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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

President Griswold? 

If you haven't already read about this, here is the story that Ana Marie Cox was all over today:
The white Chevy station wagon with the wood paneling was overstuffed with suitcases, supplies, and sons when Mitt Romney climbed behind the wheel to begin the annual 12-hour family trek from Boston to Ontario . . . Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family's hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon's roof rack. He'd built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.
Then Romney put his boys on notice: He would be making predetermined stops for gas, and that was it.
The ride was largely what you'd expect with five brothers, ages 13 and under, packed into a wagon they called the ''white whale.''
As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ''Dad!'' he yelled. ''Gross!'' A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who'd been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.
As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway . . . It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.

Unbelievable, isn't it? Only dogs that are absolutely miserable, hysterical, or in pain will crap in their crates. I'm surprised the dog didn't die.
And also unbelievable is the attitude of the reporter, who thinks that strapping a dog to the roof of a car for a 12-hour drive demonstrates great judgment. And then he gives Romney credit for "managing" a "crisis" that he created himself by strapping the dog to the roof in the first place and then forgetting about him as he howled.
The "hulking" terminology that the reporter used is to imply that the poor Romney family had no other choice for traveling with such a large dog. Irish Setters weigh 55 to 65 pounds.
As Ana Marie Cox says:
... the truly out-of-the-box solution he hit upon here is strapping his dog to the roof of his car. Who else thought this little story would end with the dog not crapping itself but, you know, dead? Also, if this really is some kind of trademark approach, I can't wait to hear what he thinks the "roadmap to peace" means. Israel calls shotgun!
And the five Romney boys don't come out of this looking like boys who love their dog either.

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