WASHINGTON -- When conservatives discovered that President Obama admitted to having eaten dog meat as a child when he lived in Indonesia, they vowed to bring it up any time the other side dared mention Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's mistreatment of his dog in 1983.
At the White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday, Obama demonstrated that he would be happy to play that game. During his remarks, Obama said Sarah Palin's stint as guest host of "The Today Show" reminded him of an old saying: "What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? A pit bull is delicious."
Romney has not shown a similar sense of humor about the fact that he once strapped his dog's crate to the roof of the family station wagon for a 12-hour drive to Canada, during which the dog, an Irish Setter named Seamus, suffered a bout of diarrhea. Romney pulled over and hosed off the car, then got back on the road with the dog still on the roof.
But dog lovers have protested "Crate-Gate" ever since the Boston Globe first reported on it in 2007. See our definitive mashup of Crate-Gate coverage above.
Scott Crider, founder of an online group called Dogs Against Romney, gave Obama a pass for having eaten dog meat as a child. He lauded the president for slamming Romney on the dog issue during his speech, during which Obama introduced a faux Romney campaign video devoted entirely to Seamus. "Finally," a narrator intoned, "a candidate with the courage to fight for a dog's freedom to feel the wind in his fur."
On Monday morning, MSNBC's First Read noted that Obama had seized on the Saturday dinner as an opportunity to bring up Seamus. "Yes, Obama made fun of himself and eating dog, but they'll take that to get the Seamus story mainlined; They've been trying for months."