Pets poised for a return to the White Home

WASHINGTON (AP) — Main Biden is getting an early begin within the highlight as a presidential pet after a play date ended together with his proprietor, President-elect Joe Biden, struggling a damaged foot. As if that weren’t sufficient for one weekend, it was additionally confirmed that Main should share the White Home with, of all issues, a cat.

It’ll get higher, Main.

In a number of weeks, Main, fellow German shepherd Champ and the TBD feline are anticipated to make the transfer to the White Home. Presidential pets present their house owners with a supply of consolation, leisure, occasional drama and usually good PR.

The arrival of the Biden pets will even mark the subsequent chapter in an extended historical past of pets residing on the White Home after a four-year hiatus throughout the Trump administration.

“Pets have all the time performed an essential function within the White Home all through the a long time,” mentioned Jennifer Pickens, an writer who research White Home traditions. “It not solely offers companionship to the president and their household, however I consider it additionally humanizes and softens their political picture.”

Having a canine or cat will give some pet-loving constituents a reference to the president, added Tom Whalen, a presidential historian at Boston College.

“When a president, the chief of the nation, the chief of the free world actually, is seen with a canine or a cat, you already know, mainly there’s a bond that they’ve with their public, whether or not they’re Republican or Democrat,” Whalen mentioned.

President Theodore Roosevelt had Skip, who’s described by the White Home Historic Affiliation as a “short-legged Black and Tan mongrel terrier introduced dwelling from a Colorado bear hunt.” Warren G. Harding had Laddie Boy, who sat in on conferences and had his personal Cupboard chair. And President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his beloved terrier Fala. At evening, Fala slept in a particular chair on the foot of the president’s mattress.


Extra lately, President George H.W. Bush’s English springer spaniel Millie was featured on “The Simpsons” and starred in a bestseller, “Millie’s Guide: As dictated to Barbara Bush.” Hillary Clinton adopted Bush’s lead with a youngsters’s e book about household canine Buddy and cat Socks: “Pricey Socks, Pricey Buddy: Children’ Letters to the First Pets.”

When he declared victory within the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama advised his daughters: “You could have earned the brand new pet that’s coming with us to the White Home.” A number of months later, Bo joined the household, a present from Sen. Ted Kennedy. A couple of years later, fellow Portuguese water canine Sunny would arrive to supply companionship.

Among the many stranger White Home pets was Calvin Coolidge and first woman Grace Coolidge’s raccoon named Rebecca. She was given to the Coolidge household by a supporter who urged the raccoon be served for Thanksgiving dinner, in response to the White Home Historic Affiliation. However as a substitute she acquired an embroidered collar with the title “White Home Raccoon” and entertained youngsters on the White Home Easter Egg Roll.

Some notable pets belonged to first children, together with Amy Carter’s Siamese cat, Misty Malarky Ying Yang, and Caroline Kennedy’s pony, Macaroni. The Kennedy household had a veritable menagerie, full with canines, cats, birds, hamsters and a rabbit named Zsa Zsa.

President Harry Truman famously mentioned that “If you would like a good friend in Washington, get a canine.” It shouldn’t be a shock that many presidents have taken him up on that recommendation. The primary President Bush as soon as mentioned, “There may be nothing just like the unconditional love of a canine that can assist you get via the tough spots.”


“From a presidential perspective, you already know, a canine or cat or horse, they’re nice as a result of they’re nonjudgmental. They’re going to present you their unqualified love. And so they’re not going to criticize what you probably did in Somalia or how the economic system is doing,” Whalen mentioned. “The pets are all the time there for you. And I feel presidents, whether or not you’re a Democrat or Republican, want that sort of reassurance sometimes, given how issues are.”


Related Press video journalist Mike Householder contributed to this report from Detroit.


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