Hillary Clinton dumped presidential cat as soon as they left the White House


EDIT 20090220:Socks has passed on, and the story here may not be telling the whole story.


Stumbled on this shameful expose on the Chaoscats blog

Socks the Cat, seen here answering questions about his role in the Whitewater affair in 1995, may cause new headaches for former owner Hillary Rodham Clinton. (source)

Hillary Clinton, then First Lady ‘claimed that only with the arrival of Socks and his “toy mouse” did the White House “become a home”.

Hillary Clinton, now frontrunner for the 2008 US presidential elections, actually dumped Socks, the Clintons’ presidential cat who graced her husband, Bill Clinton’s years in office. Such ‘gracious treatment’ of the presidential pet.

Chaoscat linked to this blog post. It’s partly tongue-in-cheek but the revelation that Socks’ companion, Buddy the labrador promptly got run over upon the Clintons’ White House exit definitely raised eyebrows further.

Personally, I’ve always been in ambiguous ground after learning that Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, who strongly supports the annual Newfoundland harp-seal slaughter, actually fosters kitties in support of the local animal shelter’s adoption program.

Famously, Mr Harper has said he won’t be ‘bullied’ into ending the seal hunt:

When asked why Canada permits the seal hunt, Harper said anti-sealing groups present false information about the cull and that the clubbing of baby seals has been outlawed for 20 years.

“It’s a small industry of animal husbandry. We will not be bullied or blackmailed based on allegations that are not true,” he said.

(full article here)

This is despite repeated rebuttals to the contrary by seal-campaigners, most famously Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Society, which has been running an anti-Canadian seal-slaugter campaign for years, and even a House Resolution condemning the seal-killing by the US government! (For a quickie primer on Canadians and their insistence on seal-killing, check out this FAQ)

But here clearly, I suffer no such ambiguity over the shredding of Mrs. Clinton’s facade (despite my sympathy over the very public debacle of her husband’s roving eye and more).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

HILLARY CLINTON

No, Really, I Could See This Story Hurting Hillary With Cat Owners

Caitlin Flanagan is one of those writers who rarely if ever fails to offer something interesting, and now she’s offered the kind of argument that people will be buzzing about: Hillary Clinton’s appeal is greatly limited by little acts like giving away her cat Socks as soon as she left the White House.

Once the presidency was over, there was no room for Socks any more. After years of loyal service at the White House, the black and white cat was dumped on Betty Currie, Bill Clinton’s personal secretary, who also had an embarrassing clean-up role in the saga of his relationship with the intern Monica Lewinsky…

“In the annals of human evil, off-loading a pet is nowhere near the top of the list,” writes Caitlin Flanagan in the current issue of The Atlantic magazine. “But neither is it dead last, and it is especially galling when said pet has been deployed for years as an all-purpose character reference.”

Flanagan’s article, headed No Girlfriend of Mine, points out that Clinton wrote a crowd-pleasing book Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets, in which she claimed that only with the arrival of Socks and his “toy mouse” did the White House “become a home”.

Being Clinton, she also lectured readers that pets are an “adoption instead of an acquisition” and warned them to look out for their safety. (Buddy, the chocolate labrador, it should be noted, bounded into a road soon after leaving the White House and was promptly run over.)

Now, you and I know that Buddy was going to talk to an independent prosecutor about what he knew about the Marc Rich pardon when he “just happened” to get hit by a car, and that Buddy was supposed to have been on Ron Brown’s plane flying to Bosnia but missed the flight. (This is a joke. But then again, with the Clintons, who knows?)

Socks the Cat, seen here answering questions about his role in the Whitewater affair in 1995, may cause new headaches for former owner Hillary Rodham Clinton.

This is the originating article, click on the title and then scroll down to read the comments.

From

October 21, 2007

Ouch! Hillary Clinton’s softer image is clawed over dumped cat

Socks the cat

Sarah Baxter

See Clinton’s video webpage

AS THE “first pet” of the Clinton era, Socks, the White House cat, allowed “chilly” Hillary Clinton to show a caring, maternal side as well as bringing joy to her daughter Chelsea. So where is Socks today?

Once the presidency was over, there was no room for Socks any more. After years of loyal service at the White House, the black and white cat was dumped on Betty Currie, Bill Clinton’s personal secretary, who also had an embarrassing clean-up role in the saga of his relationship with the intern Monica Lewinsky.

Some believe the abandoned pet could now come between Hillary Clinton and her ambition to return to the White House as America’s first woman president.

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Clinton has been boosting her prospects in the past week with some homespun references to her gender as part of a series of events with the theme Women Changing America, during which she chatted girlfriend-to-girlfriend and mom-to-mom with female voters.

The softening of Clinton’s image seems to be working. Her chief strategist, Mark Penn, predicts that up to a quarter of Republican women will vote for her. She leads Democratic rivals in the polls by 26 points and is scooping up more donations to her war chest from Wall Street and defence contractors than any candidate from either party – an unmistakable indicator of who they think will win in 2008.

Clinton’s treatment of Socks cuts to the heart of the questions about her candidacy. Is she too cold and calculating to win the presidency? Or does it signify political invincibility by showing she is willing to deploy every weapon to get what she wants?

“In the annals of human evil, off-loading a pet is nowhere near the top of the list,” writes Caitlin Flanagan in the current issue of The Atlantic magazine. “But neither is it dead last, and it is especially galling when said pet has been deployed for years as an all-purpose character reference.”

Flanagan’s article, headed No Girlfriend of Mine, points out that Clinton wrote a crowd-pleas-ing book Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets, in which she claimed that only with the arrival of Socks and his “toy mouse” did the White House “become a home”.

Being Clinton, she also lectured readers that pets are an “adoption instead of an acquisition” and warned them to look out for their safety. (Buddy, the chocolate labrador, it should be noted, bounded into a road soon after leaving the White House and was promptly run over.)

Despite these misadventures, Peggy Noonan, President Ronald Reagan’s former speech-writer, believes Clinton is doing a good job of humanising herself. “I am not saying she has learnt to be herself,” she observed. “I think after a year on the trail she has learnt how not to be herself, how to comfortably adopt a skin and play a part.”

Clinton has been coming up with some teasing one-liners, telling trade unionists “I’m your girl” and laughing on daytime television about the differences between her and her male rivals: “Well, look how much longer it takes me to get ready.”

At another event, she joked about how the other candidates were focusing on her. “I didn’t know what to make of it, and then a friend of mine said, ‘You know when you get to be our age, having that much attention from all these men . . .”

It is a disarming tactic, which her rivals are finding difficult to counter without appearing unchivalrous. But the outline of a “stop Hillary” campaign is taking shape, with critics accusing her of being an inexperienced, flip-flopping opportunist who owes her success purely to dynasty.

Rudy Giuliani, the Republican frontrunner, has sharpened his attacks on Clinton for lacking experience. “She’s never run a city, she’s never run a state, she’s never run a business, she has never met a payroll,” the former New York mayor said. “She has never been responsible for the safety . . . of millions of people.”

He has gone after Clinton’s tax-and-spend policies, including an uncosted suggestion that every newborn child should receive a $5,000 “baby bond” that would grow over time and help pay for college. The last Democratic candidate to propose a similar scheme, George McGovern, lost 49 out of 50 states in the 1972 election.

Soon after Giuliani went on the warpath, Clinton discovered she had other priorities and shelved the idea.

Barack Obama, Clinton’s closest Democratic rival, has begun to criticise her more directly, claiming last week: “We’ve had enough of . . . triangulation and poll-driven politics.” In one such example, Clinton backed a Senate resolution calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organisation, earning rebukes from Obama and John Edwards, the third-placed candidate. She then co-sponsored another resolution that would prohibit an attack on Iran without authorisa-tion from Congress.

The financial sleaze that dominated the final Clinton years is also making a comeback. After Norman Hsu, one of Clinton’s biggest campaign “bundlers”, was exposed as a fraud, it emerged last week that waiters, dishwashers and street pedlars in New York’s Chinatown have been handing over $1,000 and $2,000 sums to her campaign – some with genuine pride, others because they were ordered to do so by neighbourhood bosses.

Clinton said last week that her frontrunner status made her uncomfortable. “It makes me nervous and we will still work to earn every vote,” she said.

But the advantage she enjoys with women is considerable. Penn believes the “emotional element” of being the first woman presidential nominee in history will “throw the Republicans for a loop”. So far every attack has bounced off her.

Perhaps the cautionary tale of Socks the cat will make a difference. “Hillary’s insistence that we follow her example in pet ownership, when she really should be on Cat Fancy’s Most Wanted List, makes her a tiresome bore,” Flanagan writes.

“But exploiting the emotions of good-natured people – well, that’s just another example of her three-decade-long drift from the girl she once was to the woman that circumstance and ambition have made her.”

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2 responses to “Hillary Clinton dumped presidential cat as soon as they left the White House

  1. As much as I’d like to see a woman president, I don’t trust Hillary as far as I can throw her.

  2. Pingback: Farewell, Socks. RIP. « Tipped Ear Clan