January 11th, 2009
11:04 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama: Dog search harder than finding a Cabinet member

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/11/art.obamaabc.abc.jpg caption="President-elect Barack Obama says choosing the first dog is narrowing down."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Picking the first dog is harder than it seems - but it the race could be narrowing down.

President-elect Barack Obama said in an interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that choosing the right dog is harder than selecting a Cabinet member.

"We're closing in on it. This has been tougher than finding a commerce secretary," Obama told George Stephanopoulos.

The hotly debated dog question, Stephanopoulos admitted, was submitted by the future first daughters - Sasha and Malia - before the show, which is broadcast from the Newseum.

"I heard they were taken straight to the first dog exhibit and while you were getting made up, they went into the control room and played director and producer," Stephanopoulos said. "And they actually gave me a question they want me to ask you. You know exactly what it's going to be."

Obama's response: "Uh oh."

"They seem to have narrowed it down to a Labradoodle or a Portuguese water hound," he said. "Medium sized dog, and so, we're now going to start looking at shelters to see when one of those dogs might come up."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Larry

    How was your lunch yesterday ??When are you getting a puppy ??
    Hard questions that still need to be answered.

    January 11, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. KMP

    I commend Barack and his families desire to adopt from a shelter but he better get real quick if they think they will find a labradoodle these are dogs that are hard to find with a high price tag attached to them. Instead why don't they go and check out local rescues for something close, because even though they are looking for a dog that will be allergy friendly there really is no such thing, that is why there is medicines.

    January 11, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Debby

    A Port. Water dog is not a hound and a labradoodle is a something vets cringe at when they walk in the door. Good choices Obama. LOL

    January 11, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Bill

    Why has the Norweigan Elkhound not been mentioned? This is a loyal, intelligent, long lived dog with loyalty that is second to none!

    January 11, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Mike, Syracuse NY

    OMG, it's just a dog. You don't have to staff every decision forever. Just freaking decide already!

    January 11, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Bean

    Yeah! It is great that he is going to look at a rescue dog, instead of continuing the pet over population problem. I think that this desminstrates how much he truly is in touch with the real world and the problems of the common people and ommom canines. There is hope

    January 11, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Meka

    I voted for President-elect Obama, for his High Degree of Intelligence, and his Personal Connection with People . . . but I feel that the World in general is placing an enourmous amount of pressure on him, due to the Condition's of the World.

    Granted, HE is the ONLY Presidental Canidate that IS QUALIFIED to accomplish the Task at hand . . .


    January 11, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Salt & Pepper

    A black labador is the only way to go. We've had 4 over the years and they listen and behave very well. Also, they are great companions. (Don't get one unless you have a high energy level!)

    January 11, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Texas Teacher

    The shelter is a wonderful place to look for a dog... all kinds come through all the time! 🙂 You might have to go a few times until the right dog finds you, but it is inevitable that one will. Good luck, girls... I hope you find just the right one.

    Now, I can hardly wait for some bozo to say something to the effect... "why are we wasting time on this issue!" Why? Because the first family is not so very different from any other family in the Nation! The girls want a dog... and the children all over the country are wondering what they will find and settle on... then... what will they name it! It's putting a human face on the "first family".... 🙂 and allows the children and adults of this country to identify with them.

    January 11, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. legal in nc

    Filling his cabinet was easy because he just used Clinton and Bush people to fill those positions.

    When finding a family pet he has to take into account what his "finally proud of America" wife, his "privately schooled" spoiled kids, and his "mooching of the taxpayers" mother in law think.

    January 11, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. Patrick Keen

    Haters of Obama,

    Here is a good one....Obama demeaning his cabinet members...and a dog taking more efforts to search than the commerce secretary......WOW.

    On your marks, get set.....GO!!!!!!!

    January 11, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. john from sandiego

    he already has two lap dogs...biden and durbin..

    January 11, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. Alice Winfree Bowron

    Brilliant! Both dogs are adorable & very special – and, BRAVO to our beloved Prez Elect for keeping with his shelter-dog pledge!!!!

    January 11, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Pat

    Sounds like a great choice.

    January 11, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. Sandy

    Great choices (I'd choose the Portie)!! Either way, I hope someone likes to throw sticks and balls:)

    January 11, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Juan Grain

    Get a Rottweiler, They make great family dogs and the media won't be sticking their hands in it's mouth! And it willbe able to play with the Biden's dog on a level playing field:)

    January 11, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. Eric Green

    Way to go Sasha and Malia!! To correct them it would be a Portugese Water Dog which the Kennedys' are very fond of. Sen. Ted Kennedy has some nice ones so maybe he will get one for you guys? Either way dont be pressured into getting one from a shelter....Find a reputable breeder and get the best you can get...........

    January 11, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. sue bloom

    I believe they mean "Portugese Water Dog".

    January 11, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. D. Enfield

    The President-Elect's best pick for a dog must be A Bischon. It meets the needs of the children's ages. It is a very friendly, dog , small enough to sleep on the bed, barks when strangers appear, sweet disposition, easy to train and equally loving to both girls and others.

    January 11, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. MIMI


    January 11, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. t


    January 11, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. jani

    I realize that the Obama's have more on their minds than choosing a dog, but it worries me that it's taking so long and that the dog search appears to be getting the same scrutiny as a human being would.

    I love dogs and hope that whatever their choice is that they will remember that no one is perfect (even dogs) and that dogs do not have the intelligence of humans.


    January 11, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. t

    A DOG????????????????? SO FREAKIN WHAT

    January 11, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. Labradoodle Owner with Allergies

    May I suggest a Labradoodle, particuraly an F1B? These breeds are part standard poodle and part labrador retreiver. They have great temperments, are great with children and are quick learners, loyal, playful, etc. They resemble the Portugese Water Dog but are less demanding. Remember, no dog is truly hypo-allergenic, as I have learned. I suffer from asthma and it took two months to acclimate myself to the dog. Grooming helps!

    January 11, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Brenda C

    Come on George I'm tired of the media bashing Obama over this dog thing. Leave him alone. Why do you continue to hound him and ask him these hard questions when you know he can't make a comment about it until Jan 20th? Only one President at a time George!

    January 11, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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