US presidential polls: A dog-eat-dog world

Apr 19, 2012, 08:17 IST | Agencies

While Obama supporters are bringing up the story of how Romney once drove to Canada with his pet dog on the roof of the car, those in favour of Romney are quoting from the president's memoir where he said he tasted dog meat

Much has been made about Mitt Romney, in 1983, putting his family dog Seamus in a kennel on top of his roof and driving from Boston to Canada. Democrats have signaled they have every intention of making sure the American people — especially dog-lovers — know the tale. In January, senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod tweeted a photo of the president and Bo in a car, with the snide observation: “@davidaxelrod: How loving owners transport their dogs.”

That’s just a hot dog! Barack Obama tucks into the American classic while watching a basketball game

The Romney campaign signaled that they are not about to cede any ground when it comes to a candidate’s odd past with man’s best friend.
The Daily Caller noted that in President Obama’s best-selling memoir, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, the president recalls being fed dog meat as a young boy in Indonesia with his stepfather, Lolo Soetoro.

“With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chill peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy),” the president wrote. “Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share.” After his mother married Soetoro, Obama lived in Indonesia from the age of 6 through 10.

The discovery that the president had eaten dog meat prompted wise-cracks on twitter (#ObamaDogRecipes) and this tweet from Romney strategist Eric Fehrstrom, who re-tweeted Axelrod’s original message with a different take on the picture of the president and Bo. “In hindsight, a chilling photo,” he wrote.

The Seamus story was discussed again on Monday when Ann Romney told Diane Sawyer that “the dog loved” traveling that way. “He would see that crate and go crazy because he was going with us on vacation. It was to me a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel for two weeks.” Certainly kinder than eating him. — Agencies

Protest by a group called Dogs Against Romney after news emerged that Romney placed his dog in a crate on top of the family car while driving to a vacation home. File Pics/AFP

Recent presidential pets
Barack Obama
Bo: Portuguese water dog

Bill Clinton:
Socks: Chelsea’s cat (1989–2009).
Buddy: Bill’s chocolate Labrador Retriever (1997–2002).

George W Bush:
Spot ‘Spotty’ Fetcher (1989–2004): English Springer Spaniel
Barney: Scottish Terrier.
Miss Beazley (b. October 28, 2004): Scottish Terrier
India ‘Willie’ (1990–2009): Cat
Ofelia: Longhorn cow  

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