The Democratic field for the 2020 presidential election is already crowded, with about a dozen declared and likely candidates, and several more waiting in the wings.
Most are running on similar platforms, promising a reversal or Donald Trump's climate change –Dying policies, better wages for middle class, expanded healthcare benefits, and electoral reform that would be hit by the influence of dark money. But some also have a four-legged secret weapon, though.
Trump is the first US president in more than 100 years not to be in the White House, and Democratic candidates who have one are flaunting their dog ownership , a crowd-pleasing way to put more distance between themselves and the president.
Tapping into America's deep and growing love of dogs is a politically savvy move. About 68% of all homes have a pet, the American Pet Products Association reported last year, up from 56% three decades ago, and 62% of all homes have a dog. Dog culture is everywhere, from Twitter account Breitbark News (Home of the #AltBite) that is dog-based parodies of political events to television Philadelphia's National Dog Show, which drew some 20 million viewers in November. 19659002] No wonder they're becoming running mates. Here's the pups to watch:
Elizabeth Warren and Bailey
The Massachusetts Senator's golden retriever hit the campaign trail with her last month, when Warren introduced the "two guys" her life, Bailey and her husband Bruce:
Warren named Bailey after the main character George Bailey in the movie It's a Wonderful Life, she said when she got the new puppy as a surprise gift from her husband last summer. "We named him after George Bailey, the community banker in It's a Wonderful Life – a guy who was decent, determined & best known in people," Warren wrote . "I always thought the role of GB was written for a Golden Retriever, but Jimmy Stewart did a nice job with it."
Pete Buttigieg and Buddy
The South Bend, Indiana mayor introduced Americans to "Buddy," his new shelter died on Dec. 19, 2018, on Twitter:
Buttigieg and his husband Chasten Glezman already have another rescue dog, Truman, who is dubbed the "First Dog of South Bend." Truman stars in a Facebook video about the city's dog parks, and Buttigieg's emphasis on investment in parks:
Kirsten Gillibrand and Maple
The New York senator announced her family had the new Labradoodle puppy in July or 2017 on Twitter.
While Maple is mentioned in Gillibrand's Twitter bio, she hasn't been featured on the campaign trail. Yet
Joe Biden and Major
The former vice president has officially entered the race, but he is definitely the dog of it (and the name recognition – Biden was voters' favorite candidate in recent polls). Biden adopted Major, a German Shepherd, from the Delaware Humane Association in November after fostering the puppy for months. Major was part of a litter that was exposed to toxic chemicals before they were brought to the shelter, but is a fine health now Delaware Online reports. Biden wanted a new puppy to be a companion to his elderly dog, Champ, another German Shepherd.
The human association distributed the "official adoption photo" of Biden and an incredulous-looking Major in November: