Doggone It, Obama's Better Than I Thought
First pooch search shows his political skill, empathy: Kristol
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2008 8:40 AM CST
President-elect Obama and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm laugh when Obama was asked what kind of dog they were going to get, during a news conference in Chicago, Friday, Nov. 7, 2008.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – For William Kristol, election night was bad, but not dreadful, for his fellow conservatives—until the president-elect promised his daughters a puppy. Suddenly, writes the New York Times columnist, Barack Obama showed "competence plus warmth, a pretty potent combination." Forget winning an electoral college landslide; it was the dog comment that showed how formidable he is.

Later, at his first presser, Obama answered a question about the future first pet with both compassion and "a dry and slightly politically incorrect wit"—impressive stuff for a guy who often comes across as professorial. Obama will offer a major challenge to conservatives these next 4 years, Kristol writes; if they want to succeed, the right needs to get new ideas, new skills—and maybe a new puppy or two.