley. She was impressive in her strong show of intellect and moral foreign policy chops. I don’t agree with her stand on abortion, but she seems more moderate than some Republicans on the issue. She…



Liza Donnelly

Visual journalist/writer for New Yorker, New York Times, WaPo, CNN. TED, SXSW speaker. Looking to change world w humor. newsletter:https://lizadonnelly.substack