November 7th, 2008
03:33 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama: New dog could be 'mutt like me'

President-elect Obama told reporters Friday that his eldest daughter, Malia, has allergies which might preclude the family from adopting a shelter dog which would likely be a 'mutt' like Obama.
President-elect Obama told reporters Friday that his eldest daughter, Malia, has allergies which might preclude the family from adopting a shelter dog which would likely be a 'mutt' like Obama.

(CNN) – In his first press conference since winning the race to the White House, President-elect Barack Obama addressed a pressing question: who is going to be the first dog?

Obama told a group of reporters in Chicago on Friday that since his 10-year-old daughter, Malia, is allergic, the Obama family is looking for a hypoallergenic breed. But Obama also said the family wants to adopt one from a shelter.

Watch: Obama talks about the first dog

“There are a number of breeds that are hypoallergenic, but on the other hand our preference is to get a shelter dog, but obviously, a lot of the shelter dogs are mutts like me,” Obama said. “So, whether we are going to be able to balance those two things I think is a pressing issue on the Obama household.”

Obama is of mixed racial heritage: His mother was Caucasian and his father was African.

Obama announced in his victory speech on Election Day that his daughters had “earned” a puppy. Obama joked that this is a “major issue” and said that since Election Day, the family’s dog choice has created more interest than any other topic.

soundoff (198 Responses)
  1. bridgette

    Umm I believe he was joking. Let's not take everything so serious.

    November 7, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. justwow

    Wow CNN, so of the whole press conference THIS is what you chose to post?

    Just wow

    November 7, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Bruce

    shows his human side and consideration

    November 7, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Rob

    I love him. That's all.

    November 7, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. masterhurrikane

    day 3 and Obama Leads. Good Job.

    November 7, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. Sarah in the South

    Okay, I guess there is ONE good thing about Obama. My mutt is the best! I will never forget the day we went to the shelter "just to look" and came home with our new family member!

    November 7, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. Mike in Columbus

    Conservative hate incoming...

    November 7, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. Chris

    I think he should get a Pit Bull– and name it Sarah!

    November 7, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. sneaky pete

    between Bushs' dog biting a reporter and the 6 or 7 stories on the Obama's now getting a dog, I think there have been a few too many stories about dogs on the clicker in the last 3 days. (this coming from an owner of 2 boxers and avid dog lover)

    November 7, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. HouseDiva

    Mutts make the best dogs.

    we used to have a dog when i was a kid named Muttley he was a mix of everything, but he was a very good dog...i remember crying my eyes out when Muttley died. I never had a dog since...i became a cat person.

    i really hope Obama gets a shelter dog that is non hypo-allergenic....Full breeds are too high maintenance.

    we're all americans...we're all mutts in some way; so i understand Obama.

    my two kids are bi-racial and they are Obama Fans they always say that he is just like them. I know that they are proud of it.

    November 7, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. TangoDancer

    Good choice Mr. President to adopt a shelter dog. If I had a bigger yard and didn't live in the city, I'd do the same thing. Your simple gesture could have positive effects for countless animals in shelters across the nation that just need a loving family. Thank you.

    November 7, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Leah from FL

    We're all mutts!

    November 7, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. Rick

    I second the "Pitbull named Sarah" notion

    November 7, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Sheila

    There are shelters that have many purebred dogs, particularly in affluent suburbs, for instance, Westchester County in New York State. Having a pedigree doesn't necessarily protect a dog from being dumped. I suggest the Obama family start their search in animal shelters in a well-to-do area.

    November 7, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Proud to be American

    Mutt or Mixed Breed (more PC) is what I am too and my family.... I think the majority of Americans are of mix breeds due to our history.... hey mix breeds make the best dog and some great looking humans too.... and both dogs & humans of mixed breeds tend to be a healthier and stonger then pure breeds... so there no worries .... I can accept the fact that Mr. P is a mutt hehehehehe so is the majority of Americans (smile).

    November 7, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. Kamal

    Good to see that Obama has a personality and not a robot! He made the dog choosing look so serious, it was quite hilarious. Watch someone take that mutt comment and spin it into a huge issue.... glad to see CNN choose to take the higher path and not go down that road. The logic and sensibility of CNN is what keeps me coming back here for news!

    November 7, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Shelby

    I knew this statement Obama made was gonna be a story. Just think, all of the news orgs are gonna be talking about that statement for a long time.

    November 7, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. jamie

    I hope people don't take it out of context and realize he was only telling the truth. He is bi-racial and dogs that are bi-breed are called muts

    November 7, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. Vinson

    Wow!!! This guy gets better by the minute.

    Its going to be interesting to see a REAL american family in the white house and not some creepy stepford plastic ensemble born with silver spoons in their mouths coupled with a lifetime of privilege.

    November 7, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. Did Obama do the right thing?

    Obama said he is the "unity" president who brings everyone together?

    If he is, why did he not support gay marriage in California? Does he believe gays are not equal? Should minorities like blacks have rights but not gays?

    Did Obama shun gays because he needed votes? If so, it's sad.
    Had Abraham Lincoln taken the easy road, where would we be?

    November 7, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. SW

    Author – I just knew that you were going to comment on President Elect Obama's "mutt" remarks. L. I. G. = Let It Go!!!! Everything is not worth commenting on...

    November 7, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. mutts are best

    Mutts are healthier, have better dispositions, and are all around better – dogs and people! Our two rescued mutts are loved to no end and make us happy every day. Great choice! I'm sure the Obamas will get to the front of the line pretty easily with some Labradoodle rescue group. Problem solved!

    November 7, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  23. AmericaGotItRightThisTime

    It's a joke! What is wrong with CNN???

    November 7, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. Pete

    I suggest a Basenji. It has very short hair and is supposed to hypoallergenic. The breed also has it's roots in the Congo so they share an African heritage.

    Please don't take that as racist in any way. I think it would be cool.

    November 7, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Matt

    It sends a very good message that the President would adopt a dog from a shelter. More people should adopt dogs from shelters instead of spending thousands of dollards on purebreeds that have been inbred to the point of cruelty. Kudos to the new first family.

    November 7, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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