Obama: None … Yet.
The Obama family doesn’t have any pets at the moment, but if Barack ascends to the White House, he’ll follow in the footsteps of his presidential forebears and procure a First Dog—he promised one to his daughters. Or was coerced into promising one, as Michelle Obama suggested at women’s conference last October: “Their main concern about this whole race was whether or not they could get a dog. That was the bargaining chip. You wanna run for president, we’re getting a dog,” she recalls her two young children demanding. “Let me tell you, we talk about this dog every day. Every day,” Obama said. “’What kind are we going to get? You do know we’re getting it? What breed, how big, how small?’ Yesterday morning we talked about names. I said, ‘Look, you’re getting a dog, just knock it off.’”
McCain: Animal Farm
John McCain seems a bit of a maverick when it comes to pets as well as politics. He’s got the usual dogs—four of them actually: two Yorkshire terriers, Lucy and Desi; an English springer spaniel, Sam; and a mutt, Coco—and a black-and-white cat named Oreo. But he also reportedly owns two turtles (Cuff and Link), three parakeets, and thirteen saltwater fish. And in the past he’s had guinea pigs, snakes, and “an iguana that Jack walked on a leash,” according to Vogue, plus a ferret. The ferret recently died of cancer, and though McCain called it “a very cute animal,” he also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren in a joint interview with his wife that, “Rather than alienate the pro-pet constituency, I will remain silent about the loss of our ferret,” implying that perhaps Cindy was the impetus behind that acquisition. Indeed, Cindy seems to be more of an animal person than John. “She loves animals, just not always ones that I appreciate,” he told Vogue. It was Cindy who went out and bought the two terriers as she coped with their daughter Meghan’s graduating college and leaving home. But McCain has proven his devotion to his pets: About five years ago, as the New York Times’ Caucus blog reported, Coco the mutt began choking (on either a treat or a piece of meat—memories differ), and McCain attempted a sort of doggie Heimlich. When that failed, McCain stuck two of his fingers down the dog’s throat and cleared the blockage, saving the dog.