“If you wouldn’t strap your child to the roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog! I don’t know who would find that acceptable,” [said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk]....Isn't it quite standard to plant the idea that Republicans lack feeling? I was just reading this review of a biography of Condoleezza Rice ("Twice as Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Power," by Marcus Mabry). The reviewer, Jonathan Freedland, tells us the reader feels "oddly estranged" from Rice, not through any fault of the author's, but because of the "chilly steel he finds" in her heart:
While PETA doesn’t take a position on any candidate, Ingrid offered up the theory that Mitt may have “what neurologists call an ‘absence of the mirror neuron,’ a physiological condition in the brain which means they cannot feel basic compassion.”
His search for vulnerabilities or doubt reveals only a cold, unwavering self-discipline. One of the book’s most telling moments comes when the 17-year-old Rice realizes, after surrendering her childhood to the goal of becoming a concert pianist, that she is not, after all, good enough. Her teacher ruled that while “technically competent ... she was too detached emotionally to be a great pianist.” She needed “disciplined abandon”: she had the discipline all right, she just couldn’t let herself go. Yet even this major blow barely troubles her. She simply decides to pursue another goal....So heartless and cold, these Republicans... who will, of course, take every opportunity to say that Democrats are so mushily sentimental they can't even think.
The former arms inspector David Kay calls her the worst national security adviser since the office was created, and the verdict seems harsh but not wholly unwarranted.
Rice’s defense would rest on her extraordinary presentational skills, her fluency and poise under inquisitorial fire. So what if she is more a synthesizer of others’ ideas than an original thinker, runs this logic; she has a sure political touch. Except even that is in doubt. Caught shopping for shoes in New York as the corpses floated in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Rice explained that “I didn’t think about my role as a visible African-American national figure. I just didn’t think about it.” Given what we know of her upbringing, that isn’t psychologically surprising — but it showed a political tin ear.
UPDATE: From Ann Romney's blog:
Surprise, surprise, the media didn't get the dog story right. Our dog Seamus rode in an ENCLOSED kennel, not in the open air. And he loved it. Every time he saw it, he jumped up on the tailgate, walked in, and lay down. It was just like the kennel he curled up in at home.The dog wasn't in an exposed cage.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Is this wrong?