Knox News: Alexander speaks on Senate floor about News Sentinel cartoonist Charlie Daniel

Posted on January 30, 2019

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Knoxville, spoke on the Senate floor Tuesday about longtime News Sentinel cartoonist Charlie Daniel.

Daniel, 89, is retiring Feb. 1 after a career as an editorial cartoonist that spanned more than six decades in Knoxville.

"Over the years Charlie has had plenty of opportunities to skewer me, and he has done it with vigor," Alexander said in a brief speech at 5:15 p.m. "And actually it’s been honest and usually gentle and always effective."

"For example, as I was working on legislation which became law this year to ban the use of cellphones on airplane flights, Charlie drew a cartoon characterizing cell phone yappers on long flights as the 'perfect hell,' with the devil asking why didn't he think of that," the senator said.

Alexander gave his remarks as he stood next to a print of a cartoon Daniels drew after the senator announced he would not run for reelection in 2020. 

"Says his name is Alexander," one character says to another. "Says he's going to walk across the state."

"Wonder how far he'll go?" the other character replies.

"And here's some character wandering across the state in a red and black shirt, which is what I did 40 years ago when I walked across the state for governor," Alexander said.

The senator recounted Daniels' career and noted he has been honored by the National Cartoonists Society and admitted to the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.

"For over six decades, Charlie’s drawings have been the first thing that I and many others have looked for in the newspaper," Alexander said. "And it’s going to be harder to start each day without the humor and the touch of Charlie Daniel."