We all know about the infamous tale of Seamus, the Romney family Irish Setter, crapping himself in a crate strapped to the top of a station wagon for 12 hours while Mitt drove the family to Canada. The story, broken in 2007 by the Boston Globe, is dogging Romney, so to speak, on the campaign trail.
In recent weeks, there's been a story going around that Seamus actually ran away on that trip, while the family was in Ontario. The New York Observer's Politicker column put this out, citing sources saying that the story originates with two of the Romney sons.
I have to say, if it's true it makes Romney seem even creepier. Watch that Chris Wallace interview; that's not how a normal human being talks about the time when the beloved family pet vanished never to be seen again.
But it seems unlikely. Not only has Ann Romney said that Seamus lived to a ripe old age, but Mitt's sister Jane has claimed that Seamus lived with her for a while "a few years after" the Canada ride. (She also said in that piece that the Romneys allowed Seamus to roam free in the neighborhood, and "kept ending up at the pound... They were worried about him getting hit crossing the street." Yeesh.)
Still, it should be easy enough to disprove the rumor, so it is a little striking that the Romneys have not put forth some of the photographs that should exist in plentitude, of Seamus among the Romney family after 1983. So I say, DEMAND SEAMUS PHOTOS!!!
Regardless, in thinking about this topic I realized that, as far as I know, we haven't heard how Seamus travelled on the trip home from Canada.
I would be particularly interested to know whether, for that return trip, Seamus happily jumped up into the kennel as Romney claims the dog did for the first ride. If so, that would support Romney's contention that Seamus enjoyed the ride, self-defecation notwithstanding. So, you would think the Romneys would say so. Maybe they have, and I've missed it. Or maybe the dog had to be forced inside, whimpering in dread at a return to the scene of his recent torture.
Or, maybe it wasn't an issue, because the dog had run away -- maybe because they let him roam free in the Ontario streets as they apparently did in Belmont?
Who knows. What I can say is that this is in a way emblematic of Romney's troubles -- you never feel like he's ever simply telling you the straight, entire truth about anything. That's why he's never able to put issues behind him, whether about a position he's taken on an issue, or an accomplishment he's claiming, or something he's said or done on the campaign. Or, the Seamus incident. There's never a sense that Romney has really answered the question, so the question never really goes away.