The Obamas picked a dog! And they had Robert Gibbs deliver a press release to the assembled White House press corps announcing that... no, wait, the First Lady just talked to People.
It's a fuzzy, unimportant story that serves only to boost the public perception of the First Family as the most adorable and loving and perfect little family in the nation, so it does certainly belong in People. It's just... slightly disconcerting that Michelle Obama handed the exclusive to them as if the Obamas were J-Lo and Marc. Right?
Here's a sample of a typical family conversation on the matter: "So Sasha says, 'April 1st.' I said, 'April.' She says, 'April 1st.' It's, like, April!," Mrs. Obama recalls. "Got to do it after spring break. You can't get a new dog and then go away for a week."
And what kind of dog will soon be frolicking on the South Lawn? Mrs. Obama says the family is looking for a rescue Portuguese Water dog who is "old enough" and a "match" for the family dynamic.
Well, it's certainly effective image management, to keep the fluffy stories on the fronts of the celebrity glossies every week (George, you came too soon, and were too self-consciously "smart"!). But isn't there a more effective use of Michelle's time and intelligence? Whatever keeps those approval ratings up! Maybe Bobby Jindal should get a dog. Maybe Michael Steele should start calling everyone "dawg."
It is just a more sophisticated version of the image management every president since the dawn of mass media, of course, and the Obamas are obviously better off talking to People than Politico.
Oh, Sasha and Malia keep picking out really dumb names for the dog, like "Frank" and "Moose" (named for Barney Frank and Sarah Palin, respectively). Michelle does not elaborate on her dog-name preferences, but we imagine she's leaning toward "Puppy Seale."