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First pup: Obama to make good on promise

Barack Obama — on top of all the other history he made last night — may have been the first president-elect to mention a dog in his election speech.

“I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.”

A Discovery Channel blog says the “brief puppy mention may represent the first time that an animal has been referenced in a presidential victory speech. If not, use of the word ‘puppy’ would certainly seem to be a rarity.”

Acknowledging his family’s contributions to his campaign, Obama brought up the promise he’d made earlier to his daughters — to get a dog once the campaign was over — and indicated he planned to make good on it.

The family has said they plan to adopt a shelter or rescue dog.

Joe Biden may be adding a dog to the family as well.

He told reporters traveling with his campaign earlier that his wife had promised him a “big dog” if he got elected, according to Reuters. That promise was made in connection with his presidential campaign, but Biden said his wife later said it would apply to a vice-presidential victory as well.

Jill Biden had taped pictures of different dogs on the back of the seat in front of him on his campaign plane to inspire the candidate as he criss-crossed the country in the final sprint to election day.


Comment from carey
Time November 5, 2008 at 2:07 pm

If Obama does come through and adopts a shelter/rescued dog, it will just re-inforce why I voted for him.

Comment from Mary Schmidt
Time November 5, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Mention of the presidential puppy gave me a thrill last night.

There is hard work ahead for President-Elect Obama, probably some hard times for the nation, too. We will all be lifted by the sight of two beautiful children and their dog romping at the White House, though. There’s joy ahead for the Obamas and for the country.

Sure hope Joe Biden considers a shelter dog, too. Come on, Champ, get an underdog!

Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time November 5, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Let’s hope it starts a new style trend. And wouldn’t you love to be the rescuer who’s assigned that home study! 🙂 Those two little girls worked hard for their Dad. My guess is that they’ve proven that they’re responsible enough to care for a dog. My guess is that the Obamas wouldn’t let them have one otherwise. I can’t wait to see what dog they choose. There hasn’t been a First Beagle since the days of Him and Her.

Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time November 5, 2008 at 8:31 pm

OK, so this is a double-take–a sort of “huh…” Carey, I got interested in Presidential pets and looked them up on Wikipedia. It looks as though Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson both get hoorays. They had bull terriers. Andrew Jackson gets the Boo of the Week. He owned fighting cocks.

Comment from carey
Time November 6, 2008 at 11:46 am


Yeah, but I bet my mom last night that no president has ever rescued/adopted a dog. I bet her that all came from top-of-the-line breeders to the tune of $2k or more.

I’m rooting for a total and completely unidentifiable mutt from a shelter. That way we won’t have the whole “I gotta run out and get the president’s dog” issue.

Comment from carey
Time November 6, 2008 at 11:51 am

I lost the bet. I just looked it up, and Jimmy Carter had a mixed breed named Grits. He also snapped alot and was eventually returned 🙁

Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time November 6, 2008 at 1:29 pm

What interested me was the thought that in that era of Roosevelt through Wilson (and beyond), the bull terrier type of dog was regarded as a fine family pet. I agree with you about the “stylish breed” thing, though I have to admit that no presidential dog that I can remember ever caused that kind of misguided fad. I vividly remember the outrage when LBJ picked up one of his two Beagles by the ears. My mother was apoplectic.

Though I believe that presidential children should largely be shielded from publicity, I hope they decide to make a bit of a fuss over this–the visit to the shelter, the dog getting used to its new home, and all the rest of it. What a great opportunity. And while I’m pretty much rooting for a mutt, I hope the girls get just the dog that appeals to them.