Is Mitt Romney Good For Cats?

Mitt Romney is unlikely to be the next president of the United States but he just might be. If he does make it, is he the sort of person who is good for cats and animals in general? The short answer is No.

I have a fairly strong feeling that he is not that keen on animals. He is an alpha male type, rich (about $250m USD) and pays about 14% tax on that which for a Brit looks like he runs a highly efficient tax avoidance scheme. He looks down on the poor and doesn’t pay all the tax he could or should. Although there nothing to suggest he is doing anything illegal. He doesn’t know much about foreign affairs and seems a bit stupid at times.

If he has a preference for a species of companion animal it would be a dog. That squares up with alpha male mentality.

Mitt Romney's dog Seamus

Seamus. The dog in question (+ 2 kittens presumed sister’s). This image is protected by copyright. I claim fair use on the basis that it supports a page that is important with respect to animal welfare and there cannot possibly be any negative financial consequences for the copyright holder. The source is the Wikipedia page on the Mitt Romney dog incident.

The problem is that the only information we have about Mitt Romney’s attitude and behavior towards dogs is not good. There is the famous story, “The Mitt Romney Dog Incident”.

In short he took a family holiday to Lake Huron in Canada from their home in Belmont, Massachusetts with the dog (Seamus), a red setter, strapped to the roof rack in a dog carrier with a home made wind shield at the front. He was driving the family’s Chevrolet Caprice station wagon. The trip took 12 hours.

Chevrolet Caprice Station Wagon

Chevrolet Caprice Station Wagon. Picture by DVS1mn

The Chevrolet Caprice station wagon is a large American car with tons of room in the back. They are called “estate cars” in Britain. I suppose he had lots of luggage and he decided that the luggage was more valuable than the dog. Or perhaps if it rained the luggage might get wet but a dog could get wet without being damaged. Who knows. It just seems like an odd decision and one that was made coldly and logically and without empathy for the dog or his wellbeing. Although in defense he did take Seamus with him. That said he would have been better off going to a dog hotel for the duration it seems.

I am sure that no true animal lover would even consider such an arrangement. In fact I can hardly believe that anyone has done that before. Also we are informed that once the Romney family got to Canada, the dog ran away. I don’t know if that is true. It is hearsay. But for sure he did give the dog to his sister some years after the holiday. The dog kept on running away from Mitt Romney’s home ending up in a dog pound.

I think we have to give Mitt Romney about 3 out of 10 on his caretaking skills of a companion animal that, by the way, he professed to love. God help us if he hated dogs.

And he certainly does not seem to be the type who would like a cat. My conclusion therefore is that the next potential president of the USA is not good for cats and there is little likelihood of anything sensible and radical happening to improve cat welfare such as a nationwide ban on the embarrassing occupation of mass cat declawing.

Now, if the next president was a true cat lover, wouldn’t that be great….


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Is Mitt Romney Good For Cats? — 15 Comments

  1. I hate this. Not you or your article, just the elections as a whole. It’s grown to ludicrous proportions. With that said I wish to disclose I am LDS (Mormon) just like Mitt and I honestly can’t believe any sane Mormon would ever run for the Presidency. I serious question his reasons for running.

    With that said, I don’t think Mitt hates animals. I think he has a big family and the kids wanted the dog to come along, so he improvised. He cared enough to put up a windscreen. I’ll be the first to denounce him if there was real evidence, but he was thinking like father when he did that. Was it foolhardy, yeah. But does he hate his dog? I don’t think so. If he did it would of stayed home.

    • Nice comment. It is great to have an American commenting! I don’t think Mitt hates dogs or cats either. I just think he is not interested. He is a bit cold in his relationship with animals and logical in his quest for money. He is more interested in the dollar. And as to the presidential election – pure madness. How many millions of dollars have been spent on this? Half a billion and more? Far better to spend the money on poor old widows who need it. The whole thing is so blotted and out of step with modern times. The presidential elections go on and on and on…for ever. Yawn. Please change the process and join the modern world.

  2. Of the 2 he seems like the scary one. I dont know many details, I just know what he looks like and which side he’s on and I would hope he doesn’t get chosen. I’m sure the hunters and militants and gun people bla bla want him to win. And probably the more modern reasonable want Obama to win, but I dont know anything about it really. Thats just how it looks from a distance. When I look at Obama, he doesn’t look scary to me in any way. He looks like somebody who exists in the modern world and probably even knows how to use email, unlike Bush. I know it’s simplistic, but it’s painfully obvious the Romney winning can’t be good thing for the progressing of the US into the modern world with regard to the whole ‘we are the sheriff of the world’ thing, and animals, cats, are probably not going to be any better either way. Strapping a dog and windshield to the roof just shows that he has no connection with his dog beyond a very shallow point. But I think Dan is right. He’s not evil, he’s just stupid. He didn’t know any better. Probably if he spent some time with his dog and made a stronger bond he’s decide the dog deserved the same climate controlled interior as the rest of the familly. He doesn’t hate animals probably, just as long as they don’t get in his way? How do you put that to the test anyway? Make him sign an antideclawing bill against the will and money of a bunch of interested parties who profit from the process. Would he sign it? Animals or money? Who knows. But I would hold more hope that Obama would do the right thing if put on the spot and not take the money for the sake of the animals. I say that just because of my gut feeling and the way he looks.

  3. The whole strapping the dog to the car thing really bothered me, but my husband pointed out that back in the 1970’s and ’80’s what passed for vehicular safety was a lot different than today. My husband and his siblings would have to ride in the bed of the family pick up truck on long trips. If it was winter his parents put a refrigerator box back there, the kids climbed in it, the box was closed up and they sat in there, with blankets, for the duration of the trip. At the time, this seemed perfectly normal. None of us wore seat belts back then and riding in the back of a truck was done routinely, just not usually in winter. So although Romney’s actions appear really strange, for the time, it probably wasn’t a big deal. He claims the dog really liked it. I’m sure he did. We really liked riding in the back of the station wagon with the seats folded down, just sitting back there, no seat belts of course, six kids or so just crammed in the back, ready to become projectiles in the event of a crash, but no one thought of that. We loved to open the back window and chuck things out of it. I remember throwing pretzels out the window of my parents Rambler and giggling. Luckily, we didn’t end up falling out ourselves. I found our old infant car seat up in the attic at my parents– it didn’t really even strap the kid in. It just kind of helped you sit higher so you could see out and there was a padded bar that came across the front of the kid, but really would have been no protection in a crash. Doesn’t make it right, but I’d be a lot more upset if he were still strapping the dog carrier to the top of the car than that he did it in the 1970’s or ’80’s. He probably didn’t belt his kids in either, and no one would have even questioned that at the time.

    • Yes, Ruth, you make a good point. Thanks for that. Although, are you saying the standard of care of companion animals was lower in 1983 than 2012? Perhaps if your husband had a Chevrolet Caprice at the time rather than a pick up truck he would have put the kids inside the car. I think there is something wrong about it at an absolute level and if he really cared about animals I think he would have put the luggage on top and the dog inside even if it was 1983. But that is just my opinion.

      • The standard of care for companion animals probably was also lower in the 1980’s. But I still think people didn’t think of the dangers of riding in motor vehicles in the same way, and Romney probably really did think the dog would enjoy it riding up there. I doubt he put seat belts on his kids then either, but today I’m sure he makes sure everyone is belted in before he even starts the car. I know that’s the case, because that’s been the change for everyone when you compare attitudes in the 1980’s to attitudes today. I’m not saying we were right in the ’80’s either. I knew a girl who would be alive today had she been wearing a seat belt. Her boyfriend was belted in and walked away from the crash. So I’m not saying Romney was right in what he did or that a cavalier attitude toward auto safety was a good thing. But it was different back then as to what one would consider risky toward a human or pet and what is just considered insanity by today’s standards.
        Romney’s not my first choice in any case. I personally find him distasteful. I wish Ryan were running for President. But we can’t always have what we want. Sometimes you just have to hold your nose and vote.
        I wish I could have voted for Ronald Reagan. I was too young. I hated him at the time because my parents hated him. But now I see that no government or President can make you happy or successful. That is up to you. If you look outside yourself for happiness or for someone to blame for your problems, then you will never be happy.

  4. It’s not up to the President to make declawing illegal in the US. He can’t do that. Such a law is up to the states to pass or not. Even murder is not a federal crime except under certain circumstances. Most of the time, even felonies are charged by the state, not the federal government. Our federal government has gotten too big and too intrusive. Why would a large federal government do things better than the states themselves? It’s not what our founding fathers pictured, and for a country this big, it can’t work.
    Is Obamacare a good idea? We don’t want it in Wisconsin because we already have Badgercare. We don’t need the federal program. Massachusetts didn’t need it either– they had a state program under Romney. So I agree with Romney when he wants to protect state’s rights. I think people on the local level are more qualified to handle local problems. I believe in the power of individuals over the power of government to get things done.
    When you lower tax rates, revenues rise through growth of the economy. It worked in the 1980’s. Revenues rose and we now call it the decade of greed, because people were doing so well. Had President Reagan had line item veto as President to put a check on Congress’ spending, we would have had a balanced federal budget under him as well. He had line item veto as Governor and under him California had a balanced budget. Look at California today. Fiscally conservative principles work every time they are tried.
    We haven’t had any true fiscal conservatives in a long time. I still think Romney’s a bit of a moderate, but if he actually believes the things he said in the debate the other night, there is a lot of hope for this country if he becomes President. If the economy grows that helps cats, because people can afford to care for their pets again.
    Also, Romney pays exactly the same amount in taxes as my husband and I pay on our investments. His income at this point is all from investments. If he earned a salary, he’d be taxed at a higher rate than we pay. Raise his taxes, and you raise our taxes on investments– no thank you! When you go after the rich, you hurt everybody. I’m tired of working an extra day for the medical staffing company and then getting the same check for three days as I get for four. The fourth day puts me into a higher tax bracket and it almost all goes away in taxes. So why would I want to work that hard all the time? Taxing the rich hurts people who are almost rich far more than it hurts the actual rich. I wish rich people would be doing well because then I make more money. I used to give piano lessons to rich people’s kids, and the families were so generous, I was really making good money! The fireworks company we work for just shot a fireworks show for a birthday party that was bigger than most townships can afford. Think of all the people who got paid for that party, and not just the pyrotechnicians– caterers, party planners, people who sell party decorations– these are all middle class or even working class people who got to work because of one rich kid’s birthday party. I don’t care that under Capitalism some people can get rich. That sounds like covetousness to worry about that. But there can still be compassion for the poor– it’s just that most of this should come from individuals, not government.
    Romney isn’t getting rid of the true safety net, but it is time to question where the money’s going when we have such deficits. I’m all for a voucher program for Medicare. Medicare Part C is working really well, people are getting more from it than the government alone could offer. Privatization and competition work every time. Nothing changes for people 55 and older, but I think my generation needs a chance to try something different.
    When the government oversteps its bounds, we all suffer. It’s being proven all around the world. But Wisconsin, with our conservative governor, now has a balanced budget. And the public school teachers who complained about the changes? The only casualty was their corrupt union. Starting teacher salaries are up to $40,000 for a first year teacher in Neenah now and other communities are starting to implement merit pay. Changes like that make me wonder if I should go back to teaching. Wisconsin communities that started out with deficits now have surpluses, and schools are reaping the benefits of that. Conservative principles work every time they are tried. I’m ready for a return to the prosperity of the 1980’s. I could really use that right now. The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money. I’m ready to make and keep more of my own money.
    As far as America policing the world– I too wish that would stop. I’m not sure that will change under Romney, but right now, I just want a reduction of the federal government meddling in things that should be up to the states, lower tax rates so I don’t lose pay every time I work harder, and cuts to wasteful spending, so that we’re not burdening our nation’s children with debt.

    • Why can’t the federal law the Animal Welfare Act 1966 be further amended to include declawing? I think if a president made it known he was against declawing (which by the way is impossible to envisage) it would have a massive impact on declawing. The president sets the tone and culture I would have thought.

  5. Why is Mitt paying less than the standard rate of income tax? It seems bizarre that a lower-middle class guy is paying more tax that a rich person like Mitt. It does not matter that he is doing it legally. There is something wrong with the tax code. He is paid dividends on investments to avoid tax (income tax). The average person hasn’t got the funds to invest in stocks etc.

    • We invest, and we are quite average. The tax rate on investment income is 14%. Income tax on wages is totally separate and is graduated by income levels. Lower income people pay no income tax. Jeff and I must be close to the divide between one rate and another, because if we work a little more we take home the same pay on the check, so we’re getting bumped up to a higher tax rate. Romney doesn’t earn wages, so he only pays tax on his investment income. We tax income, not wealth. I’d like to see a flat tax, the same rate for everyone no matter how much it how little you earn. Taking more from those who earn more is not fair. I’m tired of being punished for being productive.
      I still don’t think making declawing illegal is up to the federal government. It’s starting in some communities, and I think the trend will continue. Obama hasn’t moved on this issue either, so it’s unfair to say Romney would be bad for animals if he became President. Romney is not my first choice by any stretch, but if he really does lower tax rates and cut frivolous spending that will help companion animals, because right now most people have no money for extras, and unfortunately when things get bad pets can be seen as an extra. How about instead of the government taking our money away to inefficiently dole it out in programs which do little good, instead letting people keep more of the money they earn to spend it as they see fit? When they do that the economy grows and we all benefit.

  6. I’m a cat person but the Romney dog story bothers me a lot. Any idiot looking at things from the animal’s point of view would know that it would be a terrifying journey tied to the roof of the vehicle. Romney didn’t care enough to think of the dog’s comfort. I’m thinking about voting for Gary Johnson. He seems like a kind man.
    joan+20

  7. I was glad you posted this originally, Michael. Now, not so much. I am involved to the level I must, but prefer to not pay attention to politics. It’s always amazing to find that people I enjoy in my every day, if politics is introduced….I am often shocked at the stance they take. I wonder how it could be. But it just is. I’m going to find a sandbox for my head until after the elections.

    Carry on!

    • It was a slightly dangerous thing to do. It was meant to be a way of bringing together something current and in the news with the cat. Politics does have a big role to play in cat welfare. Or it could have. But it seems that politicians more or less leave individuals and charities to look after cat welfare. The thing about politicians is that they don’t seem to improve the situation or change things that much. There is quite a lot of paralysis in politics.

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