Just like looking at dog tumor pictures online, it’s hard to look away from the recent outburst of news stories revolving around Mitt Romney and Seamus, the family dog he strapped to the roof of his station wagon during a 1983 family trip.
The story, which was first reported by The Boston Globe in 2007, gives an account of how Romney put his dog in a crate equipped with a handmade windscreen, secured the crate to the top of his car, and drove from Boston to Ontario.
At one point Romney had to hose off his car, crate, and dog after the dog had a bowel movement accident inside his crate. Then, according to The Globe, Romney put Seamus back in his crate and drove to his destination.
Again, like the dog tumor pictures, Americans can’t stop reading and commenting on this story. Because this is an election year, stories like Romney’s treatment of Seamus dominate the political headlines and keep dog loving voters in an uproar. Readers empathize with the family dog and wonder, if Romney seems to treat his dog so poorly how will he treat voters? After all, how people care for their pets is seen by many as direct insight into their character. Right now Romney’s character is looking poor.
Many pet owners think of their dogs as part of their family, and they would as soon strap man’s best friend to the roof of their car as they would their own mother. Reactions to Romney’s behavior range from thinking him cruel and unpleasant to immoral and depraved. There are few who have no opinion.
Romney himself has not offered a statement on the story. And Seamus, who passed away years ago, is not offering his side of the tail either. Either way given a choice between looking at dog tumor pictures and seeing a dog like Seamus fastened on top of a moving car, it seems many animal lovers will choose the tumor pictures. How many of those same animal lovers will now choose a different candidate?
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