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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/ 9/2008

The Riff: Time to Vote, My Friends: Who Should Be Character-in-Chief?

By Michael Cavna

Now, nation, as we as all know, presidential politics have provided some of America's greatest slogans:

"Tippecanoe and Tyler, too!"

"I Like Ike!"

"You could do worse ... and always have!"

That last one -- still our personal fave -- was uttered not by a Bush or Clinton backer, but rather is the campaign catchphrase of Alfred E. Neuman, the MAD magazine cover-boy who since 1956 has occasionally "sought" the highest office in the land.

Walt Kelly with Pogo. (UPI)

Neuman is among great company, too. Everyone from Walt Kelly's Pogo to Berkeley Breathed's retiring Opus (paired with Bill the Cat) has stumped for a one-way trip to 1600 Penn. This spoof electioneering is at least as old as comic strips themselves -- right up to such characters as "Prickly City's" Carmen and Winslow hitting the trail this year.

Yet we're left to wonder: Which single cartoon character has the qualities, the characteristics, the courage and the very charisma (if not a gift for electoral alliteration) to make the BEST president of this fair and noble republic?

Well, we shall find out. Between now and Election Day, Comic Riffs is going to conduct runoffs between the primo cartoon candidates.

So first, my friends, I need your nominations. From comic strips to comic books to animation, which character would YOU pick for president?

Zonker? Bucky Katt? Homer Simpson -- or maybe better yet, Marge Simpson? (As a foreign-born pillager, Hagar the Horrible may not qualify -- but hey, we won't let a little thing like the Constitution impede our path.)

The polling stations are open, my fellow Americans. Let the cartoon balloting begin.

By Michael Cavna  | October 9, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Riffs  
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I vote for the (Susie) Derkins/Hobbes ticket, if she were old enough. Her honest, bright, hard-working nature would be refreshing. Hobbes, with his understanding of human nature and feline wisdom, would be perfect for a behind-the-scenes role (like Cheney, but in a good way). To bad she's too young.

Posted by: Bill | October 9, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Rex Morgan, MD, of course. Who else has the gravitas and a fine head of hair, to boot?

Posted by: Michael Cart | October 9, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse


He's been to the Moon (Astronaut Snoopy). Is a true Boyscout (Scout Leader Snoopy). Knows the Law (Lawyer Snoopy).
Has friends in high places (Woodstock). Is a Veteran (WWI flying Ace).
Has reached across the yard to try to negotiate with his enemies (the cat next door).

Which other comic is more qualified?!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | October 9, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Maybe a character with leadership qualities proved for more than fifty years: Prince Valiant! He's open to new ideas, learns about the peoples of other nations, is willing to adopt new technologies. That already makes him better than McCain.

Posted by: Andrew | October 9, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I go Pogo.

Posted by: SteveH | October 9, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

CALSGR8 - Don't forget that in addition to his other qualifications, Snoopy also has chief executive experience; he was, after all, the Head Beagle.

Posted by: lp2004 | October 9, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Bill the Cat and Opus: Meadow Party, The Last Hurrah.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | October 9, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Rat for President!

Posted by: MSchafer | October 9, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Well that's a no brainer, isn't it
And for vice president

Posted by: Patty Leidy | October 9, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I Go Pogo, too!

Posted by: buggit | October 9, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Mary Worth. She **always** knows just what we all should do.

Posted by: Toby Carmichael | October 9, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The Point-Haired Boss. When you're tired of voting for the **lesser** of two evils.

Posted by: The Great Cthulu | October 9, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin.

What??? You mean she's **not** a cartoon character???

Posted by: Anybody Who Doesn't Watch Fox News | October 9, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I go Brandy, from Liberty Meadows. Half the country would do whatever she said, and the other half would just be happy there's a woman in the White House.
And now that Rick Redfern's unemployed, how about a run for veep. He has something no President has had in about a hundred years: facial hair.

Posted by: Paul | October 9, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

How about one of the Far Side cows, they built a rocket. And for the Veep, the student of the Midville School for the Gifted.

Posted by: Larsonite | October 9, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Milo for Pres, and Catbert for VP

Posted by: Alex | October 9, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I go Pogo.

Posted by: Tad | October 9, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Hello, what about Uncle Duke?

Posted by: Hallie | October 9, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Hallie: "Hello, what about Uncle Duke?"

Good point. Maybe instead of having a President who is democratically elected and who rules by Constitutional law, we need a Viceroy who is self-appointed and who rules by personal fiat.

Posted by: Dick Cheney | October 9, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It's time for two women at the top of the ticket. Pam - intrepid number two from Brewster Rockit should be Number 1. Jeremy's Mom could then be the VP who makes sure everything runs according to plan.

Ted (Ladyhands) Forth could be Pam's best friend . . .

Posted by: Jubal Harshaw | October 9, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Calvin, of course. Maybe he's old enough now, but so what if not? He has the imagination and certainly couldn't do any worse damage than what we already have. And for his V.P. the man he thought was president, Chef Boyardee. Yeah, I know, Hobbes would be the better thinker, but not nearly as much fun.

Posted by: G. Lomzx | October 10, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Definitely has to be Nate Wright for the top job with Teddy as his Veep & Francis as Chief of Staff. Nate might finally get Jenny if she could be First Lady!

Posted by: PS38 | October 10, 2008 4:45 AM | Report abuse

No question, Larry the Croc. Rat as Dick Cheney.

Posted by: The old guy | October 10, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

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