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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Guest Commentary

Presidential campaign still haunted by dog

When Gov. Mitt Romney was running for the United States Senate in 1994, a local newspaper ran a story describing the way Romney loaded up his “beloved” dog, Seamus, in a crate on the roof of his car during a trip from Boston to Canada in the summer of 1983.

The dog suffered diarrhea at one point, and Romney stopped at a local gas station to hose him down and then proceeded to put the dog right back up on the roof. Little did he know that this incident would haunt him today.

Ann Romney defended her husband, saying, “The dog loved it. He would see that crate and, you know, he would, like, 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.”

Some dogs like the smell and taste of rat poison, but it’s up to the owner to make sure the canine doesn’t hurt himself. Seamus might have seemed like he liked it, but the ride was obviously making him sick. Anytime something like this happens it’s up to responsible dog owners to notice their animal’s behavior and change the situation. Media and dog owners everywhere weren’t going to let Romney forget what he had done. These actions have put a damper on his current presidential campaign.

However, Romney and his supporters have found some refuge in that old saying “fight fire with fire” because of a little golden nugget hidden in President Barack Obama’s memoir, “Dreams of My Father.” In the book, Obama describes an incident where he was served and tasted dog meat in Indonesia. He talks about his culinary experiences with his stepfather Lolo.

“With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chili 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),” reads the passage.

The conservative media has pounced on this, and the mudslinging has begun. Yet, at least for Obama, it’s not so black-and-white. He was nine and ate what was served. This says more about Obama’s culinary boldness than it does about condoning cruel acts against animals. A child eats what you serve them, and it’s sort of ridiculous to attack him for trying new things. Whole cultures eat dog, and that’s the norm for them. Are we going to attack them too? Many Americans have said that they have tried dog when abroad. Some might find the idea of eating dog atrocious, but then again, foreigners might find what we put in our mouths equally as nasty. Things like the so-called pink slime that most ground beef has in it, as well as the genetically modified food we consume, have recently come under fire.

Romney might defend his actions, but they were cruel. Some owners make mistakes, and maybe he didn’t realize Seamus would get sick, but there’s no excuse for keeping him on the roof of the car for the remainder of the trip. This obviously shows how uncaring Romney is.

Alejandro Caballero is a creative writing junior and may be reached at [email protected].

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