The loyal opposition can call you everything but a child of God.
The press can expose and magnify each of your failings.
World events can displace your carefully orchestrated photo-op.
But a president can always turn to a four-legged, fur-covered friend for faithful companionship.
David Smith examines presidents and their pets.
There is little doubt that dogs are politically useful. A half-serious study in the political science journal PS suggests a "diversionary dog" theory. The authors find that presidents display their dogs more during wartime and scandals, though less during economic crises, when the public does not want to see the president frolicking with a spoilt pet.