With the upcoming presidential election, many Americans are focused on the important issues surrounding the nation. On the other hand, the candidates themselves are meticulously preparing and making sure everything is perfect from their speeches even down to their pets.
As much as the people of the United States are interested in knowing what the president has to say and what he stands for, the people also love to see what lucky pets get the privilege of living in the White House.
“I always think they are so cute,” says Bloomsburg resident, Mary Adoleman. “It’s a nice departure from all the heavy political news whenever a presidential pet is introduced to the nation.”
These pets often become very popular with the American public as they continue to re appear in the news, on magazine stands, and all over the internet. Tom Kiper, 32, from Bloomsburg, is also a fan of the presidential pets but also thinks they play a huge role in a president’s campaign and image.
“I think they’re nice and all but they’re also there to benefit the president and how we see him,” says Kiper. “They play a big role other than just being cute.”
A president’s pet is indeed a part of the presidential family, but they also serve a purpose other than melting the hearts of the American public. The pets chosen by the presidents and their families are a reflection of their personalities.
For starters, most presidential pets are dogs, better known as a man’s best friend. Putting a dog alongside a president makes them appear less important and more approachable. In other words, it makes the president more likable and look like a regular, ordinary citizen.
Ryan De La Rosa, a Public Relations major at Bloomsburg University, believes the pets are intended to make America fall in love with not only them, but with their master as well.
“I never noticed before, but their pets can easily help them ease any tension with the public and their concerns,” says De La Rosa.
When asked whether or not they thought the pets were more just a part of the White House family, or rather part of a clever PR tactic, the responses were all over the spectrum.
Adelman denied the whole PR aspect, saying “Not at all, they are part of the president’s family and can’t dictate whether or not the public will like the president more.”
Kiper was more indecisive saying “I’m not sure because they are just dogs and cats, but then again if they’re cute enough I wouldn’t put it past the people working for the president coming up with such tactics.”
On the other hand, De La Rosa was adamant about his stance saying, “Yes, I think they are a good PR tactic and without a doubt have an impact on the president’s image.”
De La Rosa went on to elaborate on how presidents pick certain breeds of dogs to take the place of their pet. He believes that certain breeds represent attributes that a president wants associated with them. “For example, no president will automatically pick a pit bull because they are notorious for being dangerous,” says De La Rosa assertively.
Whether they think they are part of some bigger plan, or just a fluffy, adorable pet, neither party could deny their charm.
When asked to see pictures of recent presidential pets and pick their favorite, they all cheerfully agreed in doing so. In the running for the coveted cutest presidential pet title, were Obama’s Portuguese Waterdog named “Bo,”Bush’s Scottish Terrier named “Barney”, and last but not least, Clinton’s Chocolate Labrador Retriever, “Buddy.”
After grueling minutes of decision making, De La Rosa, Kiper, and Adoleman unanimously picked “Bo” as the victor.