The other day, I was thinking about presidential candidates (this being 2016) who were running despite pretty much being out of it. Sure, things can happen, but once the front runners are clear it seems like an odd existence. Governor Martin O’Malley (vs Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders for DEM primary) especially – he wasn’t all mopey about it like most GOPs (they seemed miserable, admittedly for fairly solid reasons) and seemed positively vibrant. Very positive, happy, passionate about his ideas, and.. polling at 4-5%. And that was before Hillary and Bernie really locked horns, not hotly challenged %s.
There’s more it than winning I guess, to hold any public office (from school board secretary to speaker of the house) you technically always campaign (to stay unopposed if nothing else) and at a certain level, you’d have to run in the firm knowledge that it’s a dry-dry. Even so, he seemed disproportionately pleased.
My son has a dog that runs around me during the day (with occasional shouts of engouragement from us). I said O’Malleys name (in conversation) and he suddenly stared at me. He’s a very timid character, constantly looking like he’s a *this* far from being in deep do-do, but this seems like the “Idunno, that’s good?” pile to him. Being a dog, everything is, to him, very *very* complicated. Very little we do makes sense. All he has to go on, for good or bad, is tone of voice and body language (angry? sad? happy? violent?) plus the interplay with other people (I know human A is nice, human B seems mad at A. B is highly suspicious).
I realized if he voted, he would, without a shadow of a doubt, be for O’Malley. Ignoring plans and policy (blablabla) most of the others seemed angry. The rest seem at least a bit loud and irate. The rest, well, there’s a small mob around them having massive issues. From a dogs POV that’s never good – less risk of collateral damage away from them. Like by O’Malley – no one says boo about him except the occasional “good job!”. Everyone must love him. And he seems really happy! And his name sounds funny!
This, perhaps, explains the happiness – he cares about this ideas and likes telling people about them. Of course nationally, you’ll have your opponents yelling at how wrong and idiotic you are. Unless you’re O’Malley and, well, between the other two it’s pretty clear you’re not staying. So good on you for showing up! Total gold standard to a dog.
I told my wife the, and started joking around about what various ideas the dog might have, converting his complaints to political-speak, sometime shouting O’Malley! several times (to his great excitement). I got the dogs point – supporting someone who is safely away from the drama is nice. O’Malley made a comment about “The Elephant in the room” (something about Trump) and Nater (the dog) got more excited because he can jump up on a stool (similar to a circus elephant) on the command “Elephant”. After a few days of this, I shopped up a quick banner for facebook, like so: