Tag: white house
Our answer is a qualified “yes” — but based on far different reasons than those being hammered away on by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and other Republicans.
The former presidential candidate from Minnesota said she thinks having a caretaker/dogwalker assigned to Bo is one example of lavish and excessive spending at the White House.
“We are also the ones who are paying for someone to walk the president’s dog — paying for someone to walk the president’s dog,” she said over the weekend (serving as her own echo).
Bachman, who has a beagle named Boomer, made the remarks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, held just outside Washington .
We, too, think the president should walk his dog — not as a money-saving measure, but because we think those peaceful moments of solace and reflection (assuming Bo is not a tugger) will make him a better president.
Walking the dog not only clears the head, it reminds one of what’s important in life. It’s good for the brain, it keeps the blood circulating, it lets you smell the roses and it calms the soul. I want a president with a calm soul, or at least as calm as the office permits.
While I think Obama and family should walk their own dog at every opportunity, I find nothing wrong with the White House having a full time dog walker on staff — even if, as some not 100 percent confirmed reports suggest, it”s a $100,000- a-year position.
(Also, I offer to fill that position should it ever become vacated — or even on a fill-in basis.)
As reported on the CNN blog, Political Ticker, Bachman, in her speech, blasted what she called “a lifestyle that is one of excess.”
“Now we find out that there are five chefs on Air Force One. There are two projectionists who operate the White House movie theater … They regularly sleep at the White House in order to be regularly available in case the first family wants a really, really late show. And I don’t mean to be petty here, but can’t they just push the play button?”
The Obamas, though always very well dressed, don’t strike me as lavish, and I don’t think Bo experiences the same amenities of, say, Queen Elizabeth’s corgis.
Our nation’s First Dog deserves, at least in some ways, royal treatment — even amid all the fiscal cliffs and sequesters that, dramatic as they are, were created by lavishly living (often) politicians out of touch with the real world.
Dogs help keep the word real. I want my president to keep it real. So I want my president to walk the dog whenever possible.
If it comes down to tending to a world crisis and taking Bo outside to pee, by all means, tend to the world crisis, and let the highly paid dogwalker handle the duty, as well as the doody.
(My far bigger questions about all this are whether the Obamas personally scoop Bo’s poop from the White House lawn, and whether Bachmann picks up Boomer’s droppings at her home, valued at $1.27 million, on the 18th hole of the Stoneridge Golf Course.)
Grabbing and bagging a handful of feces is how you keep it really, really real.
But back to our main point. Routine and mundane as the task might seem, there is much to be gained from time spent walking your own dog. (Just ask Leon Panetta.)
In trying times, when the head gets too clogged by all the stress, there is no better way to return it to a state of reason and clarity than the simple pleasure of walking the dog – whether you’re a queen, a president, an assembly line worker, or even unemployed.
(Photos: Bo and the president, official White House photo by Pete Souza; Michele and Marcus Bachmann, with Boomer, AP photo by Craig Lassig)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barack, bo, bo obama, dog, dog walker, dog walking, dogs, first dog, first family, fiscal cliff, lavish, lifestyle, michele bachmann, obama, pets, politics, poop, president, republicans, scoop, sequester, spending, taxes, taxpayers, walking, white house, who walks bo
Bush broke the news on his Facebook page, where he also made public a recent oil painting he did of his dog.
“After twelve and a half years of life, his body could not fight off the illness,” Bush said in the post.
Barney had lymphoma.
Barney was born Sept. 30, 2000 — two months before Bush was elected to his first term.
In his Facebook post, Bush wrote, “Barney greeted Queens, Heads of State, and Prime Ministers. He was always polite and never jumped in their laps. Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House. He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal.”
Barney’s mother was Coors, a Scottish terrier owned by former Environmental Protection Agency Director Christine Todd Whitman, and his father was Kelly of Champion Motherwell Stormwarning.
Barney had his own section on the Bush administration’s official White House website, starred in numerous videos and was a fixture at the White House, the Bushes’ Crawford ranch and Camp David, where Barney’s favorite activity was chasing golf balls on the chipping green.
He was a “fierce armadillo hunter,” Bush wrote, who loved going along when he fished for bass at the ranch.
“Barney guarded the South Lawn entrance of the White House as if he were a Secret Service agent. He wandered the halls of the West Wing looking for treats from his many friends. He starred in Barney Cam and gave the American people Christmas tours of the White House.”
Barney also once bit a reporter who got too close.
The president, who has taken up painting since leaving the White House, also released a portrait he did of Barney. It is signed “43.” Bush was the nation’s 43rd president.
Barney is survived by Miss Beazley, another Scottish terrier who lives with the ex-president, and Bob, a cat.
(Photo: Bush’s portrait of Barney, from Facebook)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 2nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barney, bush, death, died, dogs, first dog, first dogs, former, george, lymphoma, news, passed away, pets, presidency, president, president bush, presidents, scottish terrier, texas, w, white house
Here’s Bo Obama, tip-toeing through the White House to check out the First Family’s holiday decorations — many of which he inspired.
The video was released by the White House yesterday.
The seasonal decorations include 40 “Bo-flake” ornaments hanging from the trees, a life-sized replica of Bo in the East Garden Room, and a larger than life, edible Bo in front of a 300-pound gingerbread house located in the State Dining Room.
About 90,000 visitors are expected to go through the White House this holiday season.
You can find out more about the 2012 White House Holiday celebrations, including the special tributes to troops, veterans and military families at wh.gov/holidays.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bo, bo obama, christmas, decorations, dog, dogs, holiday, obama, pets, portuguese water dog, president, video, white house
A collar belonging to Warren G. Harding’s Airedale terrier, Laddie Boy, was stolen this week from the former president’s historic home in Ohio.
Strangely, it was apparently the only item taken in the Tuesday heist at the Harding Home and Museum in Marion.
“I don’t think there is a single item in this collection that matters more or is more important or special to the thousands of schoolchildren who pass through this home each year,” Sherry Hall, site manager, told the Columbus Dispatch.
“It’s a real connection to history for them” added Hall, who has overseen the site for nearly13 years. “They see that collar and learn about Laddie Boy and say, ‘Look. I have a dog, too. I’m just like the president.’”
On Tuesday morning, a groundskeeper found a ladder leaning against the home and a second story window open. A pry bar was found close by.
Hall, when she arrived at work, found a jewelry box belonging to Harding’s wife, Florence Kling Harding, broken and on the floor and other rooms in disarray.
Marion police distributed photos of the collar, hoping that if a thief tried to pawn it or sell it, it would be reported.
“I would say whoever stole it had been in there before, knew what it was and where it was and went in to get that and only that,” Marion Police Lt. Mark Beaschler said.
The dog collar, made from Alaskan gold nuggets, was fashioned especially for Laddie Boy, whose name is written in raised letters on the center.
During Harding’s term as the country’s 29th president, Laddie Boy had his own chair at the White House, which he sat in during cabinet meetings.
(Photos: Ohio Historical Society)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airedale, alaska, animals, burglary, chair, collar, curator, dogs, gold, harding home and museum, historic, historical, home, investigation, ladder, Laddie Boy, manager, marion, museum, nuggets, ohio, pets, police, president, presidential, presidents, pry bar, sherry hall, site, stolen, terrier, warren g harding, warren harding, white house, window
In one Internet ad, the first family’s Portuguese water dog pops into the frame, with his tongue out, as the words “Join Pet Lovers for Obama” appear.
The Bo Obama Internet ad links to a sign-up page, giving readers an opportunity to donate to the campaign.
According to the Washington Post, Bo may be the first “first dog” to emerge as a central player in a presidential re-election campaign.
In 2004, George W. Bush’s campaign made a tongue-in-cheek video featuring Barney, Bush’s Scottish terrier, advising the Republican National Convention on how to attract the “canine vote.”
But Bo’s appearances – coinciding with his third anniversary as a member of the Obama family (it’s Saturday) — are hoped to prove more viral and hard hitting.
They also seem to be an attempt to capitalize on the Crate-gate controversy dogging Mitt Romney, who transported his Irish setter Seamus in a crate atop the family station wagon for a 12-hour trip to Canada in the 1980s.
Republicans have fired back, pointing out that Obama — as he admits in his 2004 autobiography – ate dog meat as a child in Indonesia.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ad, advertisement, animals, ate, barack obama, bo, bo obama, campaign, car, crate, dog, dogs, first family, fundraising, internet, mitt romney, obama, obama ate dog, pets, politics, presidential, roof, seamus, white house
The five-year-old shepherd — retired from duty early after killing a cat — slipped out of his collar and ran off from Detroit’s Metro Airport while his new owner, a Toledo woman, was taking him for a bathroom break.
It took animal control officers and police — two of whom were bitten in the process — about two hours to capture the dog, named Arco, after he was spotted running near train tracks in Romulus yesterday afternoon, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Arco is now at the Romulus Animal Shelter and will be quarantined for 10 days before being released back to his new owner.
The dog had arrived on a flight from Arizona, where he’d been under the care of Rescued Helpers, Inc., in Tucson for the past seven months.
According to WXYZ, the rescue organization stepped in when they heard Arco, after his government service was over, was to be euthanized.
Rescued Helpers vice president and founder Nadine Karsevar said Arco wasn’t aggressive and that, while under the organization’s care, had taken part in parades and other events.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, adoption, airport, animals, arco, bomb-sniffing, capitol, detroit, dogs, escape, euthanasia, euthanized, government, pets, police, rescue, rescued helpers, romulus, shepherd, white house
Sarah Palin is criticizing the Obama family’s official White House holiday greeting card for its emphasis on dog, not God.
The card features an image of Bo, the Obama family dog, in front of a fireplace in the White House library with a poinsettia, some greenery (but no tree) and other decorations.
It makes no mention of Christmas, Jesus or God, and states: “From our family to yours, may your holidays shine with the light of the season.”
Palin told Fox News that she found it “odd” that the card emphasizes the dog instead of traditions like “family, faith and freedom.”
“They wanted to do an inside shot, something home related,” said L.A. artist and designer Mark Matuszak, who created the card. “One idea was to focus on Bo, the Obama family dog. “So we thought, let’s put Bo in front of a fireplace.”
In reality, it’s not unusual for a White House holiday card not to mention Christmas, or God — even under Republican presidents.
And the presence of dog is nothing new, as pointed out by BusinessInsider.com. Of the two cards below, the one on the left was sent out by George W. Bush in 2005, and featured his dogs, Barney and Miss Beazley. The one on the right was sent out by Ronald Reagan. Look closely and you can see what appear to be, gasp!, pawprints.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bo, card, christmas, christmas cards, dog, fireplace, fox news, george w. bush, god, greeting, holiday, jesus, obama, official, pets, politics, president, presidents, republicans, ronald reagan, sarah palin, values, white house
Here he is in an official White House photo, sitting nicely in front of a glowing fireplace, upon which the Obama family’s stockings, or reasonable facsimiles thereof, are hung by the chimney with care.
Two potted poinsettias are also featured (a plant that, while not likely to kill your dog if they eat one, can irritate their mouths and stomachs and result in vomiting, according to the ASPCA.)
Rather than focusing, Grinch-like, on that, though, we’ll tell you that Bo – he’s two now — has become an integral part of the Obama family and their White House Christmas traditions.
This week, Michelle Obama and Bo visited the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. , where the First Lady, as she did last year, read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
And the official White House Christmas card this year comes with the signatures, or reasonable facsimiles thereof, of all the Obamas, and includes a paw print from Bo.
For more photos of Bo and Christmas at the White House, visit PeoplePets.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 17th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bo, bo obama, card, christmas, dog, dogs, first dog, first family, first lady, holidays, obama, pets, president, traditions, white house
The value of Bo — a gift to the president from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy — was listed on annual financial disclosure forms the White House released Monday, according to the Associated Press.
Dollar-wise, the Portuguese water dog, was a mere drip compared to the president’s other income, including royalties from his books, “Dreams From My Father” and “Audacity of Hope,” which brought in between $1 million and $5 million each.
In addition to his $400,000 annual salary, Obama listed a number investments which, including those held jointly with his wife, were worth between $2.2 million and $7.5 million in 2009. His Nobel Peace Prize carried a $1.4 million award, but the president donated that to charity.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barack obama, bo, bo obama, bobama, disclosure, dog, dogs, financial, first family, gift, income, news, obama, ohmidog!, pets, portuguese water dog, president, ted kennedy, value, white house
The First Dog has completed his first year in office, and, as far as we can tell, he has performed his duties (that’s duties, with a “T”) admirably.
Bo has been cute, playful and photogenic, and he has made the Obamas, who can come across as a little robotic at times, appear a little more down to earth and, though they live in that big white house, a little more like the rest of us.
(You can view a nice Washington Post photo gallery of Bo — it comes up after the annoying advertisement – here.)
There are those who say the White House could be reaping more benefits from Bo, but in our opinion, it’s not about what your dog can do for you, but about what you can do for your dog.
The Obamas held off on getting a dog until they were settled in the White House. Obama was, in fact, the first pet-less president ever elected — a fact some say cost him pet-lover support during the campaign.
Once in office, the family’s scientific — some might say emotionless — approach to getting a dog, one they could be assured wouldn’t trigger their daughter’s allergies, and the fact they didn’t get a dog in need of rescue, may have taken away some of the moment’s charm as well, but not much.
All of this was studied by Diana C. Mutz — yes, Mutz – the Samuel A. Stouffer Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania who, according to Daniel Rubin in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer column, studied the electoral appeal of Barack Obama in the fall.
Her conclusion, says Rubin: “Dude could have used a dog.”
All of Obama’s pre-election talk about how they were going to get a dog underscored the fact that the presidential contender did not have one, according to Mutz’s research.
Mutz says Obama was the first pet-less elected president (Chester Alan Arthur, the 21st president, didn’t have one, but he was appointed after James Garfield was shot.)
More than 400 pets have occupied the White House, she says, and dog lovers represent a huge chunk of the electorate, with about half of U.S. households owning dogs (Republicans more so than Democrats, by 6 percent.)
Mutz, who has two dogs, three cats and runs an animal rescue out of her home, concluded that the probability of voting for Obama went down 16 percent if one owned a dog.
Quite possibly, she says, dog owners identify with other dog owners, and a sort of projection occurs where dog owners prefer the more “doglike” candidate.
I know I do; and by doglike, I mean honest.
As much as Bo — a Portuguese water dog that was a gift to the First Family from the late Ted Kennedy — might have helped in the campaign, the Obama family getting a dog then would have smacked of exploitation. I respect the fact they waited, and that, in the year since his arrival, he has not been overly-foisted on the public.
So keep up the good work, Bo, and just be a dog.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bo, bobama, diana c. mutz, dog, dog vote, doglike, dogs, election, first dog, first family, news, obama, ohmidog!, pets, political science, portuguese water dog, president, research, study, ted kennedy, university of pennsylvania, voter appeal, white house