Do US Presidents Really Love Their Pets?

November 15, 2012

presidential dogHistory has shown that almost all US Presidents, past and present, had some involvement with pets or animals. The question is, was this just window dressing to please the voters and the press or did they really some affection for animals. In other words, do US Presidents have the compassion to love their pets and care for them, or are presidential pets just another political ploy to hoodwink the public?

Let’s find out which US Presidents really loved animals because this would reveal some interesting insights into their characters, don’t you think? Here is an article about an interesting book that has recently been published on the subject of pets at the White House….

Pet residents of White House

President George H.W. Bush had a problem so important he sent a memo to White House staff asking them to take a pledge. His dog, Ranger, was packing on the pounds.


Bush ends his memo saying, “I will, of course, report on Ranger’s fight against obesity. Right now he looks like a blimp, a nice friendly appealing blimp, but a blimp.”

That memo, along with countless anecdotes and more than 200 pictures are featured in Dallas author Jennifer Boswell Pickens’ new book, “Pets at the White House,” which gives readers a glimpse of what life is like at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for pets, and what those pets have meant to their famous owners.

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That was an interesting look back in history to see what past US Presidents got up to with their pets and which particular type of pet was favored by those men who occupied the White House since the early days of the USA. But what about recent times and political campaigns?

We have just witnessed a very close presidential election race to gain control of the White House. But how did the two candidates in question measure up in regards to looking after and caring for their pets? When digging a bit deeper it seems that both Obama and Romney have had controversial issues with their pets. This is where it gets interesting…

First paws: A history of presidential pets

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney toured swing states in the final days of the presidential campaign to emphasize their differences. But the two candidates have at least one thing in common: A history of doggie controversy.

Obama, who famously promised his daughters a dog if he won the White House, came under fire from animal welfare organizations in 2008 after he and his family adopted purebred Portuguese Water Dog “Bo” from the Kennedy family as opposed to getting a shelter dog as Obama had said the family would do….

Romney’s canine controversy goes further back. In 2007, the Boston Globe opened a profile of Romney with an anecdote about a 1983 Romney family vacation. With the family station wagon packed to the gills, Romney strapped the family’s Irish setter “Seamus” to the top of the station wagon in a dog carrier with a homemade windshield for the 12-hour drive. Both Democrats and Romney’s Republican challengers in the presidential primaries attacked him over the incident.

It’s not the first time our furry friends have played a role in presidential politics. Read on for the ways that pets both humanize and reveal some quirks of our leaders….

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star spangled dachshundFrom my personal point of view and without bringing bipartisan politics into the discussion, I was under the impression that President Obama seems to be the more compassionate of the two candidates when it comes to caring for his dog Bo. I might be wrong here, but that’s just what it looks like from the outside. After all, who would transport a pet on the roof of their car like Romney did?

And here’s some good advice for those of you who might be thinking of running for political office one day – pets bring us down to earth, they are a wonderful leveller and nothing beats owning a furry friend for relieving stress and anxiety. Let’s face it, nothing could be more stressful than being the President of the United States. Here’s more interesting info on that subject….

Perfect pets for politicians

As President Obama and Mitt Romney can surely attest, running for office can be a stressful experience. We here at MNN have a suggestion for how to relieve some of that stress: Get a pet.

But what would make a good pet for a politician? We’ve got a few suggestions.

President Barack Obama

Obama sure seems to love his dog, but we can’t help but suspect that he’s a closet cat person. After all, a poll of 200,000 pet owners on found that cat people are more likely to be liberals than dog people. Plus, cat people are 10 percent more likely than dog people to be active on Twitter — and we all know the president loves to tweet. Then again, maybe Bo helps the president appeal to those canine-leaning undecided voters.

Mitt Romney

After the infamous dog-on-the-roof incident, we think it would be a good idea for Romney to get himself a more compact pet that can easily ride in the car. Something small and fuzzy like a chinchilla would be easy to transport and could help soften his image.

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So, what animal should the US President own and how would his choice of pet be a reflection of his character? Does owning a cat make you more loving and liberal? And are dog owners more aggressive and conservative? That’s probably taking this topic a step too far but one thing’s for sure – people that are compassionate and loving about their pets are usually people that are worth knowing!

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