Pirates on the loose, North Koreans in pursuit of nukes, Depression-era economics and, on top of that, tax day. No wonder we're all gaga over the first puppy. He's the cutest news out there. So curly, feisty cute -- in fact, we'll forgive him his political correctness.
The president's pollsters couldn't have come up with a more perfect Obama dog. He's black and white, so no picking sides there. He comes from good immigrant stock (Portuguese), and yet he's steeped in Americana, a gift from the Kennedy clan and named after Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bo Diddley. Born in Texas, he's registered with what you might call a Spanish surname -- Amigo's New Hope. And although he wasn't a rescue, he was at least pre-owned. All of which amounts to 40 million Google hits and counting.
Bo joins a line of presidential dogs dating to George Washington's American foxhounds. Abraham Lincoln had Fido (origins unknown), and Franklin D. Roosevelt's Scottish terrier, Fala, was a movie star with his own press secretary. Harry S. Truman, who had a cocker spaniel named Feller, once said, "You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog." Presidents did, especially after the Nixon family's cocker spaniel, Checkers, saved his owner's political bacon. Gerald R. Ford named his pal Liberty, Ronald Reagan had Lucky, and George H.W. Bush had Millie, whose autobiography was ghostwritten by First Lady Barbara Bush. Bill Clinton found a buddy in Buddy, and George W. Bush had Spot and Barney.
Like many of his predecessors, Bo will have access to the Oval Office. He is supposed to belong to the Obamas' daughters, Malia and Sasha, and to be a well-trained 6-month-old, but he certainly seemed to be leading a be- sotted president around by the leash at his press debut. We certainly don't begrudge Obama a little puppy love. Another high-seas drama, a few more international crises, and the leader of the free world may need a pal to lick him behind the ears.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times