Ann Romney: Seamus the Dog “loved” trips atop the car

posted at 1:21 pm on April 17, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Mitt Romney has a sensitive side, after all — and that side of him has felt most wounded by attacks on his one-time, long-ago treatment of Seamus the Dog, the Romney family’s former pet. At least, that’s what he recently told Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.

The Seamus story was first unearthed in 2007 by a reporter at The Boston Globe assigned to write a piece about Romney for a biographical series the newspaper published. By now, almost everyone knows the tale because, as Chris Cillizza put it, “Seamus is the dog who won’t die — politically, at least.” In 1983, the Romney family loaded up the family station wagon to drive from Boston to Ontario, strapping Seamus’ dog carrier — with Seamus inside — to the roof of the car. At some point on the trip, though, Seamus became ill (“he really had the runs” is how Ann Romney put it). Evidence of his sickness dripped down the window until the oldest Romney boy, Tagg, noticed it and yelled, “Dad! Gross!” Romney pulled into a nearby gas station, hosed down Seamus and the car, reinstated the dog in his carrier and strapped the carrier to the roof once more. In other words, he kept calm and carried on …

Plenty of Romney opponents have painted the episode as illustrative of Romney’s allegedly uncaring attitude — not just toward dogs, but toward everything. They’ve cited the Seamus story as evidence of Romney’s “otherness,” yet another way he’s out of touch with ordinary Americans.

But in the interview with Sawyer, Romney not only said he has been most wounded by attacks that include a mention of Seamus. Ann Romney also said Seamus “loved” trips atop the car.

“The dog loved it,” Ann Romney said. “He would see that crate and, you know, he would, like, go crazy because he was going with us on vacation.  It was to me a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel for two weeks.”

We’ll never know whether Ann Romney is right because, you see, dogs aren’t people and are unable to express themselves by more than an occasional bark or growl. It’s not, after all, as though Seamus himself told this story to The Boston Globe reporter five years ago, bravely speaking out after enduring a horrendous ordeal. No, one of the Romney sons revealed the story — and not in an attempt to injure his father’s chances at the presidency, but in an attempt to give voters a peek at the family dynamic.

The story of Romney and his dog is even more of an irrelevant distraction from the principal issues of the campaign than Hilary Rosen’s recent comments about stay-at-home Ann — but addressing the distractions isn’t stupid. All the little, insignificant issues add up to an understanding of the principles and priorities of the presidential candidates and of voters.

The Seamus story tells us less about Mitt Romney — it really doesn’t reveal anything new, as we already knew he’s a pragmatic person — than it does about us. When did animals become equivalent to people in the eyes of the American public, such that we couldn’t fathom treating our pets in any way other than the manner in which we treat our children? I appreciate that Romney gave priority seating to his children, that he clearly thinks human beings should take precedence over animals. That he’s wounded by the attacks tells us he cared about the dog — pets have a way of wriggling into our hearts, after all — but that he did what he did in 1983 tells us his focus was where it should have been, on ensuring a safe, comfortable drive for his family.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 6 7 8

Sheltie Schnitzel.

M240H on April 18, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Rotisserie Rottweiler.

M240H on April 18, 2012 at 12:04 AM

Yum! Or is it Ick. Whats the President say?

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Kilroy was here.

John the Libertarian on April 18, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Did angryed ever come back or is he sleeping it off?

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Sheltie Schnitzel.

M240H on April 18, 2012 at 12:05 AM

LOL! We have a winner!

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Did angryed ever come back or is he sleeping it off?

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 12:05 AM

He really was in rare form. Couldn’t have done it without him. LOL!

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 12:06 AM

Are we going for a thousand…Bluegills gonna get all scaly about this!

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 12:07 AM

This is what I love about HA. Great folks! Some of the best ever, even when we disagree!

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 12:07 AM

Ya mean I didn’t win……. oh he!!…….

angrymike on April 18, 2012 at 12:08 AM

Romney should TM it now….
a gold-plated dog kennel for the upper superstructure of your SUv..

hehehehe

cane_loader on April 18, 2012 at 12:11 AM

Did angryed ever come back or is he sleeping it off?

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 12:05 AM

…and to think some of the posters who pop up once every dog year…sometimes confuse angry mike with angryed azz! Geeez!

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 12:12 AM

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I disagree.

Rusty Allen on April 18, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Sheltie Schnitzel.

M240H on April 18, 2012 at 12:05 AM

LOL! We have a winner!

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Normally, Scnitzel is served with Spaetzle, but let’s go with Spaniel this time.

M240H on April 18, 2012 at 12:13 AM

I disagree.

Rusty Allen on April 18, 2012 at 12:13 AM

As well you should. ; )

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Seamus!

Now, ya gotta admit, that’s a great dog name.

Cleombrotus on April 18, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Do you think the dogs name was really Semens, but he changed it when he knew he was going to run for President to Seamus?

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 12:18 AM

Sparky is a good Dog Name. Or Barky.

SparkPlug on April 18, 2012 at 12:20 AM

My dogs names.

So-one
Amos
Koko
Sambo, Sam for short.
Nookie, as in Nanook of the North.

Dogs are mans best friend.

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 12:23 AM

The mill ate the names of my dogs I just listed? Dang mill.

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 12:23 AM

WARNING…DO NOT SIP ANYTHING UNTIL YOU ARE DONE READING THIS!

Bmore on April 17, 2012 at 7:08 PM

OK. Guy walks into a bar on a hot day and asks the bartender for a beer. Bartender pours it and the guy quaffs it down and says “I’ll have another”. Bartender pours it and the guys downs it.

“That’ll be $10″ says the bartender.

“Ummm, I’m broke and don’t have any money” says the guy. “But I’m happy to do any work you need done to cover it”.

“OK” says the bartender. “There’s a few things you can do. First, see that drunk down the end of the bar? Toss him out. Second, I’ve got a Rottweiler out back with a bad tooth that needs pulled. Third, my old grandmother is upstairs…she hasn’t had any, you know…in 20 years. Can you take care of her?”

Guy gets up, grabs the drunk by the neck and hustles him out the door. Goes out back of the bar and all the bartender hears is howling, yelping, barking, growling, clothes ripping, screaming. The guys staggers back into the bar, covered with cuts and scrapes, panting, sweating, and says “OK, where’s the old lady with the bad tooth?”

Trafalgar on April 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

…I had to put this here for the latenighters coming over…

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 12:24 AM

Seamus!

Now, ya gotta admit, that’s a great dog name.

Cleombrotus on April 18, 2012 at 12:14 AM

My cat’s name is Willard.

Might as well aim for 800 now.

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 12:24 AM

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 12:18 AM
The dogs name was Wilhelm Chesterly III, when asked about changing his name change he replied ” Mitt’s running for office for peats sake. What do you expect, he literally scares the crap out of me”.

Rusty Allen on April 18, 2012 at 12:24 AM

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 12:24 AM

My first cat’s name was Zap, because while we were trying to come up with a name for him, he got up, walked across the room, and sat down on a Zap comic book.

Yeah, I know. Early 70′s and I was still a teenager.

Cleombrotus on April 18, 2012 at 12:29 AM

My cat’s name is Willard.

Might as well aim for 800 now.

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 12:24 AM

LOL!

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 12:31 AM

I apologize for my grammar, Johnny Walker is in charge of me.

Rusty Allen on April 18, 2012 at 12:31 AM

But like the commenters on another thread asked, who names a dog after their own initials? BO?

I mean who that is normal, that is.

Cleombrotus on April 18, 2012 at 12:32 AM

For dogs who like to listen to music while they ride.

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 12:35 AM

Two drunks stagger out of a bar late at night and see a dog sitting in the middle of the street licking it’s genitals.

First drunk says to the other “Don’t you wish that you could do that?”

Second drunk watches the dog for a minute and says “Yeah, of course. But don’t you think we should pet him first?”

Trafalgar on April 17, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Trafalgar had another one I missed.

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 12:42 AM

My first cat’s name was Zap, because while we were trying to come up with a name for him, he got up, walked across the room, and sat down on a Zap comic book.

Yeah, I know. Early 70′s and I was still a teenager.

Cleombrotus on April 18, 2012 at 12:29 AM

I thought maybe you named your cat Zap because it liked to pull the Christmas lights off the tree and chew on them like my cat tried to do a few years ago.

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 12:43 AM

But like the commenters on another thread asked, who names a dog after their own initials? BO?

I mean who that is normal, that is.

Cleombrotus on April 18, 2012 at 12:32 AM

…Barrack is such a dufus…he probably named the dog B O…because it stunk!

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 12:44 AM

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 12:43 AM

No, that was our other cat, Zzzztt!

Cleombrotus on April 18, 2012 at 12:57 AM

No, that was our other cat, Zzzztt!

Cleombrotus on April 18, 2012 at 12:57 AM

LOL!!!!

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 1:06 AM

Ok Bmore, I made it…

HUSH Puppies, pleading the 5th.

MontanaMmmm on April 18, 2012 at 1:18 AM

…I had to put this here for the latenighters coming over…

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 12:24 AM

I see what you did there…

lovingmyUSA on April 18, 2012 at 1:20 AM

Beagle with cream cheese.

(Stolen from Twitter … one of many that I thought were devastatingly clever and absolutely hilarious)

PatriotGal2257 on April 18, 2012 at 1:58 AM

PatriotGal2257 on April 18, 2012 at 1:58 AM

Good lift. ; )

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 2:01 AM

How about: Rin Tin Tartare

Typicalwhitewoman on April 18, 2012 at 2:45 AM

Amjean on April 17, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Not sure about the turkey joke, but here’s a pretty good dog one.

Two drunks stagger out of a bar late at night and see a dog sitting in the middle of the street licking it’s genitals.

First drunk says to the other “Don’t you wish that you could do that?”

Second drunk watches the dog for a minute and says “Yeah, of course. But don’t you think we should pet him first?”

Trafalgar on April 17, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Thanks for the humor!!!

Amjean on April 18, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Final word on this subject-motorcycle sidecars for dogs!

http://www.motorcycleclassics.com/countersteering/sidecars.aspx

Del Dolemonte on April 18, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Don’t tell the media, but entire little league teams comprised pretty much exclusively of rather young human beings used to ride around in the open beds of pick-up trucks, right here in America.

TexasDan on April 18, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I’m an ordinary American, and I could see me doing that. Except I’d just strap ol’ Seamus to the roof without the carrier, that way his poo doesn’t get it messy again.

kirkill on April 19, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Comment pages: 1 6 7 8