Capturing the Dog Vote

Various, Bo at Whitehouse, Military K9, Lassie Hank Griffin | Restoring Truthiness
When it was pitched, it was the ultimate high concept movie, President Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog.  It never made it past concept, but obviously, the writers were onto something.  People like Lincoln, they like doctors, and they love dogs, but they don’t always like “president,” and that brings us to this presidential election. What dog will occupy the White House, and which candidate will get the dog vote?

The First Dog is a tradition.  There was George Washington’s Drunkard and John Adam’s Satan. Teddy Roosevelt had nine dogs in the White House. Facing criticism for an alleged slush fund of anonymous donors, Richard Nixon went on national television to plead with his fellow citizens, “don’t let them take away Checkers from my daughters.”  By then, the Presidential pet became part of the political landscape, a key to the hearts of swing voters, the political man’s best friend. No matter how badly you may have thought of George W. Bush, you had to soften a little when saw Laura holding little Miss Beazley, the Scottish terrier (later fitted with a wifi camera and employed by DHS).

President running with football chased by dog
The search for the Obama White House pet was complicated by the fact that his daughters were allergic to pet dander. They settled on the (supposedly) hypoallergenic Portuguese Water dog they named Bo, which we believe is short for Mr. Boflufficus McPuffkin.  President Obama has sent out pictures of Bo chasing the President as he drops back for a pass, but in all seriousness, this dog cannot be taken with any seriousness. It is a creature conceived for the hearts and arms of girls of all ages, whether they need to tell someone (who won’t tell anyone) they flubbed a test or ask which boyfriend they should go to the dance with or wonder out loud how to deal with your husband’s messiah complex. Boflufficus McPuffkin is a living stuffed animal who’s soft curls will never get on your sweater. In any case, we know the President’s game is basketball — the quarterback analogy is a bad one as he tends to get sacked from the blind side. And with so many dogs in the Air Force K9 unit doing multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as police K9 units on the beat in every major city, will they be able to vote for a first dog who spends his days getting cuddled by the Obama girls and snacking from the set of the First Lady’s new reality kitchen show?

And surely Lassie continues to be a guiding figure behind the scenes, but sadly, Jeff has forgotten dog speak and we can no longer rely on his interpretation.


Dog peeing on Romney lawn signFacebook

This brings us to Mitt Romney.  We don’t know know what breed a Romney White House will host, but we know that it won’t be an Irish setter.  Indeed, the Romney family may have to settle for a cat. Details are few, but this much is known, Mitt Romney once drove to Canada for a Summer vacation with Seamus, the Irish setter, on the roof of the family station wagon. It would be hard not to think of this fact every time any Romney White House dog was mentioned. Indeed, any time Romney might hear barking from the veranda, one wonders what thoughts would pass through his head, “Seamus, is that you?” Or if a dog were to nudge him and wake him in the night, would it cause his heart to skip a beat? “No Seamus, down Seamus!” A dog in the Romney White house would hang over it like the ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt.  He might try an end run, shake things up completely, maybe a ferret?