Several candidates are in the running for the GOP Presidential nomination. Do they have pets? Do their pets help or hurt their political image and presidential potential? VetStreet suggests that pets may help make or break a political campaign.
Compared with many of his fellow contenders for the nation’s top job, Newt Gingrich does not appear to own any pets. Apparently he had pets as a child, collecting snakes and lizards. Research did not reveal if he collected newts. He also favored dogs. While growing up, his family had a German Shepherd, a Doberman Pinscher and a Cocker Spaniel.
Currently Newt has no family pets, but he has taken to courting exotic animals, creating photo ops with his newest animal interest- lemurs. He also has a website (www.petswithnewt.com) where supporters can send in family pet pictures to show voter examples of how whole families support his campaign.
Mitt Romney has been dogged recently with some unwanted canine controversy surrounding an incident from the 1980s, when he took a road trip with his Irish Setter tethered in a carrier on the roof of his car. Will this doggie faux pas hurt his campaign? Newt seemed to think so, exploiting the incident in numerous campaign ads.
In 2003, Romney and two of his sons rescued a family whose boat had capsized, also saving the family dog. As Massachusetts governor, his administration signed into law increased penalties for animal abuse in 2004. Romney declared September 2006 as “Responsible Dog Owner Month.” a first for the state. Coincidentally, throughout the month of September, the AKC holds nationwide events to educate the public on how to responsibly care for their dog. Has Mitt lost the support of animal advocates? Only the voters will decide.
Rick Santorum seems to be in the good graces of the animal-loving set. He has pushed for legislation that would close puppy mills, earning him this endorsement from a PETA spokesperson: “He’s a man with a heart.”
Ron Paul could be in the dog house for supporting the repeal of Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to wordpress.com. Piggybacked on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, Article 125 would have made sex with animals a crime.
Former candidates are pet owners, too. Michelle Bachman’s beagle made the news when her husband shopped for doggie sunglasses while she was visiting shop owners in Des Moines.
Rick Perry saved the family Labrador retriever from a menacing coyote while he and his daughter were jogging with the pooch near Austin. Always Prepared Perry was lucky enough to be packing a laser-sighted pistol in his running shorts. His reason? He is afraid of snakes. Would he have been comfortable rattling about with the Washington DC crowd?
No matter what your political views are, “paw” tisan coverage of the issues helps you make an informed voting choice. Exercise your right and vote for the candidate you feel will make the purrfect president.