Rachel Maddow revisited one of the most notorious episodes in Mitt Romney's life on her Thursday show: the dog incident.
Romney's travels with his Irish setter, Seamus, have become the stuff of legend. At least one New York Times columnist has made it a personal point of pride to mention the tale of Seamus' misfortune one day in 1983 over and over again.
What happened, of course, was that Romney, traveling for 12 hours up to Canada, strapped Seamus to the roof of his car in a kennel. After some time, in the words of the Boston Globe, his son noticed that "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."
In a 2007 interview, Romney essentially laughed off the concern of Fox News' Chris Wallace, who asked, "what were you thinking?" But Maddow thought the story could be very dangerous for the GOP frontrunner as he tries to sew up his party's nomination and defeat President Obama.
She noted that there are now anti-Romney websites purporting to be from dogs popping up all over the place, and that the new verb "to Romney" (meaning "to defecate in terror") is making its way into the lexicon.
Maddow said the story could help define Romney as "cold" and "unfeeling" and "out of touch." It was, she said, "the kind of intangible that can define a presidential campaign."
White House pets.
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