You’re looking at history. Above are doodles included in Friday’s release of hundreds of documents from the Clinton administration. Like all workplaces and classrooms, it appears the White House is not immune to wandering thoughts, and doodles in the margins of work.
This is the work of Jeff Shesol, a Clinton speechwriter and current author and cartoonist. “Future generations will have to grapple (as I am grappling now) with the question of why I would be drawing a leek during a meeting about the assault weapons ban,” Shesol writes me in an email.
The doodles contrast the obviously high stakes of the job with the banalities of (Oval) office work. “I seem to be keeping myself from falling asleep,” Shesol says reflecting on the drawings, calling them “the mental equivalent of a screen saver.”
As to the the question in the doodle, “What is the carrot,” Shesol tells me it’s a reference to the carrot-and-stick rhetorical device, in which a punishment is mixed with a reward.