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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Where is Socks?

Hillary Clinton's attempts to soften her image so as to win the women's vote in next year's Presidential elections are threatened by the mysterious fate of Socks the First White House cat according to The Sunday Times.

They tell us that as 'the “first pet” of the Clinton era, Socks, the White House cat, allowed “chilly” Hillary Clinton to show a caring, maternal side as well as bringing joy to her daughter Chelsea. So where is Socks today?

Once the presidency was over, there was no room for Socks any more. After years of loyal service at the White House, the black and white cat was dumped on Betty Currie, Bill Clinton’s personal secretary, who also had an embarrassing clean-up role in the saga of his relationship with the intern Monica Lewinsky.'

Obviously, anybody who had to 'clean-up' after Monica deserves the comfort and company of such a gorgeous looking feline but according to the paper, it would have been better for Hillary if she had held onto Socks:

Clinton’s treatment of Socks cuts to the heart of the questions about her candidacy. Is she too cold and calculating to win the presidency? Or does it signify political invincibility by showing she is willing to deploy every weapon to get what she wants?

“In the annals of human evil, off-loading a pet is nowhere near the top of the list,” writes Caitlin Flanagan in the current issue of The Atlantic magazine. “But neither is it dead last, and it is especially galling when said pet has been deployed for years as an all-purpose character reference.”

Flanagan’s article, headed No Girlfriend of Mine, points out that Clinton wrote a crowd-pleasing book Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets, in which she claimed that only with the arrival of Socks and his “toy mouse” did the White House “become a home”.

Being Clinton, she also lectured readers that pets are an “adoption instead of an acquisition” and warned them to look out for their safety. (Buddy, the chocolate labrador, it should be noted, bounded into a road soon after leaving the White House and was promptly run over.)

It is lucky that the care of one's pets will not be a deciding factor next November. Then again look at the damage suffered by Cherie Blair when she re-homed the Downing Street cat.
According to Wikapedia the 4th First Cat of America didn't get on with Buddy and when the Clinton's vacated 1600 Penns. Ave Socks left under the care of Clinton's Secretary Betty Currie.

He is enjoying semi-retirement, makin his last public appearance in October 2005, with Ms Currie in Hollwood, Maryland not California. Just in case the Govenator gets his hand on him.
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