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

Obama: New dog could be 'mutt like me'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. PCS / North Carolina

    He should call his dog "Joe".

    November 7, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Dianne Bowker

    Just a note on the rescue/shelter dog. I hope someone tells him that there are also all kinds of resuces for purebred dogs if that is his concern. I, for example have a beautiful shar pei from a shar pei rescue and almost all other breeds have a rescue devoted to their specific breed. I volunteer for a dog resuce and if there is such a thing as a hypo allergic dog then it can be found in a rescue or shelter and does not have to be purchased from a breeder.

    November 7, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Charlie Bradley

    for Leah "we're all mutts" That's VERY true. There are no true 100% Americans. There were at one time. When our ancestors came here from England, Europe, Italy, France, Scotland, Germany, Ireland, etc we confiscated the land of the True Americans. They were called "Indians" because Christopher Columbus mistakenly thought he had landed in the West Indies when he landed here in 1492.

    So we're all mixtures of the various nationalities of our ancestors from countries like France, Ireland, England, Portugal, Spain etc.

    November 7, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Tony

    All of us are mutts. As soon as everyone realizes that simple fact, this country will actually take that last ultimate step foward.

    November 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Roc10

    Even though I didn't vote for Obama, I can appreciate his love for his daughters. I have a GOLDENDOODLE (1/2 Golden Retriever, 1/2 standard poodle). He is hypo-allergenic and does NOT SHED. Unfortunately, it will be quite difficult to find a hypoallergenic dog in a shelter. Get a Goldendoodle or labradoodle (plus, they look like Boyds Bears)

    November 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Chicka

    I think I like this version of Obama better.

    The body language was different, the style of delivery was different. He even iced Jake Tapper!

    I was worried a bit, that he might take awhile to adjust to the position, but my goodness, I have total confidence in this guy to handle anything.

    I'm a "mutt" too, so all I said when I heard that comment was "OH SNAP!" Which was pretty much what I said when he made that "Seance" crack too.

    I *like* this guy.

    November 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. Chut Pata

    Hmm. I like the notion of getting a pit bull and putting a lipstick on it. He can call her "Hockey Mom". The second option of getting a Labrador and calling it "Joe the Labraman".

    Seriously, I hope he will find a mutt that would have best of both races, like Obama has the cool of a white man and the fire of a black man.

    November 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. I'm a mutt!!

    Come on people. I've been calling myself a mutt for years and I am so proud of my heritage. I am a little of everything and I am proud of it!! Mutts make better dogs and better people! Don't look at it as being something negative. It's absolutely wonderful!

    The only people pointing out that "mutt" is bad are most likely those that aren't mutts themselves. Let it go. You're insulting the rest of us.

    November 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Michelle, PA

    And some people were saying there's nothing about Obama to make fun of. Comedians need full employment too, he's just helping the economy!

    Seriously, it's good to see him just be himself.

    November 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Larry Moore

    I have always wished a President would adopt a mixed-breed shelter dog to help expose their plight to our Country. God bless Mr. Obama for considering this . Larry

    November 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. martasonia

    To Joe in NJ
    As you can see many of us care what type of dog Obama is getting.
    I think you are the one not getting it – how important dogs are to us humans, how warm hearting it is in these difficult times to be looking at adopting dogs – our best friends and how delightful it is to have a president that is showing his soft side and shares the discussions held in the Obama household about which dog to adopt. It is a very telling anecdote that satisfies on many levels. Your response, on the other hand, is sour, petty and not in touch. Get over it, Obama won!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. dsavio

    Dear Obama is Shafting Gays,

    I understand your position. I agree that it is very sad that America took one step forward (electing Obama) and one step back (banning gay marriage in 4 states). What you have to understand though is that WINNING this election was of TREMENDOUS importance. If he had taken a stance supporting gay marriage there is a very good chance that would have lost him the election.

    In this case I believe Winning the election was More important than matters of principal. You have to choose your battles wisely.

    So, yes, it was a political decision, but I believe it was the right decision. There is far greater chance of changing things (for gays and everyone else) with Obama in office than with McCain.

    November 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. dz in Austin

    Am I the only 1 who realizes almost all Americans are mutts? My heritage is Italian, Irish, a little English, a little American Indian, and a whole lot of Texan. Now tht's a mutt!

    Are all the rest of you guys pure breeds?

    November 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. Tired

    For those of you taking this too seriously...


    1/2 Irish, 1/4 Indian, 1/4 Arab and All-American.

    I call myself a mutt all the time and I think it's great he said it.

    November 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. Gary Anderson Des Moines Iowa

    Mutt does not mean bi-racial. I'm a mutt and I'm caucasion. Or should I call myself bi-racial because I am norwegian, english, irish, dutch?

    November 7, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Kathy

    I have heard over and over, he is the real thing. Picking a rescue dog is great! Getting one from a breader is selfish, as there are so many dogs out there that are boing destroyed daily. Good job! Love the "mutt" comment. And I ask who here is not a mutt? Most people, if their famillies have been in the USA for at least 2 generations are mutts.
    For those who think only liberals hate..just look at crue!

    November 7, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. brad

    Oh poor Barack, a mutt. Now one of the most powerful people on earth, I don't even want to hear about his beleaguered life.................................

    November 7, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Spencer/Virginia

    I love a sense of humor in a president. That one-liner is better than anything I've ever heard out of Dubya's mouth. Let me take that back. The "latte sipping lefty" line from the movie was pretty funny.

    November 7, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Elizabeth in Lansing, IL

    Nothing wrong with being a "mutt", especially if one is referring to oneself. As a Asian/African-American mix, I totally understood what he met. Some people need to lose their racial hypersensitivity.

    November 7, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. PDX for Obama

    In response to "Obama is shafting gays"

    How did Obama "not support gays in the California marriage initiative"?

    This is not meant as an attack, i would just like an explanation

    November 7, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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