Friday, June 29, 2007

Romney's Dog Story: "Really, He Loved Riding On The Car Roof"

USA Today reports:

Republican Mitt Romney is moving up in the polls, at least when it comes to a story about him and an Irish setter.

Nearly 140 bloggers in the last two days have linked to a Time article on this nugget mined from a seven-part Boston Globe series on the former governor: In 1983, Romney's dog made a 12-hour trip from Boston to Ontario in a kennel lashed to the top of the family station wagon.

Time's discussion of the incident is the third most popular news story this afternoon, topped only by the release of the iPhone and discovery of a car bomb in London.

What happened with the dog?

The Associated Press described it this way: "Seamus expressed his discomfort with a diarrhea attack. When Romney's eldest son, Tagg, and his four brothers complained about the brown runoff down the back windshield, their father quietly pulled the car over, borrowed a gas station hose and sprayed down both the dog and the kennel before returning to the road."

The anecdote was supposed to showcase Romney's cool-headed management skills. But Time headlined its account "Romney's Cruel Canine Vacation" and said what happened might be against the law. Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, told the magazine it was "a lesson in cruelty" for Romney's kids.

Needless to say, Democrats and liberals are getting a big kick out of the story. "Romney did what?" says the headline at the North Carolina Democratic Party. Over at Get Down!, it's "Mr. Handsome tortures his dog."

For the record, Romney said Thursday that his dog liked being on the roof. "He scrambled up there every time we went on trips," he said at a campaign stop in Pittsburgh, the AP reported.