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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/29/2008

The Semifinals: Who Should Be Character-in-Chief?

As the real-life presidential election dwindles to less than a week away, so, too, do the cartoon candidacies.

Since Friday, you the Comic Riffs Voter have narrowed the field of contenders for the top job -- namely, the comic creations who are best suited to serve as "Character-in-Chief" of our fair republic.

Will he be the dark horse -- make that possum -- candidate? (Walt Kelly)

From last week's Elite Eight, we are now left with four candidates who polled in double digits as of yesterday: Calvin, Pogo, Milo Bloom ("Bloom County") and Brandy Carter ("Liberty Meadows"). (And not unlike the real-life election: Some of the candidates are particularly youthful; one is a woman; and one, like Biden, was born in the early '40s.)

So how do these candidates stack up? Here are political talking points for your consideration:

1. Americans have seen fit to elect a "Carter" before.
2. Brandy, like Howard Dean, is a highly trained healer.
3. Her strip features a character named "Truman."
4. Even her strip's title screams, "Liberty!"

1. Like McCain, has significant experience in the cockpit.
2. Americans have seen fit to elect a "Calvin" before.
3. "Foreign policy" experience includes interstellar travel.
4. Nothing says "change" like the boy who invented a Transmogrifier.

1. Americans have seen fit to elect a humble Georgian before.
2. Old-time Southerner bravely took on McCarthyism a half-century ago.
3. He has long listened to a "Churchill."
4. Who better suited for politics (and Washington's ecosystem) than a swamp dweller?

1. Not a big leap from Meadow Party to Green Party.
2. Americans have seen fit to elect Texans before.
3. Knows how to spin the media (hacking into databases, he has rewritten headlines of the New York Times and Pravda).
4. Has foreign policy experience -- leaders like Castro and Andropov hid in his closet.

There's the rundown. Now it's time to cast your ballot -- semifinal voting will close Friday:

By  |  11:00 AM ET, 10/29/2008

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