Political Animals: Taming Campaign Creatures
Photo: Photo by Pictorial Parade/Getty Images
President Richard M. Nixon smiles and pets his dogs Irish Setter 'King Timahoe,' Yorkshire Terrier 'Pasha' and French Poodle 'Vicky,' outside the White House, Washington, DC, April 30, 1970.
Nixon's most famous dog, Checkers, was the centerpiece of a speech he delivered in 1952. Addressing accusations that he had received inappropriate gifts from the RNC, Nixon dodged the criticism and delivered a famous rebuttal:
"One other thing I probably should tell you because if we don't they'll probably be saying this about me too, we did get something--a gift--after the electionů..You know what it was? It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that he'd sent all the way from Texas....And our little girl--Tricia, the 6-year-old--named it Checkers. 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."