Bob Eckstein

Bob Eckstein
New York City, New York,
February 27
Publisher of Today's
Snowman expert, author of The History of the Snowman and cartoonist for the New Yorker, Reader's Digest, Wall Street Journal and others. Twitter; snowmanexpert


Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 27, 2008 12:20AM

Cap't McCain's Cartoon Caption Contest

Rate: 36 Flag


"My friends, a little straight talk: I do not remember why I'm wearing this costume."
This is the winning caption submitted by John Kascht chosen tonight by guest judge renown New Yorker cartoonist Michael Maslin. Congratulations John! Thanks to Michael Maslin, who I'm a big fan of and special thanks to everyone who submitted an entry.
I was not thrilled having to announce one winner. There were so many clever and hilarious captions that deserved to win, many that could have been picked on another day...personally, I didn't even like John's (no, I'm kidding. And I should explain that Michael Maslin did not know any of the posters nor was his decision swayed in any way). Let's do this again sometime!

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(Ok, I'll start.)

"Well, I don't see your rescue package."
“I thought if I dressed up for Halloween now, the voters would not notice I was falling behind in the polls.” said McCain at the first Presidential Debate.
Due to McCain's legitimate past heroism, I am inclined to let him dress this way... it was last Halloween that he was wearing this, yes?

ps -- Color? What give? You have disturbed the routine and I am thrown off by these things.

(I just accidentally deleted someone's comment – it came up twice and I wrongly erased duplicate but of course both are gone). sorry, please repost, sorry)

Yeah, LT, this wasn't in reference to his past but trying to be a savior at last night's summit instead of a team player. Of course, I hope to see some pro-McCain captions too – Obama is just off the to left of Cap't this illustration.

"Too old, my ass?!? I just flew in from D.C."
My friends, sorry Robin couldn't be here today. She's still gyrating on the Bat-pole.

(What do I win?)
"My inverted W chest logo proves that I am the complete opposite of George W. Bush."
"Too old, my ass?!? I just flew in from D.C." ... and boy, are my arms tired.

Apologies to Henny Youngman.
Senator Obama's statement after the press conference:
"McCain supporters, I have heard you! In order to get your vote, all I need is a lobotomy and some tights!"
"Cindy said that the long campaign has been draining the family's resources... so, we had no choice but to fire the original 'Duff Man.'"
"Will you trust me now to save this country?"
Thought bubble: "I wonder if I look Presidential now?"
"My friends, superheroes are a clear danger to America"
thought bubble: "Damn that tailor to Hell! I told him long in the crotch!"
"I heard all those noises ... CR-R-A-A-CK! WHAMM! BIFF! ... and wanted to add one of my own ... POW!"
"Well, it was either this, or a pig with lipstick."
"There is no religious 'litmus test' for office in this great country of ours. However, I trust you can all see for yourselves what religion I am."
"I don't know about this darn economy, but I can twist a paper clip with my tongue."
" ......and another thing for our friends in the press, I take exception to your reading of my insignia. Mighty Mouse is a cartoon character, not a real guy!"
"Friends......the bailout.....awkward...(gulp).....crises..."
"First order of business: I'm kicking Letterman out of Gotham."
"I wanted to be Superman, but Sarah said she filled out the shorts better."


"I'm not just a war friends, I'm a SUPER war hero."
oops .. I meant "war hero". Hate it when you have to correct jokes. Reaching for the coffee I haven't had yet now .. :) Mea Culpa.
"That damn Eckstein is an elite librul. Else, why would he airbrush out my cojones?"

I'm sorry my opponent didn't feel it was necessary to dress up as Superman today.
"Well my friends, I'm here now and I didn't fly in on Keating's jet!"
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a . . . than a . . . let's see, faster than a. . . (Damn Lieberman! He's never around when I need him!!!)
Excellent, Eddy. Also, another occurred to me:

"No, no, man of steel is spelled with two e's."
Or, alternatively:

"The one thing I do not lack, my fellow Americans, is cojones."

What can I say, my eyes are hypnotically drawn there!

"Ever have one of those dreams where you show up to work in your pajamas?"
Caption #1 -- " . . . and now that I've saved the economy, I'd like to introduce the next vice president of the United States, "Super" Sarah Palin, who before your very eyes will shatter a glass ceiling."

Caption #2 -- "Sound check, one, two three, one two three. Ok, turn the TV monitor a little more to the left. That's good. Uh, guys, didn't you forget something? Flag pin? Harry? Ed? Where is my flag pin? I want the goddamned fucking flag pin NOW!!"
"Able to muddle-up bailout agreements in a single bound!"
"My friends, today I challenge Vince McMahon to a series of 10 Town Hall Smackdowns."
"My friends, I do believe I've just soiled my adult diapers."
"Well, this too was my adviser's idea."
First bastard who asks about the hair.....
"Please move the podium to the Senator's left"
(Not submitted for credit. Just a woofing auditor.)

"And no, my friends. I cannot use the Internet. See those stubby fingers? They were mangled when I was a POW at the Hanoi......"

Thought bubble - "I hope that was a fart"

"Blue PILL. Blue PILL. Not blue SUIT, dammit!"

"My fellow Merkins...."
Oh, BTW - rated, and I love the captions proposed so far.

Great idea. :-D
"I say this with total conviction, the biggest threat to the United states doesn't lie with the economy, but with Russia and North Korea's stockpiles of KRYPTONITE."
"Senator, we talked to your publicist,.......You can keep the cape but you have to lose the glasses."
Oh, one more:

"Now if I could just find my McNuggets..."
"Goddamn youth vote..."
I can see through Sarah Palin's clothes, and believe me, she is MORE than qualified to serve beneath me.
The boy wonder he ain't.
"What do you MEAN I look like the bastard child of Elton John and Paul Shaffer?"
Narrator: Faster than a Dick Cheney bullet. More powerful than an ulterior motive. Able to creep through the halls of Congress, bound in a singlet!

Man 1: Look! Up on the podium! It’s a Byrd!

Woman: Is it McCain?

Man 2: It’s Blooperman!

Narrator: Yes, it’s Blooperman, strange visitor from a Hanoi POW camp who came to Washington with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Blooperman, who can single-handedly change the course of Wall Street, and cook bacon in ten different kitchens at once, and who, disguised as John McCain, a hot-tempered Senator from an even hotter western state, fights a never ending battle for pandering, platitudes, and trickery, AKA the Republican way! And now another exciting chapter in the adventures of Blooperman! In our last episode, the fundamentals of the American economy were strong....
"I'm sorry, I really must go. Congress has activated the McCain Signal!"
karl, are you sure this will distract them from the issues?
"My friends, a little straight talk: I do not remember why I'm wearing this costume."
"Dammit, I was going to wear my flight suit...but Georgie borrowed it and never got it dry cleaned."
No, my trusty sidekick will not be known as Clue-Lass.
"No more questions - I'm prairie dogging here!"
"Dammit, I must speak more clearly. I said I wanted PARA SAILING."
Can we submit multiple entries? Here goes...

"What are you all looking at? Is there something on my nose?"

Voiceover Guy: "In a world where one man's courage is all that stands between order and chaos..."

John McCain reveals his new clothing line: Spandex Obsession

"Oh Dahlink, donchoo know capes are SO 1998! We dezperately need to update your look- come by my werkshop tonight!"

Fear, Loathing, and a Spandex Plumsumggler

Oddly, McCain campaign staff continue to insist that his five years in a Vietnamese prison had no long term psychologial effects.
My super-power? Captain Maverick has the ability to morph from straight-talker to swift-boater in a single bound.
"My friends, I have always stood for truth, justice and the Americ... What? Obama is in an Iron Man suit? My staff is SO fired again."
And when I hit something, it goes POW!
you deleted me, Rob....

"Hi, I'm Captain Maverick, and I'd like to introduce you to my running mate, MIGHTY MOOSE!"
No, dammit! Those are not Depends, it's a uniard.
My friends, the difference between me and my opponent is, I have a foot hole and a *plan*.
"And I would've got away with it too, if it weren't for that damn economy"


"I was against Super Heroes, but now I'm for 'em"
" Here's the plan... Boy George (W's alter ego) and I are going to break into the People's Bank of China. If we aren't back by Monday send in Patreaus."
"Folks, lets not get distracted by old rhetoric. Did I mention I'm a prisoner of war?"
pay no attention to the upside down W in the middle of my chest!
"Damn Furries got to the costume store first."
"You wouldn't like me when I'm mad"
NO, a LUCHADOR mask ties up the back, Mr. Bilingual-I-Went-to-Harvard!"
"If you think this costume is good, you should see Sarah. When she takes hers off she's really Pat Robertson!"


"The cape's great but (at my age) the built in catheter is the die for!"


I was going to dress like a fighter jet but after crashing 4 of 'em we thought the cape might work better.
"Mission Accomplished"
"And, worst of all, I can't find a phone booth to change BACK in time for the debate..."
Cigarette...must.. get.. cigarette
A submission:

"I can leap all 8 of my homes in a single bound."
"We all agree America needs change. But what this counts really needs is a hero to enact that change..."
"If Putin rears his head and comes into American airspace - Sarah and I will be ready."
..heard stage left...Dammit Bob, I told you to keep the closet with the Captain Maverick costumes locked whenever we reduce his medication for an appearance.
Hey Everyone, be sure to go back and read the one by Thomas Horton!
"My sidekick? Uh, funny thing about The Invisible Woman, my friends. I had sequestered her in the Fortress of Solitude up in the Arctic to study for her debate, but you know that Global Warming thing she and I have been treating as less important? Well, it turns out the debt isn't the only thing that snuck up on us. All the ice melted and, well, she and all the polar bears seem to have gone AWOL. The good news, though, is that during her absence, Lieber Man has agreed to fill in and help me with the splurge, uh, I mean the surge to rescue the Economy."
So, heh heh, it's a funny story. Ya see, Sara wanted me to wear the moose outfit, but it was at the cleaners so, well, heh heh, then I locked myself out of the Straight Talk Express when she was changing into her Wonder Woman outfit and here we are and...

Hey, let's not get off topic! I was a prisoner of war!
Permission requested to revise and expand upon an earlier submission:

"Leave the mortgage crisis to me. Hell, I can leap all 8 of my homes in a single bound."
"My friends, I invited senator Obama to dress as I have. I'm very sorry to say that he declined."
"Able to leap tall issues with a single bound......"
"My friends, you want change? How's this for change."
"I will wear this costume until Congress reaches a deal!"
"My friends, this is serious business. I flew in to push very hard on this matter, and I will bring all my powers to bear on this crisis, and I promise you, I will not leave until I pass something!"


"America needs a president who will do his own stunts and I have the experience to do just that!"


"Oh no don't tell me - this didn't help either? Cindy, get me my POWboy suit, on the double!"


"My friends, it's time for some straight talk... but first, a glass of Superprune Juice!"


"My friends, Batty Girl and I are ready to rescue this great nation!"


"Hey where'd everybody go!?"
First: "Oh, this? It's from Cindy. It's a designer ensemble. Someone backstage told me that it's probably worth $320,000. They said these stones in the cape looked like real diamonds. I found it on the floor of Cindy's closet. You know, I tease her about being such a clothes horse... She does like sparkly things..."

Second: "This is on loan from Todd. He says it always works on 'the ladies'. Sarah giggled a little and flushed when she say it. He's such a nice guy. You people don't have to worry. When I die the country is in his hands, err, good hands. Who do you think is the real governor of Alaska. We had to make her appoint a city manager when she was Mayor because she couldn't manage a one person band. Hah hah... Oh! This mic's on?!?!? Ahhh. Well... Just kidding, folks... Honest... *grumble* *grumble* (damn campaign staff)"
(Not for credit. From woofing auditor.)

"Man, if we could turn all this energy towards fixing the economy instead of trying to win a fucking Snowman book, we wouldn't have needed a goddamn bailout package."
"Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day todaaaaaay ...

Blue jean baby; L.A. ladeeeee ...

ummmm,hmmmm,da dum, dum ...bum...bummm..
bommb, bommmmb, bommmmmmb Iran ...

Ohhhhh ... and-a-one-and-a-two ....
"I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience. ... Instead, let us ponder a world where wedgies and Depends unite to make me a truly Super Man."
No caption, but add a "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banner.
"I am Metamucil Man. You can't even SEE my colostomy bag."
Designer collar on cape to hide turkey neck--Check!
But this damn mask rubs against my eyelashes everytime I blink!
In all fairness, madam, your question seems misleading ~ I think my suit speaks for itself. Did I mention I'm super?!
Sarah, what are you doing under there? Ohhhh....
"If you think this is good, wait until Sarah shows up as Wonder Woman at the VP debate! Wowsers!"
"My friends, MooseGirl and I are ready to rescue this great nation!"
"Uh, no, sorry. That's not one of my powers. "
"We'll see who's laughing after I nuke Iran."

"Suit not working. OK, waterboarding re-authorized."

For the record, I support McCain. But, I have a sense of humor. I hope Bob gives us the same chance to rip into Obama.
"I'll show that idiot Letterman...."


"Yes, that's right - I'm Maverick and Sarah is Goose. We feel the need - the need for greed! What? Well the damn teleprompter says greed! Who wrote this shit, Letterman?"
"Larry Craig said to meet him here. Dammit! The bitch set me up!"
McCain: Maverick, hero, egolitarian
"My friends, I'd like to expand upon my earlier comments about the song 'Dancing Queen.'"
Super dooper party pooper
"I have a sense of humor. I hope Bob gives us the same chance to rip into Obama."

Yo, McGarrett, that's quite a segue from I to us up there, ole buddy. You and who else? :-).

Or as Tonto put it: "What's this we shit, white man?"

Correct. Fair is fair. In due time.
Get off my lawn, you greedy mortgage lender!
"It's a Democratic conspiracy, I tell you! Letterman had Oprah on, Oprah won't have Sarah on, and now Richard Simmons wants to join my campaign."


"No, the 'M' doesn't stand for moron. Why didn't someone tell me Katie Couric's kid went to this school?"


"My fellow Americans, I promise you by Odin's Hammer that we can fix this economic thingie. Right after I've had nappy time and some cookies."
Bill, I'm trying to get you a book deal as we speak – you've written a volume of captions. 
Bill, you are a riot. McNuggets...!
Time to celebrate!
"Will someone please convince my handlers to stop with these stupid gimmicky stunts and give me permission to lead?"
"Copyright law is not my thing?"
"I wanted to give everyone a glimpse of the future of politics in this country!"
"My friends, in an attempt to visualize $700 billion dollars, I used my superpowers to stack up 700,000,000,000 $1 bills right here in Mississippi and then I flew my running mate to the top of the pile and do you know what she said? 'You can see Russia from here, too!' It reassured me that she didn't need any supervision."
"I will pursue Obama, I mean Osama, to the gates of Hell!"
McGarrett, I really have to give you credit for hanging with all us leftists. Kudos!
Look Ma, it's Botox Man!
"I will find Bin Laden with my x-ray vision, cool the earth with my breath, and push the world back to turn back time to stop pork barrel spending. But we must stop the North Koreans from developing Kryptonite!"
Oooh, second entry:

McCain learns from Bush's mistake and makes a wardrobe adjustment to hid the box in his back.
"The REAL reason I wanted to postpone the first presidential debate is because I was having a pool party at one of my houses (don't ask me which one... shit... I can't even remember how many I have or where they are), and all the invitees were Sarah Palin look-alikes!!!

I tell ya, I proved that I DO have cojones!

Shhhhhhhh... Don't tell the American citizens, though. They don't need to know the truth. I'm really good at hiding the truth!"
"I DO have a plan to give back to Americans instead of bailing out those scandalous companies. We can fill millions of pinatas with candy and coins and let everyone bash them open and fight for the goodies!"
"... but, I'm a Maverick!!!"
"Shut your pie hole, Osama... I mean Obama. It's my turn to talk now. You've had your 15 seconds. I need to have plenty of time to thwart everything you're saying instead of talking about my specific plans that I don't have. I need to contradict myself and lie and accuse and talk bullshit and tell feel-good stories so that Americans will be confused and will vote for MEEEEEEEEE!!! Give me a few minutes to pull all this bullshit out of my ass."
"I vowed from an early age to keep Mr. and Mrs. Kent's secret about a second adopted son, but desperate times demand I reveal my true identity."
"Hey nuclear missiles coming our way?........No problem!"
My friends, have no fear of economic meltdown. My solution will benefit Main Street as well as Wall Street. See, it'll be just like the end of Superman II: I'll fly around the world backward so fast, time will reverse it's course, and this whole thing will never have happened.

And I can still pick Mitt.

(Gotta be careful not to overrotate though, and end up naked and staked out on an anthill! Did I mention I was a POW?)
Thought bubble:
"Um.......... How would Captain America answer that question?"
This winning caption as chosen tonight by renown New Yorker cartoonist Michael Maslin and submitted by John Kascht. Congratulations John! Thanks to Michael Maslin, who I'm a big fan of and special thanks to everyone who submitted an entry.

I was not thrilled having to announce one winner. There were so many clever and hilarious captions that deserved to win, many that could have been picked on another day...personally, I didn't even like John's (no, I'm kidding. And I should explain that Michael Maslin did not know any of the posters nor was his decision swayed in any way). Let's do this again sometime!
The judge was a New Yorker cartoonist, not the winner and everyone had a fair chance.
"Obama just doesn't understand. He doesn't get it....what tights can do for a man."
Great pick and we all know it! That was very fun. Thanks
Thanks Bob, Michael,......GREAT FUN!!!!!
This was a total hoot. You people are so damn funny! Tell Michael Maslin thanks for doing the dirty work. It's a great pick.
Bob, I'm not going to dispute the winner. You guys gotta pick one and I'll go with it. But I can't help critiquing it slightly. If it's the "can't remember" line, I think it's ever so slightly low humor and makes a subtle play about memory that reinforces an age stereotype that in this case I think is unfair. I think McCain has some problems, but he seems mentally sharp, at least in the sense that I haven't seen evidence of memory problems. Then again, the cartoon itself stretches reality a bit in a way that calls for some sort of creative response, though, so maybe reality becomes a casualty of the premise.

In the end, I'd like to have seen a comment that was closer to a legitimate political point, not just an easy laugh. Next time maybe pick a small handful and let us discuss the short list before deciding?

For what it's worth, my short list would have been the ones by EddyPo, Tamar Stone, and Marco Acevedo. And I still think EddyPo's captured both the spirit of the last few days, the condescending nature of McCain's general way, and his particular speech patterns all in the most compact form.

I hope my remarks are seen as constructive, not condemning. I offer these preferences as a way of recognizing some other good entries. Honorable mentions, if you will. Perhaps others will share their thoughts, too, at this point. Thanks for a fun contest.
Bob, thanks much. It was a great deal of fun.

I'm holding you to that book deal. ;-D

I would like to thank all you fabulously funny people out there, as well. You folks had me literally laughing my ass off. I now have to see if I have a spare one handy.
Bob, thanks for doing this, it was a blast. Anytime you're game to do it again, so are we! Please tell Michael Maslin thank you too. He made an excellent choice - John's and Eddypo's were the ones that made me laugh out loud. (And I swear, I'm not just sucking up for next time.) (Really!) I think with things like this, I might just make it to November.
Bob, thank you, that was great! I'd have had a hard time picking a winner! I'd give honorable mention to McGarrett50 for partisan openmindedness, and Bill S. for many good posts, and I loved this, from John Dickens: "My friends, I invited senator Obama to dress as I have. I'm very sorry to say that he declined." It just really sounded like good ol' John McCain. Let's play again soon!
We only get ONE? =o)

1."My fourteenth car is the Bat Mobile!"

2. Well, why should SARAH get to wear all the neat outfits?"

Great idea. And fun, since I've never been able to win the New Yorker caption contest.
Maybe I'm just getting paranoid in my old age, but the winner is a newbie who hasm't posted yet, and whose only two comments have been entries in this contest?

'Scuse me if I say Something's rotten in the state of Denmark.

I hope this doesn't sound like sour grapes.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Fun times Bob. I look forward to the next contest!
I will move this boulder, but first, I must rest.
After seeing them all, I agree with Joan that John Dickens's suggestion is the best. It's the most true to McCain and that's what makes it uniquely funny. It wouldn't work for any other politician.
Wayne, there were a few entries from people who signed up on Open Salon just so they could participant in the contest. This was open to everyone on the internet (and I invited people from my blog Freelancer's Lament
as well). I don't see why this would be a problem – the contest was just for fun (and the prize just my book). Newbies had no advantage over anyone else (how could they?). It's great the contest attracted new people, widening our audience as to who was reading the work we all work so hard on (and I really welcome having people visit here just for the sake of enjoying what we do!).

As far the all the emails I'm getting regarding a conspiracy theory or defending the caption they entered and asking for a new winner...again, this was just for fun and I did not vote. Had nothing to do with who was picked. No, the winner cannot be changed. Yes, I thought the captions were very funny. The guest judge was gracious enough to do this and I was honored to have such a distinguished humorist play along.
Thanks, Bob
I applaud the judge who must have had a hard time picking from all the submissions.

Sorry folks are all unhappy about it now as it looked like it was fun.
It WAS fun. Let me tell as someone who submits cartoons to places like the New Yorker and sees alot of rejection, it's tough when your caption isn't picked. Heck, let's put this past us and do another one soon...I believe I owe the Republicans here a cartoon.
For the record, I concur w/ Kent's critique.

Altho. McCain doing a commercial for Provigil or Mabel's Mind Yogurt, and donating the proceeds to the Bailout Foundation...

You might be the Jules Verne of political cartoonists, snow man.
Should I have worn the codpiece?
I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this blog. I actually laughed out loud for the first time in a while. Thanks everyone!
I wonder if this will impress Sarah enough to get some action..
It looks like Vin Diesel coming out of the closet.
I can't help myself:

"Straight TALK is easy. You try straight WALK in these, my friends!"
"I've got to wear boxers next time!"
Great fun; thanks for thinking of it! BTW, "my fellow Merkins?" Priceless. Works on both aural and visual levels!

Clever people reading this site!
"My friends, I apologize, I just cut a SUPER."
Thought of one more: Thought bubble. Jeez the things I have to resort to in order to wear support hose discreetly!
I realize the contest is over, but just for giggles one more:

"All right, who substituted Preparation H for toothpaste in my utility belt?"
Campaign advisers assured the aging senator that flashy colors, a few key Spanish phrases and dressing up as the "El Super Mexican" was both the safest and quickest way to shore up the Latino vote.

(by the way, my favorite comment is Mishima's "flag pin")