For some achievements in life, there are established awards. For others, awards must be created—inspired by an accomplishment. And so it is with New York Times columnist Gail Collins and her relentless mission not to let Mitt Romney off the hook for his massively ill-fated decision to put his Irish Setter, Seamus, in a crate and tie the crate to the roof of the family car for an eight-hour drive to Ontario.
Yes, it’s been reported. Plenty for some. But not for Collins. The episode is shorthand for Romney, a key to understanding the man. Where’s his empathy? His reason? Was he just too cheap to hire a dog-sitter?
She hit it most recently in her November 30 conversation with David Brooks. They surveyed the Republican field, and Brooks segued to the Massachusetts governor:
David: That gives us a chance to talk about Romney and his weaknesses, which are glaring.
Gail: Dog on the roof of the car. Dog on the roof of the car.
I’m thrilled she brings it up every chance she gets, even goes out of her way to flag it. According to a Collins watcher on Tumblr, the columnist has mentioned Seamus’s sad story 23 times since she first wrote about it. A key to her fixation can be found in the last line of that story, “… every time Mitt Romney walks on stage, a sodden Irish setter is going to flash before my eyes.” And ours—if she has her way.