Op-Ed: Why the Mitt Romney Dog on Roof Story Won't Go AwayPublished April 18, 2012
So why is this issue regarding the Romney dog on roof incident and the presidential candidates’ treatment of dogs lingering? Don’t the candidates have bigger fish to fry and problems to tackle to help rebuild America than trading jabs on their treatment of animals?
While one might think so, the reality here is that the presidential candidates’ treatment of animals is important for the candidates’ perception amongst potential voters, especially those who call themselves members of the animal loving public. For the most part, it’s safe to say that political people as famed as Romney and Obama are far removed from the lives of the average person. Stories like the Mitt Romney dog on roof incident give insight into a person’s character and personality, important factors voters consider in their choice for supporting a candidate.
“Stories like these stick because people want to know what these people who are so removed from them are really like,” says Professor Bob Lehrman, author of The Political Speechwriter's Companion: A Guide for Writers and Speakers. “They are small stories with a big meaning.”
The troubles that Romney has faced for the dog on roof story and the potential backlash Obama will receive for the published excerpt aren’t without precedent. Back in 1964, President Lyndon B Johnson experienced similar issues with the media when a photographer caught him picking his beagle off of the ground by his ears. The issue lingered on, causing a storm of protest and backlash from those in the animal welfare world. Johnson constantly defended himself, claiming his beagle liked it when he did that, but was eventually forced to apologize after the issue would not let up.
Most likely, as it already has, the Mitt Romney dog on roof incident will continue to dog him until the general election comes to an end. Like it or not, it is a story that people will look towards to reveal character. In an election where every seemingly small item is dug up about a person’s past, you can be sure that the Mitt Romney dog on roof story is one that will constantly be brought up by Romney’s opposition and detractors. On the same note, Obama’s detractors will cling to the excerpted admission that he had eaten dog.
This is politics, where everything is magnified to the nth degree. Whether dogs decide the 2012 election, however, waits to be determined.
Will dogs decide the 2012 election? Share your thoughts in a comment.