During the home stretch of the U.S. presidential election, the candidates’ records are being scrutinized for all matters regarding earmark pandering, bill authoring, demeanor to librarians — you name it, it’s being examined. But what about the amphibian connection? I have an inside source, whom I’ll name Deep Croak, who wants to shed light on some interesting amphibian connections to the candidates in their home states:

Barack Obama: He’s the candidate who vows to find common ground in a partisan beltway. Perhaps aptly, Illinois is home to an endangered salamander species named the hellbender.

John McCain — Arizona, his home state, is famous for the barking frog. This frog is quite direct. Barking frogs hatch directly from eggs; there is no stage involving larval development in the water.

Joe Biden — Though not unique to Deleware, the American bullfrog found in Sen. Biden’s state is wreaking havoc with its aggressive behavior in Europe, including France.

Sarah Palin — Alaska is home to the wood frog, the only amphibian species that freezes solid in the winter and miraculously hops back to life. Is there a metaphor there for the McCain campaign? (Sorry, there is no pit bullfrog that wears lipstick.)