Mitt Romney's Horrible Dog Story: That's Not "Crisis Management," It's Cruelty

I love Bo, the first dog. Not only that, I'm a post-partisan first animal lover. I loved Bush's dogs Barney and Miz Beasley too. They were the only good things about the administration. My main gripe is that the Obamas don't show Bo off enough.

Today the president took him to Pet Smart to shop for a Christmas present.(Naturally, the jerks at FoxNation apparently think he should have been hunkered down in the White House running spread sheets on the payroll tax rather than shopping for his daughters' Christmas presents.)

Whatever. It's a cute picture of Bo and that's what it's all about for me:


But let's stop for a moment and ponder another possible president's outing with his dog:

The white Chevy station wagon with the wood paneling was overstuffed with suitcases, supplies, and sons when Mitt Romney climbed behind the wheel to begin the annual 12-hour family trek from Boston to Ontario...

Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family's hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon's roof rack. He'd built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.

Then Romney put his boys on notice: He would be making predetermined stops for gas, and that was it.

The ride was largely what you'd expect with five brothers, ages 13 and under, packed into a wagon they called the ''white whale.''

As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ''Dad!'' he yelled. ''Gross!'' A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who'd been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.

As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.

I'm not normally one to base my opinion of politicians on anecdotes. But I just can't ignore this. It's horrible. I think most people who aren't psychopaths can see why that is so. It isn't "crisis management." It's robotic insensitivity at best and conscious cruelty at worst.

It's true that George W Bush was nothing if not bloodthirsty and "you know who" famously loved dogs and children. But based on this behavior, I have to believe that Romney must be capable of even worse. It's one thing to be an animal lover who is also violent. Being cruel to animals is a baseline behavioral concern.

Hullabaloo / By Digby | Sourced from

Posted at December 22, 2011, 4:58am

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