Paging Bullwinkle: For Debate McCain Goes From Moose & Maverick to Moose & Squirrel

Various internet wags have labeled Republican vice presidential and presidential candidates Sarah Palin and John McCain "Moose and Maverick." A Politico post today that was circulated to bloggers by the Republican National Committee, however, seems to suggest that McCain may be pulling out the Wayback Machine, perhaps hoping a certain Moose and Squirrel can help his fractured fairy tale of a campaign pull something out of a hat ("Again?" "Nuthin' up my sleeve!").

How else can one explain the RNC's new mascots -- a pair of squirrels who, an RNC spokesman says, will appear at tonight's debate to dog Obama about his alleged ties to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or "ACORN," the community group which, despite a fairly comprehensive internal quality control program and good collaborative relationships with many elections officials including Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman, has been attacked by the RNC lately over reports that some of its thousands of paid-by-the-hour employees have harmed both ACORN and the electoral system by falsifying voter registration forms instead of doing the hard work it takes to actually collect real voters' signatures?

Politico's Jonathan Martin explains:

Meet Tony Romo and Mickey Mouse.

They are this year's version of those dolphins that stalked John Kerry in 2004, swapping out "flip-flopping" for ACORN.

The nut-hunters swooped into Harry Smith's Manhattan nest this morning, surprising the CBS "Early Show" anchor.

They'll shake their tails out to Strong Island later today for the debate.

"It's a lighthearted way to raise a serious issue," explained McCain spokesman Brian Jones of the furry creatures.

More photos here.