In what some political observers are calling an ominous sign for his cash-starved White House bid, Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., today posted his campaign bus, The Straight Talk Express, on the Internet auction site eBay.

Mr. McCain denied that the move stemmed from money problems, stressing instead that he had decided to sell the bus so that it would no longer provide fodder for sarcastic headlines such as “Wheels Come Off Straight Talk Express” or “Straight Talk Express: Out of Gas?”

“The Straight Talk Express was giving headline writers too much to work with,” Sen. McCain told reporters. “They won’t be able to do that anymore, now that I’m getting around from town to town on a Segway.”

Davis Logsdon, dean of the journalism school at the University of Minnesota, said that the number of sarcastic headlines riffing on the name of Mr. McCain’s campaign had swelled to as many as 7,000 in the last two weeks alone.

“Every morning, newspapers were running headlines like ‘Straight Talk Express Runs into a Ditch’ or ‘Straight Talk Express Has a Flat Tire,'” Professor Logsdon said. “There was even one that said ‘Straight Talk Express Low on Windshield Wiper Fluid,’ whatever that means.”

But even as Mr. McCain swapped his campaign bus for a Segway scooter, there were signs that his efforts to avoid sarcastic headlines about his mode of transportation had not been successful, as the Toledo Blade ran a story entitled, “McCain Campaign: Segway to Defeat?”

Elsewhere, President Bush said that his successful colonoscopy was “proof that invasions work.”

Award-winning humorist, television personality and film actor Andy Borowitz is author of “The Republican Playbook.”

© 2007 Creators Syndicate

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