White House Wednesdays

Well, the 2012 presidential debates are over, and what did not come up for discussion are their pets!  Some presidents have addressed them, however, in their campaigns, and one of the most notable occasions was certainly President Nixon and his cocker spaniel.  Nixon was the vice presidential candidate on the 1952 ticket (under Dwight D. Eisenhower) when a story broke, claiming that campaign donors were buying influence with Nixon with a secret cash fund. Nixon responded to the claim and appeared on national television delivering a half-hour address defending himself against the allegations.  It would mark the first time that a national political figure would release his tax returns but, ultimately, what people will always remember from the speech was not so much those details, but the mention of the one gift that he would keep and not give back – his little black and white cocker spaniel Checkers, who his daughter loved.  “And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we’re gonna keep it.”  Approximately 60 million Americans heard the comeback speech of 1952, now commonly referred to as the Checkers Speech. The heartfelt address generated a groundswell of support from the public, and the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket went on to win the election by 7 million votes.





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