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Do you know what seems normal? Cuddle a dog.
Now, a new support ad from a group called Dog Lovers For Joe has an ad calling attention to President Trump being the first dogless president in the White House in over a century.
Of course, owning a dog is obviously not a prerequisite for an elected term, and it shouldn’t be. But when it comes to creating an image, there is something deeply humanizing about how public figures interact with their canine counterparts. We may disagree on the policy, but just look at Ronald Reagan’s giddy face with Lucky. Or Bill Clinton with Buddy. George W. Bush frolic with Barney. Obama oozy-boo-boo-ing Bo. Oh, and Joe Biden hugs Champ.
Dog Lovers For Joe is a side project of Rob Schwartz, CEO of advertising agency TBWA Chiat Day New York. According to Adage, the spot was produced with advertising fanatics Patrick O’Neill, former CCO of TBWA Chiat Day LA; George Tannenbaum, former creative director of Ogilvy; and publisher Dan Bootzin. Schwartz said Adage, “I saw all the wonderful pictures of Joe Biden and dogs on the internet and thought it was interesting,” he said, saying his research found that “dogs basically bring out the best. people.”
The political cover and the postures are so fabricated, every moment seemingly scripted, every line meticulously planned. A dog does not know any of this. So politicians are arguably the most genuine when interacting with their dogs.
President Trump doesn’t have a dog, but as his refusal to condemn white supremacist groups suggests, he seems most sincere when he hisses.