Chapter 9. Making the President and Public Communications into “Products”

Many political consultants agree that owning a dog is a virtual prerequisite for the future president. Americans love “First Dogs,” sometimes more than the dog’s owners. From Washington’s Foxhounds to Bush’s Barney, dogs are as traditional as baseball. Twenty-two U.S. presidents have owned purebred dogs, and most shared the White House with them. Some First Dogs even had jobs—the pet Springer Spaniel of Barbara and George H. W. Bush, Millie, authored a book;1 Lyndon Johnson’s Beagles, Him and Her, modeled for Life magazine; and an Airedale Terrier Laddie Boy, owned by U.S. President Warren G. Harding, oversaw presidential meetings from his hand-carved cabinet chair.2

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