Wed, May 07, 2008 - Page 7 News List

FEATURE: Barack’s cats battle Hillary’s dogs


Senator Barack Obama pays a visit to Blue Coffee Cafe in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday. Voters in North Carolina and Indiana went to the polls to cast ballots in their state primaries yesterday.


Maybe it is because the Clintons dumped their cat Socks when Bill left the White House that Democrat cats (I resist the strong urge to call them “Democats”) are turning out for Senator Barack Obama.

A number of felines have demonstrated their support on the Cats for Obama Web site, often by sitting on a poster or T-shirt, which obviously means they approve of the Illinois senator’s strong voting record on animal rights rather than thinking it’s a comfy place to take a rest.

Why so many cats are coming out in favor of Obama is puzzling pollsters because, known for being selfish and superior, if ever there was a Republican animal, cats would be it.

But while the cats are for Obama, it seems the dogs are coming out for Senator Hillary Clinton, who has a labrador. There is a video on YouTube of a couple of West Highland terriers “howling for Hillary.”

Though, really, who knows what they’re howling for? The indignity of being made to wear caps and Hillary badges? Maybe they’re supporters of Senator John McCain — he, incidentally, has 22 pets including dogs, turtles and fish.

Obama doesn’t have any pets, but that isn’t stopping his popularity with them. Also on YouTube is the Pets for Obama video, with dogs “singing:” “We’re standing for Obama and we’re sitting for him too.”

Meanwhile, on the Pets for Hillary site, a diverse range from boa constrictors to guinea pigs has pledged their support.

If it came down to the pets’ endorsement — and lord knows why it shouldn’t — Obama will sail through, having won the ferret vote (“ferrets for Obama” badges are on sale). In the US, ferrets have become a highly politicized group after the then New York mayor Rudy Giuliani banned them from the city in 1999.

Best of all, though, is the Obama-supporting llama, which has appeared in numerous parades across Iowa.

An Obama headquarters blog post says the lama’s owner Pat McNally is bringing the woolly camelid to more events “to spread awareness about Barack.”

Raising awareness through the medium of a llama? It’s risky but it might just work.

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