Last week, we heard about the Bidens’ dog Commander. Commander Biden, much like Major Biden before him, has been biting people in the White House. Commander and Major have a lot in common: both are rambunctious German Shepherds and both dogs only bite Secret Service agents. At least, that’s according to the Secret Service. The Secret Service literally erased large swaths of their records to protect Donald Trump, but their record-keeping about dog bites is suddenly beyond refute, at least according to the Washington press corps. In case you need me to spell it out, I don’t actually believe that Major and Commander are as bitey as the Secret Service claims, while I simultaneously believe that there’s a reason why dogs apparently do NOT trust certain SS agents. Well, Politico had an update on all of this:
White House staffers have seen all the headlines about President JOE BIDEN’s 2-year-old German shepherd COMMANDER. They’re aware of the behavioral issues. It just doesn’t compute to them. CNN reported last week that Commander recently bit yet another U.S. Secret Service agent, bringing the total number of known biting incidents to 11. Some of the attacks were bad enough that agents required medical attention, and at least one person had to go to the hospital.
While common sense might suggest that White House officials should avoid Commander at all costs, that’s not how staffers who work in the West Wing are approaching the situation. No one is moving about campus in fear of bumping into the dog. In fact, many get excited when they can sneak a few minutes away from their busy schedule to give him a quick scratch behind the ears.
“Everyone loves him,” said a White House staffer. “He’s always so friendly.”
Among staff, there is an emerging belief that, in the eyes of Commander, they are off limits; that the dog only has an appetite for the Secret Service.
“It’s shocking that he can be so aggressive,” said another White House staffer. “I’ve never seen him like that.”
Indeed, the wild discrepancy in Commander’s behavior has left White House staffers past and present trying to come up with theories about it. “The White House is just a crazy environment for a dog,” said a former White House official. “There are enormous men with guns acting suspiciously hostile everywhere.” Another former staffer suggested that it could have a lot to do with facial expressions. Dogs are very reactive to humans and when staff greet Commander, it’s usually with a big smile. That’s not the case for Secret Service agents, who tend to be less warm and fuzzy while on the job.
When Biden’s brother, JAMES, gave Commander to the president for his birthday in 2021 after Major had been sent away — and as the first family was still grieving the loss of their longtime German shepherd, CHAMP — it caught the White House off guard. A person close to the Bidens said that the president and first lady initially weren’t thrilled to be introducing a new puppy into their chaotic White House life, but they felt like they couldn’t turn down a gift from a well-meaning family member.
Within months, the biting issues started, most of which were captured in 196 pages of internal communications obtained earlier this summer under the Freedom of Information Act by the conservative legal organization Judicial Watch. The internal documents paint a scary picture of an uncontrolled dog terrorizing the people tasked with protecting the president and the first lady.
But whatever additional training Commander is getting hasn’t seemed to do the trick yet. Some White House staffers and reporters have running bets among themselves about how much longer until the Bidens will be forced to send Commander away, too. Sometime before Thanksgiving seems to be a popular take among reporters. “We do wonder how much longer they can keep him around,” said the first White House staffer. “At a certain point, it becomes impossible.”
I bet that Commander gets sent away as well – even if he’s dealing with trumped up charges, there’s really nothing the Bidens can do. I do appreciate the anecdotal stories about how Commander is a friendly, sweet dog around everyone else, and the poor dog is really just trying to protect his mom and dad. You know what happens next though – as soon as Commander gets sent away, suddenly there will be multiple Secret Service agents providing “documentation” about Willow Biden scratching and hissing at Secret Service agents. There’s an active conspiracy to deprive the Bidens of family pets.
Photos courtesy of The White House & Backgrid.
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