The real Romney-Obama dog fightApril 18, 2012 1:30 PM
The intensifying battle between President Barack Obama and his likely Republican challenger Mitt Romney is going way back into the past and even farther into the realm of ridiculous trivialities.
Adding to the already overdone "War on Women" and "War on Religion" attacks, we now have the War on the Dog, with each side accusing the other of hypocrisy and animal cruelty.
Throughout the primary season, Romney has faced intense criticism from Democrats and animal lovers for his treatment of the family pet on a 1983 car trip from Boston to a cottage in Grand Bend, Ont.
The Romney's Irish Setter, Seamus, spent the epic journey in a carrier strapped to the roof of a Chevy station wagon, as the car was filled with Romney kids.
Despite Romney's insistence that Seamus enjoyed the roof rides, critics have cited Romney's own jokes about the trail of doggie diarrhea down the back of the station wagon as proof of mistreatment.
Earlier in the primary campaign, Obama's chief strategist David Axelrod took to Twitter to fire a subtle barb at the Romney camp by posting a photograph of President Barack Obama with the first family's pet dog, Bo, inside the president's armoured limo. It came with the quip "How loving owners transport their dogs."
Republicans have now fired back, with conservative website The Daily Caller resurrecting a segment from Obama's memoir Dreams of My Father, in which he recounts his time as a child in Indonesia with his step-father, who introduced him to eating snake, grasshopper and, yes, dog meat.
Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom then retweeted Axelrod's tweet and the Barack-and-Bo pic, along with the message, "In hindsight, a chilling photo."
That prompted Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt to tweet in response: "What's the next attack @EricFehrn and the RNC will surface on a 6-10 year old?"
For those of you keeping score at home: Grown men are sniping at each other over whether it's worse for a 40-year-old to put a dog in a cage on the roof of a car, or for a child to eat one as part of a national cuisine in another culture.
One hopes these are just the dog days of a presidential race and we can get on to more substantial topics soon.
Harry Truman once said, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." That was, of course, well before politicians were hounded the way they are today.