There’s no denying that this has been one hell of a week in American history. I’m not as tired as MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, but I did try to put sunglasses over my regular glasses twice this morning.
Joe Biden may have soundly won the election, but he has a long road ahead to undo Trump’s damage over the last four years, and the Democratic party needs to take thoughtful and decisive steps if it wants to engage enough people to win future elections without relying on BIPOC voters to do most of the work. Still, there are so many good things to come when Biden takes office on January 20. So, for a brief moment, let us enjoy this hard-fought victory and celebrate that dogs will soon be moving back into the White House!
That’s right—not only have Americans elected Biden and Kamala Harris, but also Biden’s two German shepherds, Champ and Major. (Future vice president Harris does not currently have a pet but is on the record as being pro-dog.) I could wax poetic for days about Champ, who has been with the Bidens since 2008, and Major, who the Bidens fostered and then adopted from the Delaware Humane Society in 2018. They’re loyal, just like Biden, and it’s clear that they have a special relationship with the president-to-be. But Champ and Major moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue isn’t just about photo ops; it represents the White House coming back to life.
Under Trump’s reign, the place has been grim for the past four years, its only sign of life the patter of Fox & Friends. The Trumps never hosted concerts or poetry readings or invited artists to display their work. Melania took Jackie O.’s Rose Garden and stripped it of decades-old trees and color for seemingly no reason other than because she could. The holiday decorations have looked like something out of The Handmaid’s Tale.
By comparison, we used to see Barack Obama playing in the snow on the White House lawn with Sasha and Malia and their two Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny. He famously promised his daughters a dog after the 2008 election and delivered on that promise. Can you imagine Donald Trump offering to get Barron a puppy? Or keeping a promise, for that matter? Not once in the past four years have we seen Donald and Melania warmly embrace after an event or trip; we haven’t seen smiling family vacations or loving moments shared on the dance floor. I miss those moments of humanity on display for all of America to see.
There’s so much work to be done in the months and years ahead, hard work that cannot be overlooked in the face of Biden’s victory. But I’m so excited to see Champ and Major playing on the White House lawn and to know that, for the first time in a long time, there might be a bit of joy within the White House grounds.