Posted Dec 15th 2011 9:30AM
It sounds like a scene from a National Lampoon flick. Clark W. Griswold loads the family into the station wagon and discovers there is no room for Fido. Some not so quick thinking brings Griswold to the conclusion that it would be a great idea to strap the mutt to the roof of the car. Just as the blonde in the Ferrari slows to wave, the camera pans to the canine who has a distressed look on his face just before having an explosive movement that sprays down the back of the car.
Instead of Chevy Chase though, this character was played by United States Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. The blonde in the Ferrari likely didn't happen either, as Romney is a devout Mormon.
Living in the Boston area, the Romney family was preparing for a trip to their cottage near Grand Bend, Ontario, which they still own. One can imagine the challenge of cramming two adults, five kids and the essentials needed for a cottage vacation in to one car. Likewise, one can visualize Romney trying to figure out how to incorporate Seamus the Irish Setter into the picture. Romney's solution was to fit a wind screen on the front of a dog carrier and then strap it to the roof of the wagon. This may have been a good theory until the stressed out pooch had a moment of incontinence which was spotted by the eldest of the Romney kids as it trickled down the rear window. Unfazed by this, Pappa Romney pulled over at the next service station and hosed down the dog and the car. He loaded the dog back on the roof and headed back on the road for the remainder of the 12 hour drive.
Continue reading the rest of the story after the jump.
The story was originally broken by the Boston Globe in 2007 when the former Governor of Massachusetts was running for President of the United States for the first time. It stirred up some controversy at the time, but has largely been forgotten by the general public. New York Times scribe Gail Collins makes a point of referencing the story on a regular basis, saying recently:
"maybe we could get over his driving to Canada with the family dog strapped to the roof of the car if he'd just admit it was because he was too cheap to hire a dog-sitter. Maybe."
An interesting automotive twist to this story is the fact that Romney is the son of George Romney, who was the Chairman and CEO of American Motors from 1954 to 1962. During this time, the elder Romney spearheaded AMC's development of the fuel efficient Rambler. The success of the Rambler saved AMC from a corporate takeover in 1958. It is ironic then that Mitt Romney was against the U.S. Government bailout that saved the auto industry:
News Source: Toronto Star
"If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won't go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed."
Image Source: Old Car Advertising & William Rabe