The duel for the White House between
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama has begun with an unexpected topic: the
relationship of the candidates with man’s best friend.
While the French regularly question
the level of intellectual debate in their presidential campaigns, Americans
seem less prone to such qualms. For several days now, the camps of Obama and
Romney - the men who will be on the November ballot - have focused on a rather
incongruous theme: the way the two candidates … treat dogs.
For thirty years, every time
Republican Mitt Romney has put himself up for election, out of the oven pops
the same casserole. The case dates back to the summer of 1983, when the former governor
of Massachusetts took his family on vacation to Canada. In the back of the
family Chevrolet, his five boys left little room for their Irish setter. In the
event, Mitt Romney didn’t hesitate to put Seamus - the name of the dog - in a
container on the roof of the vehicle, who remained there for the duration of
the nine-hour journey.
Obama ate dog
At the height of the
Republican primary race, the Newt Gingrich camp – who appears on a Web site [Pets with Newt] that depicts him as the
favorite candidate of household pets – didn’t hesitate to use this mini-scandal
against Romney. The Democrats also jumped at the chance to promote their
president-nominee on the same subject. In January, Barack Obama’ adviser David
Axelrod used Twitter to spread a photo of the president's dog Bo
seated comfortably next to his owner in the presidential armored car,
accompanied by the message, “How loving owners transport their dogs.”
Now that the election is
veering toward an Obama-Romney duel, the conservative camp has decided to mount
a counterattack, dealing its own dog into the Democratic card game. The Internet
site The Daily Caller exhumed an excerpt
from Barack Obama’s 1995 autobiography, Dreams from My Father, in which Obama
admits to having eaten dog at the age of 6 or 7 when he lived in Indonesia.
Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstromretweeted the snapshot of the president with his dog,
saying, “In hindsight, a chilling photo.” John McCain, a former presidential
candidate now backing Romney also took part in the debate by tweeting
a photo of his son’s bulldog
along with the comment, “I'm sorry Mr. President, he's not on the menu!”
For observers across the Atlantic,
who have dubbed the controversy “Dog-Gate” in reference to the infamous
Watergate scandal, the issue at least has the merit of being a source of great
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