Washington: Obama family’s pet dog, Bo, is a political liability for US President Barack Obama, according to a new study.
“In times of war or scandal, dogs are welcome public companions, but not so in periods of economic hardship,” the Politico quoted the finding of a George Washington University study of political pets.
Using “systematic analysis of voting behaviour” and a “voluminous library of compelling insider accounts,” the study concludes that President pets are “an important political force”.
“We surmise that diversionary pets are a political liability when their frolicking on the White House lawn in hard times might cue the public that not everyone in the country is suffering equally and that being President is not a full-time job,” the study concluded.
Presidents have long used pets as political props.
Franklin Roosevelt accused Republicans of ruining the good name of his dog Fala, while Richard Nixon (not yet president) used his dog Checkers to humanise him in the midst of a scandal.
It’s also not clear that Bo is dragging down Obama, as he’s been a popular addition to the White House.