The sadly inevitable "Obama gets a new dog" post

To cleanse the palate. I was angry about the shambles that American foreign policy has been reduced to, but how can I stay mad when I look into those big brown eyes?

Depending upon how bad the new round of NSA revelations are, O might have to carry the dog out with him to the podium at his next presser.

Sunny was born in Michigan in June 2012, and arrived at the White House today. Just like Bo, she’s a Portuguese Water Dog, which works great for the Obamas because of allergies in their family.

Sunny is the perfect little sister for Bo – full of energy and very affectionate – and the First Family picked her name because it fit her cheerful personality.

In the past, Bo has been eager to help the First Family with their official duties, from visiting Walter Reed and the Children’s National Medical Center, to inspecting the Holiday decorations at the White House, to greeting guests at the White House on tours and during the Easter Egg Roll, but in October, the First Lady told reporters that she hosted a “doggie play date” because “Bo doesn’t have enough dog interaction.” So now, in addition to helping with those official duties, Bo takes on the important role of big brother!

Ace thinks this is a cheap publicity ploy to momentarily distract from the fact that O’s second term is in the toilet. I’m going to disagree, and not just because my sanity requires me to believe that it takes more than a photo op for a dog to manipulate presidential approval ratings. For one thing, O’s summer swoon in job approval is basically a law of nature at this point. To use puppy cuteness to defy political gravity that strong, he’d have to go the “101 dalmatians” route. Beyond that, WaPo makes a fair point:

An article published last year in the journal Political Science and Politics found that presidential dogs tend to get trotted out, and grab more headlines, in times of national hardship. And the authors have a chart to prove it.

“We surmise that diversionary pets are a political liability when their frolicking on the White House lawn in hard times might cue the public that not everyone in the country is suffering equally and that being president is not a full-time job,” the authors conclude.

Or, to put it slightly differently:

Here’s my only criticism: Of all the names he could have chosen, why “Sunny”? When you’ve got another dog named “Bo,” “Luke” is the obvious choice. Or, if you’re stuck on the fact that Sunny’s female, you could make a play for soap-opera fans by naming her “Hope.” There’s an obvious third alternative that’s better than both of those, but let’s face it — O’s not known for laughing at himself. Exit question via PETA: Why didn’t he get a shelter dog?