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Obsessed with Seamus


NPR media correspondent David Falkenflik takes up the question of why New York Times columnist Gail Collins is so taken up with the story of how Mitt Romney once strapped the family dog to the roof of the car for a 12-hour drive to Canada.

We asked the same question too, a few weeks ago. I noted then that she’d managed to work the Irish setter into 19 of her NY Times columns. But Falkenflik has been doing a more thorough count and he says the total number is “just shy of three dozen columns.” Plus six times in her blog posts.

Collins is still racking up the mentions. Like last week when she commented on Romney describing Newt Gingrich as “zany”:

I would say this is an extremely safe position for Romney to take because the odds are very good that no one has ever called Mitt zany in his entire life. Unless it was when he drove to Canada with the family dog strapped to the roof of the station wagon. (“Hey, Mister, you got an Irish setter on top of your car. What are you, zany or something?”)

Falkenflik dropped in at her office to ask her what’s with all the mentions of Seamus:

“The idea that you’ve got this guy who would drive all the way to Canada with an Irish setter sitting on the top of the car — it absolutely fascinated me,” Collins said.

… As a dog-lover, Collins says she finds Seamus’ treatment objectionable. As a liberal columnist, she calls it a miracle. … I asked her whether all that attention was fair to Romney.

“He did it!” she said, laughing. “Is it fair to Seamus, who got put on the roof of the car? I think it’s pretty fair. Yeah, sure.”

Collins says she and the tale of Seamus will be strapped together at least until the end of the primaries.