Presidential Candidates and the Politics of Horses

Helmetless Ann Romney schooling her 19-hand “Bentley”.

According to Washington Wire, a blog from The Wall Street Journal’s Capital Bureau, Republican Presidential candidate and Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee alienated anti-slaughter activists, including the United Animal Nation (UAN), when speaking with a group of reporters last month in Iowa. The blog entry suggested that Huckabee was perhaps pandering to the Dutch Iowan vote when he mentioned several of his favorite Dutch foods, including one made from horsemeat, which he described as tasting “like chicken”.

Political commentator for the Humane Society Legislative Fund Mike Markarian listed some frightening animal abuse charges against the Arkansas governor on his blog and said, “Huckabee is the greatest threat to animal protection we’ve seen in the race to the White House in recent times.”

Elsewhere on the horses-in-politics front, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and (to my surprise) John McCain are all co-sponsors of H.R. 503, the Senate bill to amend the Horse Protection Act “to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes.” (Depending on how you read that, moving horses would be prohibited!)

Obama represents Illinois, one of the two states most impacted by the horse slaughter bill, in the U.S. Senate.

According to the Common Horse Sense web site, John Edwards is also an anti-slaughter sympathizer.

Private citizen Mitt Romney is probably the candidate most closely connected to horses; his wife, Ann, is an active dressage rider here in the Boston area and was featured in Dressage Today magazine. Ann blogs about her horse life and on her MySpace page lists herself as “Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Equestrian”.

Does anyone have insights into Richardson or Guiliani?




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