Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Romney's Dog Problem

From the Houston Chronicle
As the Republican primary race continues, the talk about Governor Mitt Romney's experience with dogs continues to make news. This was especially true in the past few days as the folks at Dogs Against Romney protested the Westminster Dog Show in New York city.

All of talk about Romney's dislike and mistreatment of dogs stems from a 2007 Boston Globe article in which Romney detailed the events of the family's 1983 vacation. The Romney family dog, Seamus, was loaded in his carrier and strapped to the top of the family's station wagon for the trip from Boston to Ontario.

Historically, pets have played a very important role in the lives of many presidents and lawmakers.

  • FDR's dog Fala helped him win re-election
  • President Ford would often signal his dog Liberty to break up a 
  • President George Bush's dog Millie and her puppies entertained many of the White House's visiting guests 
  • President Clinton's dog Buddy kept him company in the dog house during the Lewinsky scandal
  • President George W. Bush's dogs Barney and Miss Beazley  hosted annual video tours of the White House's Christmas decorations. 
While the Romney family vacation was almost 30 years ago, he hasn't done much to dissolve the story. A recent meeting with President George and Mrs. Bush in Houston showed Romney's awkwardness around dogs.

There are more than 78 million dog owners in the United States and not being dog-friendly could sway some voters in what many consider what could a very close election. The Romney campaign should consider doing something to help the candidate's image and awkwardness around animals. Defeating an incumbent president with a dog could be a very tough challenge.  

More on Romney's latest press:
  1. Huffington Post on Dogs Against Romney Protest
  2. Saturday Night Live on Romney Primary Open 

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