adBlockCheck

Gore Wondering If Latest Doonesbury Is About Him

Top Headlines

Politics

Hillary Clinton Holds Infant Grandson Upside Down By Ankle In Front Of Convention Crowd

‘Family,’ Candidate Says

PHILADELPHIA—Seeking to make her case to the nation’s voters as she accepted her party’s presidential nomination Thursday night, Hillary Clinton reportedly began her headlining address at the Democratic National Convention by holding her infant grandson, Aidan, upside down by his ankle and firmly intoning the word “Family” in front of the assembled crowd.

Hillary Clinton Waiting In Wings Of Stage Since 6 A.M. For DNC Speech

PHILADELPHIA—Saying she arrived hours before any of the members of the production crew, sources confirmed Thursday that presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has been waiting in the wings of the Wells Fargo Center stage since six o’clock this morning to deliver her speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Depressed, Butter-Covered Tom Vilsack Enters Sixth Day Of Corn Bender After Losing VP Spot

WASHINGTON—Saying she has grown increasingly concerned about her husband’s mental and physical well-being since last Friday, Christie Vilsack, the wife of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, told reporters Thursday that the despondent, butter-covered cabinet member has entered the sixth day of a destructive corn bender after being passed over for the Democratic vice presidential spot.

Cannon Overshoots Tim Kaine Across Wells Fargo Center

PHILADELPHIA—Noting that the vice presidential nominee had been launched nearly 100 feet into the air during his entrance into the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, sources reported that the cannon at the back of the Wells Fargo Center had accidentally overshot Tim Kaine across the arena, sending him crashing to the stage several dozen feet beyond the erected safety net.

Who Is Tim Kaine?

Virginia senator Tim Kaine will be Hillary Clinton’s running mate on the Democratic Party ticket in the 2016 presidential election. Here’s what you need to know about Kaine

Lone Superdelegate Voting For Martin O’Malley Feels Like Total Fucking Idiot

PHILADELPHIA—Sheepishly raising his hand to nominate the man who suspended his presidential campaign back in February, unpledged delegate Bob Shiefke told reporters Tuesday he felt like a “total fucking idiot” for being the only person at the Democratic National Convention voting for former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Gore Wondering If Latest Doonesbury Is About Him

WASHINGTON, DC–With his lead in presidential polls narrowing to just four points over Republican challenger George W. Bush, an already anxious Al Gore wondered aloud Monday whether the latest Doonesbury is about him.

A 1999 file photo of Gore reading <i>The Washington Post</i> Sunday comics page.

The cartoon in question, the Sept. 25 installment of Garry Trudeau's popular, long-running satirical comic strip, depicts a silhouetted political figure that strongly resembles the vice-president.

"Do you think this is supposed to be me?" Gore asked deputy campaign manager Mark Fabiani shortly after finishing breakfast and, as is his custom, turning to the Washington Post comics page before beginning his day. "I think it is."

An anonymous source within the Gore camp said the candidate later added, "Because it's not a very flattering portrayal, if it is. I mean, is that what the American people think of me? They don't think I'm some kind of big dork, do they?"

The controversial strip, which ran in hundreds of newspapers across the U.S., depicts an unnamed political figure engaged in a top-secret strategy session with a group of shadowy advisors. At first glance, the character, which Trudeau will neither confirm nor deny represents Gore, appears to be seeking out advice of a substantive, political nature. Upon reading the word balloon above the character's head, however, it becomes apparent that he is actually consulting his advisors on matters of fashion, showing himself to be a shallow, vain individual more concerned with his appearance than with issues that affect the American people.

"Look, I can take a joke as well as the next guy," Gore told Fabiani. "But if this is supposed to be me, well, I just don't think that's very nice. What's worse, millions of people read this thing every day. Can you imagine how that makes me feel? It's not exactly a confidence-builder, to say the least."

Continued Gore, "I mean, sure, I may have hired a fashion consultant early in the campaign and tinkered with my outfits and color schemes a bit, emphasizing earth tones to soften my image. But do I really deserve to be mocked in front of the whole country like this?"

According to the anonymous source, approximately 15 minutes later, Gore turned to top economic adviser Laura Tyson and said, "I'd hate to think that all this time, while I've been trying to promote education, deficit reduction, and progressive environmental policies, the electorate was laughing at me."

Gore reportedly seemed preoccupied throughout the day, becoming easily distracted during campaign strategy sessions and bringing up the subject of the cartoon frequently.

"He kept asking everyone about it," the source said. "It was obvious that Trudeau really got under his skin with this one. I felt sorry for him, really."

Despite repeated assurances from top advisors that he shouldn't fret about the strip and that no one reads Doonesbury anymore, Gore continued to obsess.

The <i>Doonesbury</i> in question.

"Man, I really felt sorry for him," said Washington Post reporter David Maraniss, who has been following Gore on the campaign trail since January. "He looked like a sad, pathetic little kid. Poor guy–those cutting-edge, Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonists can be so cruel sometimes, with their barbed pens and rapier wit."

"This thing has been a real blow to Gore's morale," Maraniss continued. "He was feeling a bit more confident after that Newsweek poll showed him up by 10, but now he just stays in his office obsessively re-reading the strip. He'd never openly admit it, but the feeling among staffers is that Al's self-esteem may have taken a significant hit from this lampooning."

Perhaps most devastating, according to Brill's Content editor-in-chief David Kuhn, is the fact that the cartoon comes at a time when Gore is "really trying very hard" to impress people.

"If this cartoon is indeed about Gore, as he fears," Kuhn said, "it would almost appear that Trudeau deliberately chose to 'needle' Gore, so to speak, on this particularly sensitive subject. Like he was specifically picking out an area in which Gore was vulnerable to criticism in order to make fun of him or even provoke derisive laughter against him. That's kind of mean, if you think about it."

Gore supporters are hoping that the ambiguity of the strip's subject will give the vice-president the "out" he needs to stop worrying and once again focus on the presidential race.

"Maybe it isn't about me," Gore said. "There are lots of other politicians out there, you know. Yeah, it's probably about one of them. Now that I look at it again, the guy does bear a pretty strong resemblance to [Arizona Sen. John] McCain."

But despite such signs that Gore may be ready to put the cartoon behind him, observers fear that the worst is yet to come. According to Trudeau spokespersons at Universal Press Syndicate, in next Sunday's Doonesbury the mystery politician will be depicted as a floating block of wood.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close