From George Washington’s foxhound “Drunkard” to George W. Bush’s terriers “Barney” and “Miss Beazley,” pets are a longtime presidential tradition for which the presumed Republican nominee seems well prepared, with more than a dozen.
The apparent Democratic nominee Barack Obama, on the other hand, doesn’t have a pet at home.
The pet-owning public seems to have noticed the difference.
“I think a person who owns a pet is a more compassionate person — caring, giving, trustworthy. I like pet owners,” said Janet Taylor of Plymouth, Mass.
Taylor, who described herself as a retired stay-at-home wife, owns two cats, Lady Jane Taylor and Mr. Tommy Katz.
Richard Powell, 79, of Spokane, Wash., whose dog passed away last fall, said if a person owns a pet that “tells you that they’re responsible at least for something, for the care of something.”
He said pet ownership wouldn’t make a difference in his vote, but if a president owns a pet, then “I’m glad to know they like animals.”
Christina Duffney, a spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club, said “you usually connect with things that you’re familiar with, so that could be a part of” why pet owners lean toward McCain.
Well, if voters identify with a guy who owns pets, it’s easy to see why they’d like the Arizona senator.
He has a veritable menagerie, including Sam the English springer spaniel, Coco the mutt, turtles Cuff and Link, Oreo the black and white cat, a ferret, three parakeets and a bunch of saltwater fish.