Allahpundit crafts “The sadly inevitable ‘Obama gets a new dog’ post:”
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:
new WH puppy announced with blog post, Tweet, pic. VP suddenly leaves for Houston to be with ill son? terse press release, after the fact.
— Rick Klein (@rickklein) August 20, 2013
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) August 20, 2013