It's not exactly "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN," but some newspaper editors are pondering how to deal with a "Doonesbury" comic strip to be published the day after the election that assumes Barack Obama will win the presidency.
"If he loses, there'll be such a national uproar that a blown call in a comic strip won't be much noticed. Besides, I'll be the one with the egg on my face — not the editors," said strip creator Garry Trudeau in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Trudeau delivered a series of strips for next week's papers showing his characters reacting to an Obama victory. But he offered no such option in the event of a comeback by John McCain, who's trailing Obama in the polls.
"From a risk-assessment viewpoint, I felt comfortable with the odds," Trudeau said. "The way I see it, if Obama wins, I'm in the flow and commenting on an extraordinary phenomenon."
The strip shows three soldiers watching TV and reacting to this announcement: "And it's official — Barack Obama has won ... Making him the first African-American president in history!"
"Hoo-Ah!" one of the soldiers says.
"Son of a gun! What a great, great day! We did it!" another soldier says.
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"He's half-white, you know," says a white soldier.
"You must be so proud," responds a soldier, who isn't white.
The rest of the week's strips allude to an Obama victory. But Trudeau's syndicator is offering papers a series of rerun strips from August, just in case.
Naedine Hazell, assistant managing editor of features and business for The Hartford Courant in Connecticut, dismissed the fuss over the Obama strips. The Courant plans to run the series.
"It's a comic. I don't think people necessarily expect accuracy in comics. There's all sorts of wack stuff in comics," Hazell said.
"I don't think Snoopy actually flies his doghouse either."