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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 10/16/2008

The Morning Line: McCain Needs to Seek This Media 'Circus'

By Michael Cavna

Some polls say John McCain is trailing badly in the presidential race, but my friends, do not put all your stock in such capricious surveys. No, to monitor the heart of the electorate, one must look for subtler signs. The cues abound, if only you look to your local diner, your soccer-mom sideline, your hoops-game bleachers and, most of all, to "Family Circus."

Yet another "low-information voter." (KFS)Enlarge Comic

Yes, you heard right. All life's answers can be found in the House of Barfy, if only you gaze deeply -- or surreally -- enough.

Today's strip says all you need to know. Sure, "FC" goes quasi-political in the spirit of true voter narcissism. But read it only on that superficial level and look what you're missing:

Billy may look like a grade-schooler, but the kid's lived in Arizona for nearly a half-century. (Yes, folks, it's true -- The Family Circus is actually older than Barack Obama. )

But our larger point here is: Billy has lived in Arizona for almost 50 years and he STILL has not made up his mind about McCain, a longtime senator of Billy's home state. If McCain cannot even get traction with longtime fictional Arizonans, for Pete's (or PJ's) sake, then the McCain camp has genuine cause for concern among the cartoon vote.

The candidate who puts the "space" in "space cadet." (TMS) Enlarge Comic

Elsewhere on the campaign front, Brewster Rockit continues his galactic debate for inspired laughs, but still, we can't help but think: Brewster is such a supreme space cadet, he even thinks what he's pounding is a "podium." That's a LECTERN, you zero-gravity astro-nut! You're standing on the podium. Sigh...Brewster, R.U. Sirius??

Lastly, to step outside the political ring for a moment: Forgive us, Reader, for we have sinned. Today, in an incredibly rare occurrence, we laughed out loud at BOTH "Garfield" and "Frank & Ernest."

Nerds on parade -- literally. (UPS) Enlarge Comic

The Misery Compromise (NEA) Enlarge Comic

We wish we had a ready excuse -- such as that we are punch-drunk from the political season, or hung over from Presidential Debate Drinking Games.

Honestly, both strips just caught us off-guard with a skosh more wit (and less punning) than usual.

Frankly (or Ernestly), on occasion, the easiest gags are the best. Like Billy, somedays we just don't want to work too hard for a laugh.

By Michael Cavna  | October 16, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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tough for comics to spoof politicians when so many of them are cartoon characters already!!......

Posted by: WashingToon | October 16, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Interesting catch about the podium; I would never have noticed that. The problem is that most people believe the podium and the lectern are the same thing. To wit, there's a current Bud Light commercial with John C. McGinley (as the commissioner of the More Taste League) that refers to the lectern as a podium, so there you go.

Posted by: Dan | October 17, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

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