Boy, was it ever fun thinking that this photo showed POTUS wrassling around on the White House steps with the first dogs.
On Wednesday, this completely wonderful picture was posted to a Facebook page purportedly belonging to First Daughter Malia Obama. It came with the enthusiastic, if oddly formal, caption: “President Obama Playing With BO and Sunny!”
In this ruff election cycle, we were excited about this type of “politics going to the dogs” story — and apparently we’re not alone; by Thursday evening, the FB post had racked up 75,000 likes and more than 11,000 shares.
But we couldn’t shake the nagging sense that something wasn’t quite right. Would even the most respectful and well-behaved teenager really call her dad “President Obama”?
So, we did a little digging, only to discover that the guy having a play session with Bo and Sunny isn’t the leader of the free world. Rather, it’s the leader of the free world’s trusted employee Brian Mosteller, who has a very fancy job title: Special Assistant to the President and Director of Oval Office Operations.
The picture was taken last year, by White House photographer Pete Souza:
Mosteller also has a documented history of being great pals with Bo.
In a February story, for example, The Washington Post described one of his daily duties as filling “the monogrammed water bowl for his best bud, Bo, the first dog, who comes to play.”
Souza’s captured some other sweet moments between Mosteller and the presidential dogs, through the years — and, sure, many of them are just shots of Mosteller’s shoes and a dog’s feet, but they also show a familiarity and comfort, and trust, between these White House regulars.
Someone once said, if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.
We may not have gotten to enjoy a moving snapshot President Obama romping with the pups. But at least we got a little glimpse into what sure appears to be one of the city’s true friendships.
So thanks “Malia Obama,” or whoever you are running that Facebook page.