Utne Blogs > Politics

Obama and the Puppy Lobby

 by Hannah Lobel


Tags: Politics, Election 2008, Barack Obama, puppies, animal adoption, lobbyists, Washington Post,

JiffyWith a new administration coming to town, lobbyists are scrambling about the capital, angling for their piece of the fresh political pie.

There are the usual suspects: labor unions, defense contractors, business associations, and the like. But for all the K-Street power these old-school suits hope to wield, they lack one all-powerful weapon: cute puppies. That fluffy arsenal belongs to the D.C.-area animal shelters that are jostling to meet the Obamas’ canine needs

Barack Obama’s now famous election-night awwww-moment came when he told his girls that they “earned the puppy that is coming with us.” Later, he explained to reporters pursuing this hot story that, though the family wants to go with a shelter dog, the trick is finding one that won’t aggravate Malia’s allergies.

As the Washington Post’s Sleuth blog reports, the city’s shelters have sprung to attention to solve Obama’s problem: “Puppymania has ignited fierce competition among local pet rescue organizations clamoring to be the go-to adoption center for the next first family.”

The Washington Animal Rescue League wrote the president-elect directly with an appeal the day after the election. And the Washington Human Society is touting its “puppy kindergarten classes” for “first family adopters.” 

You can scout for some hypoallergenic contenders here, here, and here.*

*Action unadvised for anyone who actually lives in the D.C. area and is not prepared to be sucked into adopting one of these unbearably cute animals.

Image of Jiffy courtesy of the Washington Humane Society. Jiffy is a pit bull terrier mix, so likely not a hypoallergenic contender for the Obamas, but he's damn cute, and thus earned a spot in this post. More about Jiffy: "Jiffy is a happy, confident pup who is tolerant and comfy in his fur and surroundings. He gets along great with other dogs, is responsive to leadership and (especially for his size) walks great on a leash!" 

bennett gordon
11/20/2008 10:57:41 AM

If I ever have children, I’m going to take my cue from Barack Obama and forbid them from getting a puppy until they help me get elected president of the United States. Only then will they have earned it.