Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Save the Economy! Put a Spaniel in the White House

Miss Beazley, the White House Scottie who recently took a taste of a reporter's finger, is only the latest of feisty dogs whose reign in the White House corresponded with hard times. It appears that nasty White House dogs make for a nasty economy, while sweet-natured dogs do just the opposite.

Just look at history's evidence. When the current president was first inaugurated and the economy heading for boom times, he owned a springer spaniel, progeny of the sweet-natured "Millie," who was the White House dog when Bush's father, George H. W. Bush, was president. Bush Sr. presided over a marked improvement in the nation's ratio of debt to GDP.

If the Obamas choose a sweet dog like Beau, the economy will improve fast.

Another Scottie, Fala, was FDR's constant companion through the Great Depression. In contrast to Miss Beazley, however, we can't blame Fala for bringing on the bears. He wasn't in the White House at the time.

Fala had a benign disposition and even did tricks. Under Fala's nose, meanwhile, the economy slowly improved.

Compare that lovable terrier with Herbert Hoover's guard dog, which stood by the President as the stock market crashed in 1929. We should be thankful that the Hoovers didn't pull off a twofer the way the Bushes did. Hoover's son had two alligators, who occasionally roamed the White House. If Hoover Jr. had been elected, we'd probably be living in hovels today, eating raw squirrels to get by.

Teddy Roosevelt brought harsher times for big business, at least, by enforcing antitrust regulations. TR's pit bull once nearly tore off the French ambassador's pants. It wasn't till Airbus took off (get it? ha ha!) that France's economy was out of danger. At 30,000 feet, the ambassadorial butt was safe. Not even Teddy's dog could jump that high.

Still, presidents can make their own dog-nomics history. After Ronald Reagan's Bouvier des Flanders dragged the President across the White House lawn, Reagan gave "Lucky" the boot. For the rest of his tenure, Reagan owned two Cavalier King Charles spaniels--toy dogs that are among the most affectionate of breeds.

Please, Mr. Obama: save the economy--get a friendly dog.