The Bush dog joke you never heard
July 18th, 2014
04:54 PM ET
9 years ago

The Bush dog joke you never heard

(CNN) - In a draft speech prepared for President Bill Clinton’s appearance at the 1997 Alfalfa Club dinner, a speechwriter’s joke went too far for someone in the White House.

“Socks has been a [sic] exemplary first pet; I don’t want to disparage Millie but some have described her as – well it starts with ‘B’ and rhymes with ‘witch’,” read the joke.


However, it was crossed out of the draft and it appears Clinton never used the quip in his speech, according to previously confidential memos and drafts released by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library on Friday.

Read the Clinton documents

Socks was the Clintons’ cat while they lived in the White House. Millie was George H.W. and Barbara Bush’s dog. The Clintons later acquired a dog named Buddy.

The joke invokes memory of comments Barbara Bush made in 1984 about Geraldine Ferraro, the then-Democratic vice presidential nominee. Bush joked that Ferraro was a "four-million-dollar – I can't say it, but it rhymes with rich." She later apologized, saying she meant to imply Ferraro was a "witch."


Filed under: Barbara Bush • Bill Clinton
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Jim

    It got scratched because it was less funny than this story is relevant.

    July 19, 2014 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  2. Sip That Kool Aid, It's All You're Good For.

    I'll be glad when the next presidential election is over. Getting sick of hearing about it, and still have more than a year to put up with all the hype and lies. The hype will come from all sides, while the lies will be from the party wanting to steal the power from the current setting party. Either way it's diced, we're in for one hell of a long year.

    July 19, 2014 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  3. Duane st.pete FL

    This is news worthy? We have a complete clown in office who attends funds raisers while the world is descending into craziness......worst president ever by a very very big margin....

    July 19, 2014 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  4. Dude

    Clinton making a quip about Bush's dog just goes to show how this has nothing to do with anything political.

    July 19, 2014 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  5. Thomas

    And to think GW Bush was elected twice .

    Bad Joke

    July 19, 2014 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  6. sapper

    Just wondering – the joke was written for Pres Clinton, it was meant to be about Pres H W Bush – how did a photograph of Pres G W Bush appear in the article??

    July 19, 2014 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  7. Sam

    Plane shot down, violence in the Mideast, and CNN finds it important to publish a dog joke and update us on the latest Captain America.

    July 19, 2014 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  8. Richard Neilan

    No First Lady was a bigger b-- than Barbara Bush herself. Arrogance personified. Childhood friends describe her as a mean, vindictive girl, who ostracized others in the schoolyard, and generally wasn't very nice. "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree," as they say, and while G.H.W. Bush was working overseas, Barbara raised her boys to be pretty much like herself. They didn't play by the rules when they were kids, and they don't now. Jeb Bush is about as arrogant as they come.

    July 19, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  9. Tony D

    Jack Granger
    I think Hillary is peaking too early and Elizabeth Warren will surpass her just like Obama did...just saying.

    Peaking??? Where have you been? She's been on a down slide since she started opening her mouth on her disastrous book tour. One stupid remark after another. Maybe there is something to that brain injury report?

    July 19, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  10. plain & simple

    Where are those right wing nut jobs now expressing their admiration of what a strong leader Putin was compared to Obama? That's a news worthy story!

    July 19, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. Handy Jack

    Hillary will not be President. She won't even win the primary.

    July 19, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. Joey Travini

    The Bushes Sr.

    The Bushes, Sr & Jr. are the real dogs by any name there is. They needed to be on a leash to prevent them from causing so much universal harm and destruction. Instead they get undeserved attention, same as 'ole Tricky Dick Nixon using his dog Checkers to get the voter's attention.

    July 19, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. Mike Brown

    It was crossed out because it wasn't funny. Whoever wrote it was just making a cheap shot that wasn't funny or really even a shot. Doesn't matter which party was on either side, it was a dumb joke. I thought the White House always hired the best writers.....perhaps this was a stand-in writer while the real one was on vacation.

    July 19, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. J Perez

    I don't find much funny about the Bush family. A bunch of trust funders gone wild.

    July 19, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. Ed

    Well Starman, at least we don't EAT dogs like your messiah does.

    July 19, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. John Hilferty

    Fire the editor who wrote: "The Bush Dog Joke You Never Heard."
    To be grammatically correct, the headline should have been, "The Clinton Dog Joke You Never Heard." Bush had nothing to do with a joke written by a Clinton aide.

    July 19, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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