Donald Trump needs a sense of humor and a dog, according to USA Today writer Saundra Torry. Published on Friday, Torry’s op-ed claims that a good president needs a pet and the ability to laugh, and criticizes Trump for having neither.
Trump is the first president in a century who doesn’t have a dog. He recently explained at a rally that if he owned a dog it would look ‘phony’ and appeared to mock former President Barack Obama, who bought a dog for his daughters following his election win in 2008.
Torry criticizes Trump for using the word ‘dog’ as an insult. Trump frequently says someone was ‘fired like a dog’ or similar phrases. Trump could find a dog useful, she says: “In fact, a dog’s genuine love, along with a sense of humor, can go a long way toward smoothing over lapses, extinguishing fires and softening unappetizing traits.”
Torry also accuses Trump of having no sense of humor and compared him to John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. Reagan in particular was known for his jokes and disarming nature. He often used jokes to distract from difficult situations.
“The last president to have no sense of humor was Richard Nixon. We all know how that story ended,” the op-ed goes on to say. “But at least Nixon had dogs. He was often photographed on the beach in San Clemente, the Western White House, with his gorgeous Irish setter King Timahoe.”
As the article recounts, Nixon famously used his family dog to appeal to voters during the 1952 election, when he was accused of using campaign contributions for personal gain. Nixon’s defense of his dog, Checkers, who was a gift, won him widespread praise.
President Trump is very unlikely to get a dog anytime soon. This break with presidential precedent may be a minor issue, but Americans love their dogs. About 36% of US households have one. That’s 43 million homes. There are more dogs in the US than people who voted for Donald Trump.