Caitlin Flanagan is one of those writers who rarely if ever fails to offer something interesting, and now she’s offered the kind of argument that people will be buzzing about: Hillary Clinton’s appeal is greatly limited by little acts like giving away her cat Socks as soon as she left the White House.
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…
“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.)
Now, you and I know that Buddy was going to talk to an independent prosecutor about what he knew about the Marc Rich pardon when he “just happened” to get hit by a car, and that Buddy was supposed to have been on Ron Brown’s plane flying to Bosnia but missed the flight. (This is a joke. But then again, with the Clintons, who knows?)
Socks the Cat, seen here answering questions about his role in the Whitewater affair in 1995, may cause new headaches for former owner Hillary Rodham Clinton.