Could a Dog Derail Mitt Romney’s Presidential Campaign? Newt Gingrich Hopes So

In 1983, Mitt Romney packed the station wagon with his family to drive from Boston to their vacation home in Ontario, Canada. The dog came...


In 1983, Mitt Romney packed the station wagon with his family to drive from Boston to their vacation home in Ontario, Canada. The dog came too, only he didn’t ride in the car. The Irish setter, Seamus, rode in a kennel strapped to the roof.

Romney had built a windshield for the dog, but the dog did not seem to enjoy himself. Partway through the 12-hour drive, one of Romney’s sons noticed brown goopy stuff coming off the top of the car. Seamus had had diarrhea, likely from the stress of bombing down the highway at 60 mph. Papa Romney’s solution? At the next service station he took the contraption down, got the dog out, hosed everything off, put the dog back in, and continued on his way.

An interesting article on the ABC News website talks about the physics of the situation — in other words, how uncomfortable it likely was for Seamus. Between the extra pressure exerted on him (equivalent to having an extra three pounds of weight on his head) and the wind whipping around the windshield at unpredictable velocities, it was probably a very stressful ride for the pooch. (There’s no word about where the dog rode on the return trip.)

Oh, and from what I’ve read, the dog didn’t get a bathroom break. Well, not one at speeds under 60 mph at least.

The issue came up in the last presidential election, and now Newt Gingrich — clinging on for life in South Carolina — is bringing it up again in a big way. His people have created a new web ad called For the Dogs. Check it out below. (The dog part comes a little bit into it and continues to the end)

If Romney had owned up to the fact that it was a stupid idea by a busy family man who didn’t know better in that day and age — and it was a different world for dogs back then — maybe wouldn’t be taking the hits he is now on various blogs and forums. But he has defended his actions, saying Seamus enjoyed it up there, and joked that it was better than riding with his kids. And in the video above, he says the dog was in an “airtight” kennel. It’s not easy to breathe in an airtight anything.

What do you think, Dogsters? Would this affect your vote? Why or why not?

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