The Truth About Cats And Dogs (Or At Least A Cat)

You ever wonder what happened to former White House pets Buddy and Socks?  Well, Buddy got ran over, but Socks, well, Socks didn’t manage to stay long with the Clinton family much longer following the end of Bill Clinton’s tenure as President of the United States.

While this may seem like an insignificant bit of trivia, some are of the mind that there is more to this than meets the eye.

Now, look, I’ve little love for the Democratic frontrunner, and have countless times expressed my opinion that she should under no circumstances be allowed to win the mantle of Democratic Nominee; however, I think the Telegraph might be stretching things a little when it employs Socks’ fate to levy another charge at the former First Lady:

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.

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?

Not that the Telegraph has ever been known to stretch things a little hear and there (*cough*Iran*cough*).  But I think it also warrants mentioning that, ahem, this is a cat we’re talking about here.  Further, it is important to note that none of this hurts Hillary, and what we are seeing is a rather interesting play on the old “game of low expectations.”

The interesting thing about the negative political image that Hillary Clinton has is that it has set expectations regarding her incredibly low.  The effect this has on people who experience her on the stump or in a debate for the first time is that they learn that she is not as bad as they have been led to believe.

Of course, given some of the things that have been said about Hillary over the past couple of decades, it is hard for anyone to seem quite as bad as all that.  It’s simply a matter of her showing up without horns and a tail and she’s doing pretty well for herself.

I know, I’ve been paying attention.  She’s performed well in the debates, and has done an excellent job of making herself at least appear human.  Believe it or not, Hillary does not have an image problem.

But don’t get me wrong.  I do think Hillary is a triangulator who is willing to do whatever it takes to win, but I’m not basing that on how she treats her cat, I’m basing it on how she acts as an elected official.

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