The Daily Beast

Getting a Presidential Pet Is a Great Distraction From Scandal

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

When we think of presidential pets, we think of their cute moments and endless photo-ops on the White House lawn—but the reality is you sometimes need to acquire a pet to distract from a scandal.

So it was in the 1990s, CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Mo Rocca explains on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, when the Clintons got Buddy the dog.

“The Clintons had Socks,” Rocca tells co-host Molly Jong-Fast. “And then in the depths of the Lewinsky affair, when Clinton was in real turmoil, Dick Morris advised him to get a dog. This is totally true. And because dogs were more popular, they got a chocolate lab, Buddy. Labrador retrievers were at that point the No. 1 breed in America for 17 years running. And so the cat was given, I believe, to [Clinton personal secretary] Betty Currie. I mean the cat, it was like, ‘Exit, stage right.’”

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