Pat Wahler

Penning stories to savor.

A Political Comment (Sort of)

September 23 marks seventy-two years since President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a famous speech. Why do I bring up a political speech at a time when most of us want to cover our ears over anything related to politics? Simple. The speech had to do with Fala, FDR’s beloved Scotch Terrier, easily my favorite presidential pet, and almost certainly the most famous dog in American history. Fala traveled everywhere with his master, sniffed heads of state, and received so much fan mail he needed his own secretary.

After a trip to the Aleutian Islands in August, 1944, FDR came under attack by political opponents who started a rumor that Fala had been accidentally left behind after the presidential visit. They claimed FDR dispatched a Navy battleship to bring the pup home at a cost of many millions of dollars to taxpayers.

FDR addressed this fur-flying fib at a dinner hosted by Teamsters. Check out a snippet of his response below. His deadpan delivery is priceless.

Politicians take note. If your speeches were clever as this one, I’d be more inclined to listen.


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  1. HA! we could only hope the speeches today could be like this one. I don’t think we can blame speechwriters either, do you? I don’t think it is a writers’ fault, although everyone likes to blame a writer.

    • Pat Wahler

      September 19, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      So true, Margo. I would think (hope) that the person giving the speech would have some input as to what they want to say. Now if only the speech giver would demand three of my favorite things: honesty, humility, and humor.

  2. Pat–Thanks for one of my first chuckles today. I agree. If a nominee had this sense of humor–paired with intelligence and common sense–I’d vote for them in a heartbeat.

  3. This is priceless! I may use it in my speech class!

  4. Pat Wahler

    September 25, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Hi Mary! There’s no doubt FDR knew how to make an audience sit up and take notice. Adding a little humor is (at least for me) a bonus.

  5. This is a great post, Pat. Love FDR’s humor and the videos of Fala.

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