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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 01/25/2011

State of the Union Cartoon Caption Contest winner

By Tom Toles

This was fun, if you think reading nearly 2,000 captions could be fun!

As usual in contest judging, a certain amount of arbitrariness creeps in. Lots of people around here were telling me their favorites, but there was little agreement among them.

What I was looking for was an entry that took some portion of the drawing and teased out from that a thought-provoking caption that seemed to belong in the cartoon. Humor always a big plus. The winning caption seemed, on balance, to have achieved this best. But lots of other entries were great, and it was interesting to see how many different ways people went with this. A sampling: 149 entries referenced homeowners or the nation being "underwater," 127 entries mentioned the national debt or deficit, 56 entries talked about global warming or climate change, 23 entries cited BP, and nine entries mentioned WikiLeaks.

Click here or on the image below to see a gallery of my top ten picks. Congratulations to the winner, whose caption is last in the gallery. And perhaps we just might try this again soon.

tolesteaser.jpg

-- Tom Toles

By Tom Toles  | January 25, 2011; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Contest  
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Comments

Nice job, Toles, but you need to figure out a way to let folks vote next time. The funniest didn't make your top ten. Personally, I liked the one something about "anyone shouting YOU LIE goes in the shark tank"

Posted by: dkbain1 | January 27, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the most important thing was that the caption fit nicely inside the balloon. Dang! Wish I'd thought of that.

Posted by: jmartinc | January 27, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the most important thing was that the caption fit nicely inside the baloon. Dang! Wish I'd thought of that.

Posted by: jmartinc | January 27, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I still think after what wasn't said my suggestion of
"Empty Barrels make the most noise." was better.
It refers to beer barrels when nearing empty make noises.

Posted by: gany1 | January 26, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

That man knows fiscal responsibilty. Just ask the State of Indiana where he got his start as Governor.

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH
--------

Oh, yes, ask Indiana... The Indiana that leased their toolway system to a private contractor and received an immediate one-time windfall to apply to their dismal budget, at which time tolls were immediately increased by the new operator. City sewage and water delivery systems falling apart all over the state, as well as roads and other infrastructure... Oh, yes, perfect.

So please tell me, Jonah, what income stream does the U.S. government currently have, that it can sell to the highest bidder in order to prop up its short-term financial goals? Maybe sell Social Security to Lehman Brothers? Oh. Oops. Can't do that. The geniuses at Lehman already bankrupted their company and we already bailed out the other private concerns that mismanaged their money.

Maybe giving them the chance to mismanage ours wouldn't be such a terrific idea after all?

Posted by: jonroesler | January 26, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

TO TOM TOLES
Did you notice that the question mark looks like an upside down hook?
Dave

Posted by: OchamsRazor | January 26, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I thought water wings was funnier than chair flotation. But I guess if you never had kids you would not know what they were. You can bet that Donkey we have in the White House today will be flying back to another residence after the 2012 election. What a miserable failure he turned out to be. If the Democrats were smart they would not even nominate him the next time around. Evan Bayh should replace him as their candidate. That man knows fiscal responsibilty. Just ask the State of Indiana where he got his start as Governor.

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | January 26, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I thought water wings was funnier than chair flotation. But I guess if you never had kids you would not know what they were. You can bet that Donkey we have in the White House today will be flying back to another residence after the 2012 election. What a miserable failure he turned out to be. If the Democrats were smart they would not even nominate him the next time around. Evan Bayh should replace him as their candidate. That man knows fiscal responsibilty. Just ask the State of Indiana where he got his start as Governor.

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | January 26, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

On the day the contest came out, I read through the many captions already posted. I read the "deck chairs" one, had a good laugh, and decided I liked it best. At that time, the "dot,dot'dot" one hadn't been posted, and it would have been a second choice. After reading all the runners up, I still feel that way.

By the way, I really do appreciate your cartoons and your daily "rants", so consider this a heartfelt compliment on your work.

Posted by: mewannabe1 | January 26, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"Trickle-down..." ironic on so many levels. Oops. Gotta go. The State of the Union...

Posted by: jonroesler


wow you cracked a joke...I'm impressed

Posted by: bertzel | January 26, 2011 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Tole's counter attack against Republicans tonight is what liberals do just like the old Pot and Pan leftist protests the Democrats put on sponsored by the Communist Party of America out by the Grant Statue in front of the Capital on the night when Bush gave the State of the Union.

Posted by: jornolibist | January 25, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

***************
Another idiot home for the week from his asylum. What the heck are you cackling about? fritz

Posted by: papafritz571 | January 25, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Tole's counter attack against Republicans tonight is what liberals do just like the old Pot and Pan leftist protests the Democrats put on sponsored by the Communist Party of America out by the Grant Statue in front of the Capital on the night when Bush gave the State of the Union.

Posted by: jornolibist | January 25, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

***************
Another idiot home for week from his asylum. What the heck are you cackling about? fritz

Posted by: papafritz571 | January 25, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Tole's counter attack against Republicans tonight is what liberals do just like the old Pot and Pan leftist protests the Democrats put on sponsored by the Communist Party of America out by the Grant Statue in front of the Capital on the night when Bush gave the State of the Union.

Posted by: jornolibist

Have you been drinking?

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | January 25, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Tole's counter attack against Republicans tonight is what liberals do just like the old Pot and Pan leftist protests the Democrats put on sponsored by the Communist Party of America out by the Grant Statue in front of the Capital on the night when Bush gave the State of the Union.

Posted by: jornolibist | January 25, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

"Trickle-down..." ironic on so many levels. Oops. Gotta go. The State of the Union...

Posted by: jonroesler | January 25, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

How rad of the Washington Post to launch a partisan attack on this night of bi-partisan accord.
It's quite telling, unfortunately.

Posted by: mtpeaks | January 25, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

make that morse...oops...my bad! lol

Posted by: bertzel | January 25, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

~~think I liked what I guess was the first runner-up, watzknew's "dot dot dot dash dash dash dot dot dot" best.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr

U talking morris code...by all means go out on the sloppy river and go for it..LOL
yeah. HA!!

Posted by: bertzel | January 25, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Excellent choice. I concur with the sentiment.

Posted by: fostersm1 | January 25, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I entered, of course, but didn't win, although I'm sure I came in 11th place. It was that baited hook that led me away from the broader, water-based themes, including those of your top ten; it seemed to imply some surface-based action or activity counter to the underwater scene, a small key factor that should be addressed. (Or, I simply fell for the red herring, as it were?) I wonder what caption you would have composed, TT?

Posted by: dshepherd2 | January 25, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I think I liked what I guess was the first runner-up, watzknew's "dot dot dot dash dash dash dot dot dot" best.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | January 25, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Nice job of playing it safe.Dave

Posted by: OchamsRazor | January 25, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I expected better than the obvious.

I love your drawings and viewpoint, but for the caption contest, get your dog to judge the next batch.

Posted by: gkam | January 25, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

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