(Cutter Network News) -- Well, it appears you can take the former president out of Arkansas, but ...
Sources tell CNN that the passing of his dog Buddy in early 2002 really hit former Pres. Clinton hard. To compound matters, the death of Mr. Clinton's loveable chocolate labrador retriever remains a mystery, as well. Unnamed former WH staffers have confirmed to CNN that Buddy was strangely encouraged by Mrs. Clinton to play in the street in front of the Clintons' NY home, beginning near the end of 2001. Many WH insiders have privately stated their belief that Mrs. Clinton's directive was the result of that infamous and unfortunate episode in front of the White House.
CNN can now report that relatively soon after the untimely death of Buddy, Pres. Clinton began to yearn again for canine companionship. In addition to his affinity for dogs, Pres. Clinton's former secretary told CNN that Dick Morris also communicated his belief to Pres. Clinton that ownership of a lovable canine was a positive in polls, particularly in Red States.
Given the encouragement of Morris, Pres. Clinton reportedly approached Mrs. Clinton in late-2003 to bring another dog into the family. Surprisingly in the wake of the Buddy WH lawn fiasco, Mrs. Clinton agreed that having a dog would, in fact, help to endear the Clintons to Red State voters, and thus dog ownership would be a net positive. Pres. Clinton further prevailed upon Mrs. Clinton that ownership of female dogs would help with wooing married surbanite women in Red States. Mrs. Clinton agreed.
In a strange twist, the Clintons also opted to purchase three large female hunting dogs. Sources indicate that Pres. Clinton apparently got Mrs. Clinton's agreement to three dogs based upon his claimed intention to take up hunting in approximately Fall 2007. (The former president explained to Mrs. Clinton the need to take up his new hobby much earlier than Sen. Kerry did.)
Reportedly, both Clintons agreed that hunting dogs would appeal to Southern gun owners. Thus, Pres. Clinton apparently placed an order with an Arkansas breeder for three large, "redneck" hunting dogs; the pups arrived late last year, just as ordered.
WH sources have privately indicated that Mrs. Clinton is not pleased with the appearance of the dogs, however:
The names are reportedly a bigger problem. A member of Mrs. Clinton's press office privately told CNN: "At least the dogs he is hanging with now have four legs."