If she thought we would like her, she was wrong

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“If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog,” goes the famous line attributed to late President Harry Truman.
Noem was not confronted by an investigative reporter with a “gotcha” question, nor was she outed in a social media post.
Not surprisingly, the report about Noem killing the dog has led to a furor in the media and on the internet.
That, however, apparently was not how Noem viewed Cricket, writing in the book that she “hated” the rambunctious puppy.
That, Noem wrote, was the last straw.
Of course, President Joe Biden also has a pet dog — although Commander has not been the best-behaved dog at times.
Writing on X on Sunday, Noem seemed to take a softer tone about the decision to put down her dog.
The book is filled with many honest stories of my life, good and bad days, challenges, painful decisions, and lessons learned,” Noem wrote.

NEUTRAL

Editor’s Note: The host of the daily show “The Dean Obeidallah Show” on SiriusXM radio is former attorney Dean Obeidallah. “Follow him on Twitter.”. In this commentary, he expresses his own opinions. View more viewpoints on CNN.

The well-known quote ascribed to the late President Harry Truman reads, “Get a dog if you want a friend in Washington.”. Additionally, keep that dog away from GOP South Dakota Governor if you do end up getting it. Apparently boasting in her latest book, Kristi Noem describes an incident from about twenty years ago in which she shot her 14-month-old puppy, Cricket, because the dog was “untrainable.”. “.

Noem, who is widely regarded as a strong candidate to succeed former President Donald Trump as his running mate in the current presidential election, is said to have written in her book that she shot the wirehaired pointer puppy, who was becoming quite the handful and full of energy.

Noem was not outed in a social media post or confronted by an investigative reporter with a “gotcha” question, so how did this horrible and cruel act come to light? No, as The Guardian reports, the governor of South Dakota wrote a book titled “No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward” in which she discussed the incident in detail. The Guardian reported that it was able to get a copy of the book before it was released the following month.

The news that Noem killed the dog has understandably caused a stir in the press and online. She vehemently defended her choice to shoot the dog in the face of the public outcry, which included both liberal and conservative comments. She wrote on social media, “We love animals, but tough decisions like this happen all the time on a farm.”. “.

Noem then took advantage of the controversy to promote her book, writing, “Preorder ‘No Going Back’ if you want more real, honest, and politically incorrect stories that’ll have the media gasping” along with a link to place an order.

I think most of the estimated 65 million households that own dogs—along with many of those that don’t—feel the same way about Noem’s description of killing Cricket in the passage from “No Going Back.”.

97 percent of pet owners see their animals as members of the family, according to a 2023 Pew survey. Nevertheless, it seems that Noem had a different opinion of Cricket, as she wrote in the book that she “hated” the boisterous puppy. The pup ruined a pheasant hunt by going “out of her mind with excitement, chasing all those birds and having the time of her life,” according to Noem, who said she thought the dog was “less than worthless.”. “.

Later that day, Cricket killed some chickens owned by a local farmer and bit Noem when she attempted to reprimand him after the dog broke free from Noem’s car—an escape that many of us would consider the fault of the humans, not the dog. Noem wrote that as the final straw. I realized at that very moment that I had to put her down,” she wrote in the excerpt that was published in The Guardian. She said that after a little while, she took Cricket to the gravel pit.

Noem continued, writing that her daughter had asked where the dog was when she got back from school. “Kennedy looked around confused,” Noem writes of her daughter, who asked, “Hey, where’s Cricket?” The excerpt published by The Guardian omits what Noem said to her daughter, but the Republican governor boasted that killing Cricket and shooting a goat she owned that same day because it was “nasty and mean” was evidence that she was willing to take on the “difficult, messy, and ugly” tasks in life, and presumably in politics as well.

Noem may have included the story of shooting Cricket in her book in response to news that Trump dislikes the cherished animals that provide millions of people with joy. In her autobiography “Raising Trump,” Trump’s late wife Ivana stated that Donald was not a dog lover. She mentioned that Chappy, her poodle, would “bark at him territorially” in response to Trump’s antagonism. (At least one study indicates that dogs can accurately assess a person’s character, so maybe Chappy was right to bark!).

The fact that Trump is the first president in 120 years to not own a pet dog in the White House may be due to his dislike of our four-legged friends. From George Washington, who had two American foxhounds, our presidents have a long history of dog ownership. The majority of presidents since our first one, from both parties, have had dogs. Examples of these include Barack Obama, who had two Portuguese water dogs named Sunny and Bo, and Abraham Lincoln, who had a mutt named Fido. Naturally, President Joe Biden owns a dog as well, named Commander, though he hasn’t always been the most well-mannered. Throughout the years, he is alleged to have bit at least twenty Secret Service agents; however, no one has put forth the argument that he should be executed for this transgression.

Not having a dog himself, Trump was a rare exception, telling his supporters at a 2019 rally that it would feel “a little phony” to have a pet dog in the White House. Perhaps Noem believed that the story of shooting Cricket would give her a slight advantage as the GOP’s presumed presidential nominee selects his running mate in light of that history, presuming she was aware of Trump’s dislike of dogs.

My own theory, though, is that she may have believed that by sharing the tale, she would win over a particular type of ruthless Republican by demonstrating her toughness. If Noem arrived at that conclusion, she may have made a serious error in her computation. That may be the conclusion she is reaching for herself. Noem seemed to adopt a more compassionate stance regarding her decision to put her dog down in her Sunday post on X.

“I can see why some people find it offensive that my upcoming book, No Going Back, tells the 20-year-old story of Cricket, one of our ranch’s working dogs. Many honest accounts of my life’s highs and lows, difficulties, difficult choices, and lessons learned are included in the book, Noem wrote.

She continued, “The truth is that dogs who attack and kill livestock are subject to the death penalty under South Dakota law.”. “I made my decision after observing Cricket biting people in an aggressive manner. “.

We’ll see if that justification is sufficient to calm public outrage. Even if they don’t always treat other people with the decency and respect they deserve, people of all political stripes are, after all, rightfully repulsed by animal abuse.

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