Presidential Pets: A Look Back
The summer has been rife with speculation on what kind of presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton would be—if she even decides to run—in 2016. So much so, that it seems like some may have already forgotten about the person who still holds that office (who, keep in mind, was reelected just 10 months ago).
President Obama stole back the spotlight Monday night, when the White House announced the newest member of the presidential family: a one-year-old Portuguese water dog pup named Sunny. Sunny joins Bo, the dog of the same breed that the Obamas adopted shortly after the 2008 election.
This revelation obviously won't spur commentary on what kind of pet owner Clinton will be in 2016. But let us try anyway. It's interesting to note that the rumored hopeful is pretty qualified when it comes to presidential pets, because she wrote the book on them—kind of.
In late 1998, Clinton authored Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets. The work pulled together 50 letters from American children addressed to the then-first pets, Socks the cat and Buddy the chocolate Labrador. It features fun facts about both animals, from their birth date and weight to favorite activities and hideouts in the White House, as well as 80 photos of the pair in action. Meant to encourage letter writing in young children, the book also mentions the famous presidential pets to whom earlier generations wrote, including Franklin D. Roosevelt's dog Fala and John F. Kennedy's dog Pushinka. (To take a look back at other pets-in-chief, check out the video above.)
In the book, Socks and Buddy fielded such questions as "How does it feel to have all the food you want?" "Do you have a Secret Service agent?" "Do you ever annoy the president?" and "Are there any good mice in the White House?" Readers seemed to enjoy combing through the responses, with one Amazon reviewer calling for "five meows, five barks, and five stars for this great holiday release."
The letters were handwritten and mailed to the White House. Today, though, Sunny should ready herself for a steady stream of e-mails and tweets.