Man’s Best Friend In The White House

Dog or Cat? The one you prefer might tip your hand as to your liberal or conservative bias. However presidents on both sides of the aisle seem to prefer dogs over other pets. President Harry Truman once said, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” And  every single presidency [both Democrats and Republicans] since Theodore Roosevelt’s administration (1901–09) has had a dog in the White House.

Reigning Cats & Dogs

Owning man’s best friend in the White House lends itself to the idea that a leader possesses the qualities of trustworthiness and loyalty. A cat, on the other hand conjures up an image of individualism. They are much more selective in who they trust and form bonds with. According to Dr. Sally Foote of Pet Talk, “political writers have stated that cats also evoke a more liberal, nontraditional, independent image for a political leader.”

In my previous post, “Who Will Be the Next PPOTUS (Presidential Pets of the United States)?” — I researched the pets owned by the Clintons’, the Cruzes, the Rubios, the Bushes, the Kasiches and Ben Carson. While Bernie Sanders was said to have rescued a dog from a fire, he never had a canine of his own. As for Trump . . . there is some speculation?

So what about Trump?

No, Donald Trump does not have any pets. (Rumors to the contrary regarding a Labrador retriever name ‘Spinee’ have been debunked.)

So, it appears he doesn’t have any dogs or cats. In fact, there are no Trump Pets to speak of — no birds, snakes, iguanas . . . not even a pet rock. Could that be an issue for the President-Elect, since most pet advocates believe owning a pet can warm up a president’s persona. This would be particularly important for this candidate who runs a very low national approval rating.

Wag The Dog . . .

For those who remember the 1997 movie classic, ‘Wag The Dog,’ the plot line was based on a presidential administration creating a false news story to distract the public from focusing on real events that would have positioned the president in a negative light (à la Bill Clinton.)

Flash forward a couple of decades and Trump comes to the office having perfected this political tactic. Of recent date, note how deftly Trump was able to get the public to focus on his cabinet appointments, as he threw out trial balloon after trial balloon — most notably, Mitt Romney in consideration for Secretary of State. Many pundits believe this was a concerted effort to distract the media from covering the real story —  namely, the Trump University fraud case which Trump settled to the tune of $25 million.

So might it be a warm-and-fuzzy idea for President Trump to adopt a ‘real’ dog to ‘wag the dog’ once again and distract the public from thinking about some of his other bloopers? Will that be enough to soften his image? Will a Labrador, Irish Setter or German Shepherd do the trick? Since the current president has agreed to help train the "Apprentice President," perhaps Trump might consider following in Obama's footsteps with a couple of Portuguese water dogs?  Would they help him “Make America Great Again?” Woof! Woof! Your thoughts readers?

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