In this dog-eat-dog political world, Wat would have made a good VP | AspenTimes.com

In this dog-eat-dog political world, Wat would have made a good VP

Phil Freedman
Aspen CO, Colorado

It always amazes me how timing can change the future of anything. If the Democratic National Convention had been held after the Republican National Convention, Barack Obama would have known who John McCain had chosen as his vice presidential candidate. As a result, he would have seriously considered Wat.

Now Joe Biden is not a bad choice, but he doesn’t have the glamour of Sarah Palin. Hey, John McCain, as a 72-year-old cancer-in-remission presidential candidate, didn’t you assure the American public that you would pick as your potential replacement someone who would be ready to lead this country during this time of internal and external crises? Now you’ve picked someone whose credentials to be president are not nearly as good as Wat’s. If the Republicans can have Wat for vice president, why shouldn’t the Democrats have Wat for vice president. Arf arf arf.

Oh, perhaps to some of you, Wat is a name as unfamiliar as Palin’s. But let me assure you, Wat is known by almost everyone he meets, even complete strangers. When he is greeted by unfamiliar people, they usually say “He’s a very handsome dog. What’s his name?” To which I reply, “Yes, that’s right, Wat is his name.” Now that’s name recognition. He’s much more well known than Palin (who?). His full name is Dr. Watson Whatever. I’ve written about him before, so most of you know him as our dog.

While some people of questionable taste think Sarah Palin is cute, Wat would make her look like a mutt. He is multicolored, sporting a black coat with white trim and brown accents. Thus he would have an appeal to a broad spectrum of the American electorate.

Granted he is not female, but he is not completely male either. He was “adjusted” at an early age. Consequently he is not a contributor to the over-population of the world, especially out of wedlock. Although he had no choice in the matter, I am sure he would take the position of “pro choice.”

One of the big issues in the choice of candidates is experience. Wat entered our home at the age of six weeks. He then proceeded to take control our household and has governed for almost four years. He has had experience with economics. He has frequented our local banks at least once a week where he always is feted by the tellers.

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He has participated in local government. Since my wife has been a council member in our town, he frequently joins her in visiting town hall where the administration greets him as an old friend.

Now you might ask, as a possible replacement for the president, does he have any international experience? He would be first to admit that he hasn’t traveled any farther from Basalt than Grand Junction, a trip of about 100 miles. But he would be quick to remind you that he is an Australian shepherd. And Australia is very close to China, a nation which is becoming a major player on the international scene.

Wat would be a soccer dog if we didn’t restrain him. At park soccer games he would like nothing better then to scamper on the field and score a goal, or at least bite the ball. But he is no pit bull. He is a Australian shepherd. In other words, he is not an attack dog. And, although he wouldn’t even consider wearing lipstick, he certainly would not be an attack Veep. (Rumors that he is being sued for biting a puppy’s ear are a political smear.) As a shepherd he takes care of his human flock. He is not a hunting dog, and would not be a strong supporter of the NRA. He greets strangers without threatening them. Thus, as a representative of this country, he has the qualities of an ambassador.

Although he has an extensive vocabulary, if you talk to him in words he doesn’t understand, he sits with his head cocked to one side looking wise and considerate, a trait missing in many of our diplomats. But he would not be a rollover to pressure from any influence, whether inside or outside this country. In fact, he doesn’t even know how to roll over. He has a strong independent streak, and will not even come when called unless he is strongly motivated to do so. He also is very well behaved. He would never sh-t in the White House, a mishap not uncommon in the present administration.

So had the Democratic National Convention been held after the Republican convention, and had candidate Obama realized who the Republicans were to nominate as their vice presidential candidate, Wat would have certainly been on the Democratic short list. And since he has been seen by the veterinarian at least once a year, you could say that he has been thoroughly vetted. He certainly would have brought the right credentials.

“Obama/Wat”: Talk about change! Kind of rolls off your tongue. And he would certainly appeal to the millions of pet lovers across the country. It’s too late now. But there’s always 2012.

Phil Freedman is a resident of Basalt. Editor’s note: Soapbox runs weekly on the Sunday opinion page. This spot is a forum for valley residents to comment on local topics. If you’d like to contribute, contact Naomi Havlen at The Aspen Times at 925-3414, ext. 17624, or send her an e-mail at nhavlen@aspentimes.com.

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