More than an average sized poodle-bomb hit the fan for both Romney and Obama when the “crate gate” scandal broke. The story hinges on a personal story Romney shared as an example of his ability to manage a crisis.
In 1983, Romney strapped his dog Seamus’ crate to the roof of his car and headed off on vacation with his family. Seamus thanked the Romney family for taking him along by dumping the contents of his intestines all over the family vehicle.
Romney did not comment on whether or not the windows were open.
“Served him right” you say? Not so fast.
1983 was the same year Chrysler introduced the first minivan, but most moms and dads still drove station wagons or large sedans. With five sons, the Romneys probably had a wagon. With Ann Romney in the shotgun seat, there would have been seven people in that car—so where would Seamus ride? He’d ride on the roof of course—protected by a windshield Romney made by hand.
But was it safe? In 1983 children were allowed to bop around cars like untamed popcorn. The first seat belt law wasn’t passed until 1984 in New York.
Airbags were not standard on Fords and Chryslers until the mid-eighties. For context, IBM protected computers with bubble wrap before the auto industry chose to protect people with airbags. Let’s face it, nobody was thinking about canine safety.
Should Romney have flown his dog to their destination?
Once a dog hits the tarmac, he’s no longer a living creature—your pooch is considered “cargo”. In fact, the practice of shipping dogs on a commercial airline is so common, airline-approved dog crates are widely available. If cargo holds were safe, there’d be a market for economical “family” crates—but cargo holds are not safe.
More than one doggy and kitty has perished in the harsh, and extreme climate of a cargo hold. If we treated enemy combatants the way some people ship their dogs, we’d be in violation of the Geneva Convention (I think).
I wonder how many of Romney’s detractors have “shipped” a puppy on a commercial airline? I recognize this can be managed, but the dog is at the mercy of it's handlers.
Should Romney have had the unsecured dog in his car?
In an automobile accident, a dog becomes a dangerous projectile. Dogs can also interfere with operating a vehicle—small things like steering, braking and texting (clearly illegal).
A friend of mine saw a dog jump out a passenger side window—his leash was still attached as he hung by his neck, swaying back and forth as his terrified owner screeched to an unexpected halt.
When President Obama was six years old, his dad made him eat vegetables, and dog meat. I’m not going to think twice about that—unless Dog-In-Chief Bo goes missing on a tarmac (or at all).