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Obama's financial forms reveal Bo's pricetag

Updated 6:04 p.m.
By Michael D. Shear
Bo cost $1,600.

According to President Obama's 2009 financial disclosure forms, released Monday, that's the value of the Portuguese water dog that the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and his widow gave to the First Family last year.

Other than that disclosure, the forms offer little about the president's financial situation that we didn't already learn from his 2009 tax returns, released several weeks ago.

Most of the president's money comes from the sale of his books. That money -- several millions of dollars -- is largely invested in U.S. Treasury bills.

The vice president also released his disclosure forms, and the information shows he is anything but a wealthy man. Most of his money is invested in mutual funds, according to the disclosure.

But Vice President Biden got some interesting gifts, too, including a first-edition copy of "Anna Livia Plurabelle" by James Joyce, signed by the author, valued at $3,500.

Margaret Spanel, of Highstown, N.J., gave Biden the book, the vice president's office said, after watching a speech during the campaign where he noted that James Joyce was his favorite poet.

The 97-year-old widow's late husband, a former Wilmington, Del., businessman, had been acquainted with the vice president, according to spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander.

The spine of the book itself says "Anna Livia Plurabelle" and then "Joyce" underneath it. The title page says "Anna Livia Plurabelle" and the next page says "Anna Livia Plurabelle, by James Joyce, with a Preface by Padraic Colum." At the bottom of this page, it says "New York: Crosby Gaige: 1928."

By Post Editor  |  May 17, 2010; 4:55 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

curmudgeon6, while I understand your furry, you have to remember the newspaper industry is a ruff business. That they threw a bone to the slobbering, panting Bo fans should not give you paws.

Posted by: dkp01 | May 18, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

A lot of readers seem to be confused about this article. The value of the dog is listed on the financial disclosure forms because the President must disclose the value of gifts, not because he or the taxpayers bought the dog. I'll agree the title was misleading, but I disagree that employment income to politicians should be called "taxpayer money." It's payment for services, and an employee can do whatever they want with their money. I found the most informative sentence in this article to be, "Most of the president's money comes from the sale of his books... millions of dollars..." That money did not even come from taxes, folks.

The President was considering getting a shelter dog, and was given a gift. If you said you planned to buy a car, and someone offered to give you a car, would you refuse it? Does not refusing it make you a liar?

Sheesh.

Posted by: lilkender | May 18, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Man, I did not need an entire post about James Joyce. All I can think of when I see his name now are those creepy, gross love letters he wrote to his wife.

Posted by: dkp01 | May 18, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

1600 is perfect. But on the topic of dog prices, its average for a good quality purebred. Top dogs can fetch many times over that. My breed is going for 1600 pet, 2000 show quality. Once met a maltese purchased for $5000.

Posted by: siren1 | May 18, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

This is so not a story, just a gratuitous attempt to get page views.

Puppy pandering.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 18, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Someone wrote that everything about the Obama's seem elite.

How do I use this common phrasing "duh"

He is the President of the United States not your colleague on the bowling tour.

It is a ridiculous falacy that a qualification of office is to be common man--I rather you understand and affect in a positive way the concerns of the common man that to be exactly like him or her.

Bill Clinton is the closest thing you have of a common background but by time he went to Yale and Georgetown, and became a Rhode Scholar he was in a pretty ELITE pool.

George W. Bush the guy all would like to have a beer with his the child of two presidents. His mother is a descendant of a president.

The qualifications for a president, their staff, their team, heck even their volunteers are going to be off an elite percentage of Americans.

Posted by: 411Tibby | May 18, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The price of the dog wasn't here, but it did cause The Post to get another hit on this page by me trying to find it. Oy!

Posted by: kschlem1 | May 18, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Some of you people really need to get a life, and stop being so judgemental. PRESIDENT Obama is making changes to the best of his ability, considering the mess he was left with. The dog was a gift, any gift to the PRESIDENT must be declared in value. Ok, he didn't get a shelter dog, based on what he thought he was gonna do. Once it was public knowledge that the daughter had allergies, the Kennedy's decided to give them a dog, that would not cause the children any additional problems. Folks, please get a life, and discuss the oil spill, thats conversation worthy, not the childrens dog. As soon as all of YOU TEA BAGGERS come to terms with the fact that we have a Black President, Commander-in-Chief, The Head Man of the United States of America, and OUR President, we can get more done. Support him, give him the same opportunity the other men in his position have had. Respectfully, a Presidential Supporter. If you can't get behind him, then kindly get out of the way of change and progress.

Posted by: jleake | May 18, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Some of you people really need to get a life, and stop being so judgemental. PRESIDENT Obama is making changes to the best of his ability, considering the mess he was left with. The dog was a gift, any gift to the PRESIDENT must be declared in value. Ok, he didn't get a shelter dog, based on what he thought he was gonna do. Once it was public knowledge that the daughter had allergies, the Kennedy's decided to give them a dog, that would not cause the children any additional problems. Folks, please get a life, and discuss the oil spill, thats conversation worthy, not the childrens dog. As soon as all of YOU TEA BAGGERS come to terms with the fact that we have a Black President, Commander-in-Chief, The Head Man of the United States of America, and OUR President, we can get more done. Support him, give him the same opportunity the other men in his position have had. Respectfully, a Presidential Supporter. If you can't get behind him, then kindly get out of the way of change and progress.

Posted by: jleake | May 18, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

For heaven's sake, the dog was a gift. Too many of the people posting on this topic fail to get the point that elected officials are required to make public disclosure all gifts and the value of those gifts. The purpose of this requirement is to avoid corruption of the type that sent Randy "Duke" Cunningham to prison.

Demtse is right -- Move along folks. There's nothing to see here.

Posted by: emm2 | May 18, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Enough about the dog already!

Pets have proven mental and physical health benefits.
Some people, due to allergies, medically need a purebred hypoallergenic pet if they're going to have a pet.
Purebreds aren't cheap. And hypollergenic purebreds in particular, are extremely difficult to get through rescues.

In short, better to get a dog that isn't going to make his little girl sick than to get a shelter dog.

And to a Kennedy, that $1600 is equivalent to an Average Joe buying a friend's kid a pack of gum.

This is from someone who is not a fan of BHO.

Posted by: funkydiabetic | May 18, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

What a wonderful, exciting story by Michael D. Shear! The exciting headline "Obama's financial forms reveal Bo's pricetag" was followed with a story in great detail of how Joe Biden received a book from a political admirer. I think Mr. Shear deserves a Pulitzer Prize for this fantastic story!

Oh, I just noticed it DOESN'T have anything about Bo's pricetag!! Could there be some validity to the claim that the WP never tells the whole story about something that might possibly offend the Obamas?

NOOOO! I can't believe it!!!

Posted by: joeblotnik49 | May 18, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

maybe if our messiah's blessed daughters can't stand dog dander.. then maybe they shouldn't be in a school where other children bring in hair on their clothes from ThEIR dogs...

maybe the chosen twins should be home schooled instead of being in the ultra elite private school 'SIDWELL FRIENDS'....

it seems everything about the o'bama's reeks of ELITISM.

Posted by: TheNewAmerica | May 18, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

You are a racist idiot!

Posted by: oakiedokie | May 18, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Move along folks. There's nothing to see here...

Posted by: demtse | May 18, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse


Move along folks. There's nothing to see here...

Posted by: demtse | May 18, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse


Move along folks. There's nothing to see here...

Posted by: demtse | May 18, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

I am busy making tin foil hats for sale but for fools like STATESMAN and NEWAMERICA,
take a pill guys. I will give them to you for free. After all,
everyone knows the transistor planted in Barack Hussein Obama's head by the Muslim, Commie,Socialist, alien brigade is malfunctioning. That accounts for the rising jobs picture; the Dow over 11,000 once again; a Health Sare reform bill and the Wall Street reform bill that will soon pass unimpeded. Thank God for the transiters still working in Malia's and Sasha's heads or all that trouble to raise the Manchuraina Candidate would have been wasted.
Bwa ha ha ha ha ha

Posted by: di-ann | May 18, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

I am busy making tin foil hats for sale but for fools like STATESMAN and NEWAMERICA,
take a pill guys. I will give them to you for free. After all,
everyone knows the transistor planted in Barack Hussein Obama's head by the Muslim, Commie,Socialist, alien brigade is malfunctioning. That accounts for the rising jobs picture; the Dow over 11,000 once again; a Health Sare reform bill and the Wall Street reform bill that will soon pass unimpeded. Thank God for the transiters still working in Malia's and Sasha's heads or all that trouble to raise the Manchuraina Candidate would have been wasted.
Bwa ha ha ha ha ha

Posted by: di-ann | May 18, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

It never fails - even the most mundane article about our duly elected President Obama presents an opportunity for baseless complaints and ignorant, uninformed claims from the closet-racists, conspiracy theorists, and perpetually disenfranchised lemmings.

Posted by: JBGJRESQ | May 18, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Obama has to list the value of gifts. So, now we know he has a $1600 dog, which is not a lot for a good dog these days. PROBLEM PEOPLE is that the government tells us this picky detail AND HE HAS PAID MILLIONS TO HIDE ALL OF THE OTHER PERTINENT DETAILS OF HIS LIFE:ALL OF HIS RECORDS FOLKS! It is far more important to me what his college and law school records look like. It is OUTRAGEOUS that the WAPO and the rest of their ilk in the lamestream media run stories about Obama's damned dog and left us screwed, totally screwed, because they never vetted this guy and when they did, they hid the material from all of us and lie and give him a complete pass, unlike other candidates. They are completely corrupt liars and shills. These jerks are NOT elected by us. The least they can do is stay out of the way of our democracy. Wake the heck up folks.

Posted by: statsman | May 18, 2010 5:21 AM | Report abuse

Biden's not rich the same way Al Capone wasn't rich: you can't prove it.

What a bunch of BS.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | May 18, 2010 4:07 AM | Report abuse

Biden's not rich the same way Al Capone wasn't rich: you can't prove it.

What a bunch of BS.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | May 18, 2010 4:07 AM | Report abuse

This is incredibly misleading. This is saying that the VALUE of the dog is large but this cost was never put on the taxpayers. Thus using the word COST is just misleading.

Posted by: glitch83 | May 18, 2010 3:23 AM | Report abuse

A friend recently bought a Portuguese water dog. Not only is the dog hypo-allergenic (important for her kids), but the breed has the perfect temperament for her incredibly busy and hectic house, with many guests coming in and out at all times. The breed is known for being able to put up with that kind of environment. Kinda like the White House.

Plus, if you're looking for a dog with certain characteristics and a friend says "hey, I have these dogs and they're fantastic, and would work great with your family and living situation--let me give you a puppy," would you turn him down?

Presidents and their families are people too. I would hate to think that every action the President takes, especially those that involve home life, he filters through the eyes of public perception.

Posted by: bprjunkmail | May 18, 2010 2:55 AM | Report abuse

maybe if our messiah's blessed daughters can't stand dog dander.. then maybe they shouldn't be in a school where other children bring in hair on their clothes from ThEIR dogs...

maybe the chosen twins should be home schooled instead of being in the ultra elite private school 'SIDWELL FRIENDS'....

it seems everything about the o'bama's reeks of ELITISM.

Posted by: TheNewAmerica | May 18, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

"But I agree... they should have gone for a shelter dog, or none at all (since they have allergies)."

Oh that's just great. People with allergies don't deserve dogs.

Posted by: frantaylor | May 18, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Dear God in heaven. The poor man can't accept a gift without the wackos coming out of the closet.

Posted by: mamasan | May 18, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

this is a "white mans" dog. it's a "kennedy dog"

was anyone surprised that o'bama reneged on yet another promise? this time bypassing the pound, and going straight for the prestige.

o'bama thinks he's white.

me thinks differently.

@(oo)@

yea obama? well then, i'm elmer fudd.

Posted by: TheNewAmerica | May 17, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

this is a "white mans" dog. it's a "kennedy dog"

was anyone surprised that o'bama reneged on yet another promise? this time bypassing the pound, and going straight for the presige.

o'bama thinks he's white.

me thinks differently.

@(oo)@

yea obama? well then, i'm elmer fudd.

Posted by: TheNewAmerica | May 17, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Remember how the Washington Post dutifully reported that Obama was getting a "rescue dog"?

Yeah, right.

This is just standard operating procedure for Obama. If he says it, just assume the opposite is true -- kinda like "no tax increase of any kind for anyone making less than $250,000" or "net spending cut".

Just assume he's lying. And, naturally, assume the media is lying, too.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | May 17, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

The Obamas' daughters are allergic. Portugese Water Dogs are virtually hypoallergenic. They don't shed. A rescue dog really wasn't an option. (My sister bought one for the same reason.) Fortunately, I'm not allergic, so I own several rescues.

$1600 for a purebred's not terribly expensive. The golden puppies I fancy from the kennel I would buy from cost upwards of $7500 each (we're talking Westminster-level show quality). Some go for over $10K.

Posted by: gbooksdc | May 17, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

It's clear from some of the comments that ignorant people didn't fully read the article and have selective memory. Considering this was a short article I strongly believe that those same people didn't read most of it before they started commenting.

(1) The financial form showed the VALUE of the dog. Not what was paid for him. Reread the first paragraph.

(2) Due to one of the girls' highly allergic reaction to dog fur, this narrowed down what breeds they could choose from.

Some people will never be satisfied.

Posted by: ledouard | May 17, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

LOL, some of you people wouldn't be happy unless President Obama lived like a hobo.

Posted by: johng1 | May 17, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama didn't really need a dog. He already had a lap dog in the White House press corps.

Posted by: brewstercounty | May 17, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse


Even a shelter dog will cost $75 or so, plus the cost of spay/neuter. The shelters had to raise the cost, because as pgr88 notes, there were those, particluarly Vietnamese immigrants, who would 'adopt' a dog, fatten it up, then kill and eat it. We don't like that to happen in the USA.

Posted by: dotellen | May 17, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

The 1600 dollars for a "RESCUE" DOG, no wonder the US is so broke!

Nov 6th 2012 ,, save the date....

Posted by: robof4 | May 17, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing wrong with adopting a purebred dog people. Good lord. I have no problem with people who adopt from shelters. I think that's great. But simply put, a lot of people aren't comfortable adopting a dog when they have no idea what kind of personality or temperament it will have. Nevermind all of the different kinds of psychological or emotional baggage the dog might have as a result of previous owners/living in a shelter.

As a dog lover I like a lot of different kinds of dogs but there are only a few different breeds I would want to own. A Portuguese Water Dog is not one of those breeds, but if the Obamas wanted a hypo-allergenic dog, who can blame them? And I seriously doubt the dog came from a puppy mill. I'm sure the Kennedys, whatever their faults, have enough sense to buy the president a dog from a reputable breeder, and not a puppy mill. That's terrible PR and there's no reason to do it with so many good breeders out there.

Posted by: mandrewmartin1 | May 17, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

The information about the Obamas' dog was from their financial disclosure form, not their tax return. The dog was a gift to the Obamas, which is why they are disclosing this on the financial disclosure form. They are not making the taxpayers pay for the dog. The $1,600 is the amount that the Kennedys paid for it (I am assuming - or maybe it's just the going rate for such a dog). But I agree... they should have gone for a shelter dog, or none at all (since they have allergies). There's no need to encourage the puppy mills. Way to set a bad example, Obamas.

Posted by: akrons | May 17, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

The dog and Obama's daughters are adorable. Wish I could say the same about Obama himself, can't. I wonder why O would claim 1600 for the dog when it was a gift? Why would the taxpayers pay for the dogs food, if in fact that is where the 1600 comes from? Sorry, I am not understanding the concept.

Posted by: cperr57 | May 17, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

The dog and Obama's daughters are adorable. Wish I could say the same about Obama himself, can't. I wonder why O would claim 1600 for the dog when it was a gift? Why would the taxpayers pay for the dogs food, if in fact that is where the 1600 comes from? Sorry, I am not understanding the concept.

Posted by: cperr57 | May 17, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

The dog and Obama's daughters are adorable. Wish I could say the same about Obama himself, can't. I wonder why O would claim 1600 for the dog when it was a gift? Why would the taxpayers pay for the dogs food, if in fact that is where the 1600 comes from? Sorry, I am not understanding the concept.

Posted by: cperr57 | May 17, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

The dog and Obama's daughters are adorable. Wish I could say the same about Obama himself, can't. I wonder why O would claim 1600 for the dog when it was a gift? Why would the taxpayers pay for the dogs food, if in fact that is where the 1600 comes from? Sorry, I am not understanding the concept.

Posted by: cperr57 | May 17, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

The dog and Obama's daughters are adorable. Wish I could say the same about Obama himself, can't. I wonder why O would claim 1600 for the dog when it was a gift? Why would the taxpayers pay for the dogs food, if in fact that is where the 1600 comes from? Sorry, I am not understanding the concept.

Posted by: cperr57 | May 17, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Two wars, an economy in the tank, corporate and personal greed run rampant, a major environmental disaster and Mr. Shear actually spent time reporting the cost of Mr. Obama's dog-which he paid for-and an obscure book gift to the Biden's. Is this the same newspaper Woodward and Bernstein worked for?

Posted by: BBear1 | May 17, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama couldn't find an animal shelter with a map, much less adopt an animal in need of a home. Instead his buddies went to a breeder for one of their 'genetically pure' dogs.

Posted by: SUMB44 | May 17, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Just another misdirection from O. So much for finding a "shelter dog"!

Posted by: KDSmallJr | May 17, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Expensive? Yes - but that is a very delicious breed. Tastes like wagyu beef.

Posted by: pgr88 | May 17, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

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