The Obama girls are finally getting that puppy next week, and their father has managed to cap the drawn-out saga of the pup's acquisition with a masterful bit of political pageantry: It's a Kennedy dog!

TMZ reports that the puppy, a Portugese water dog, will arrive on Tuesday. It's a boy, six months old, and, in a move so contrived and Clintonesque that we can only marvel at its nauseating brilliance, it comes from the same lineage as Sunny and Splash, the beloved dogs of Ted Kennedy, the dying lion of the Senate. The Kennedy family will personally present the Obama family with the puppy—we bet you cameras will be there!

The dog comes from a Texas breeder who has sold three Portugese water dogs to Kennedy in the past (one of them, Splash, is at right). In another bit of Clintonian maneuvering, the Obamas have gotten around the perfectly sensible demands from animal rights activists that they adopt an abandoned dog rather than purchase one from a breeder by finding one that had been returned to the breeder by a family who no longer wanted it. So it's a purebred, and a Kennedy, but also homeless! Dick Morris would be proud.

His name is Charlie, but the Obamas will give him a new one when he arrives at the White House, TMZ says.

TMZ didn't name the breeder, and we bet that—the chicanery over the fact that it was an unwanted purebred notwithstanding—it will want to remain anonymous. The poor breeder who sold Joe Biden his German Shepherd last year got a months-long PETA-inspired campaign of harassment and death threats from animal-rights activists for its trouble, not to mention scrutiny from local animal welfare officials.

[Photo of Bosse by Fredrik Ottedag.]