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Paper Monitor

11:55 UK time, Friday, 7 November 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

OK, America has decided. And since then the papers have been full of feverish speculation about the president-elect's own big decision... which type of puppy will be going to the White House with the First Family? After all, Mr Obama publicly promised his daughters the pooch as a moving-in present.

There is also the not insignificant matter of who will help him rule the United States. But it's his four-legged running mate that prompts much interest.

More than half of US presidents have had a First Dog, from George Washington's assortment of hounds - among them Vulcan, Tipsy and Sweetlips - to George W Bush's two Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley. More details (Presidential Pets Museum)

"BAMALOT - TANALOT - AND A CLOT - WINALOT" read the headlines on the Sun's double-page spread under the banner: "A NEW DAWN: BARACK'S AMERICA TAKING SHAPE".

Bamalot [yes, as in Camelot - the nickname for the court of JFK] for his "court of political heavyweights".
Tanalot for Silvio Berlusconi's gaffe in praising Mr Obama's tan.
And a clot - come on down, Sarah Palin, for allegedly mistaking Africa for a big country.
Winalot - yes, the canine question. Illustrated with a dachshund puppy. Sweet! Get one of those!

Yesterday the Times pored over Barack Obama's first concrete pledge - to get a dog - and an expert from the Kennel Club plumped for a cocker spaniel. "Gentle and affectionate but also merry and full of life," so well suited to DC's social whirl.

But today's Daily Mail says it will be a rescue dog chosen by the American Kennel Club. If this comes to pass, the Times adds that the subtext will be "just as anyone can become President, any canine can become First Dog". But perhaps not a poodle, despite this breed topping the Kennel Club's poll of its members. A bit fussy for the modern urbanite look of the Obamas.

And the Guardian's G2 points out that "older listeners will have heard Richard Nixon in 1952 when he promised to bring a puppy to the White House".

Meanwhile, "dog bites man" is not news, as even baby journos will tell you. Except when the dog is Barney, incumbent of the White House kennel, and the man is a reporter trying to interview him (See footage on YouTube here). That's news.

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