Politics Gets Dirtier: Attack Ad Goes After Cat | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Politics Gets Dirtier: Attack Ad Goes After Cat

Play associated audio
Not even pets can hide from the political caterwauling; a superPAC has attacked the candidacy of Hank the Cat.
Youtube
Not even pets can hide from the political caterwauling; a superPAC has attacked the candidacy of Hank the Cat.

If American politicians are going to quarrel like cats and dogs, why not just elect cats and dogs?

They may scratch furniture and make an occasional mess on the floor, but look at the messes some elected officials leave.

Almost every election cycle, you see a story in which someone, somewhere, thinks it's pointed or funny to run a pet for mayor or sheriff. The person print up some buttons and has a few laughs. But the candidacy of Hank the Cat may reach a new level.

Hank is a 9-year-old Maine coon who resides in Springfield, Va., with his campaign and media managers — "owners" seems a little sterile — Matthew O' Leary and Anthony Roberts.

Last October, they declared Hank a candidate for the Senate seat in Virginia being vacated by Sen. Jim Webb. Mr. O' Leary says they wanted to "kind of let off some steam" about the "negative and vitriolic" nature of politics and opened a Facebook page to promote their feline favorite son.

And of course, they produced a video that began, "America is the greatest land of all. A land where all people can live free," showing the Statue of Liberty at sunrise, moon-lit cityscapes, school kids, cowboys and other emblematic Americans of all hues in classrooms, farms and factories. It is indistinguishable from many other political ads until the end, when you hear: "Vote Hank for U.S. Senate."

And you realize: That's a cat.

Hank's ad became popular enough online to inspire an attack ad from a superPAC calling itself Canines for a Feline Free Tomorrow. In it, a typically menacing voice-over asks, "What do you really know about Hank?"

 

 

Hank has never released his birth certificate, his tax returns and has never responded to allegations that he used catnip. He says he's gone to the vet — but there's no record of him having served in any military branch. Would Hank force females to undergo an ultrasound before being spayed? And should a Maine coon really be running for Senate in Virginia? We need more facts and fewer fat cats in Washington.

 

 

Eight months from Election Day, and cats and dogs are already quarreling like Democrats and Republicans.

It seems to me that all this campaign and superPAC caterwauling — and that's perhaps a feline-insensitive phrase — overlooks the many hopes and dreams that American cats and dogs share and can use to nurture our democracy, from sea to shining sea.

After all, unlike lots of things in politics, cats and dogs can be fixed.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
NPR

'Breaking Bad' Fans Get Their Fix In Spanish

Metástasis, the Spanish-language remake of the AMC series, ends this week on UniMás. The show is set in Colombia instead of New Mexico, but the story of a teacher-turned-drug dealer stays the same.
NPR

Edible Packaging? Retailers Not Quite Ready To Ditch The Wrapper

To reduce waste, some enterprising companies are trying to roll out products that make the package part of the snack — edible packaging. But selling it to the retail market is trickier than it seems.
WAMU 88.5

Senator's Legislation Would Strip NFL Of Nonprofit Status

The Redskins' refusal to change its name has prompted the legislation from U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA).
NPR

When The Power's Out, Solar Panels May Not Keep The Lights On

With the price of solar panels falling, more municipalities and homeowners are installing them. But having solar panels doesn't mean you won't lose power in a blackout — at least not yet.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.