There's no doubt that politics can feel like a real zoo. Democrats and Republicans wailing loudly at one another in a confined space for hours a day as the public watches with varying levels of wonder, confusion, disgust, and even fear (bears are scary!... so are many Republicans...). Sometimes it can be hard to not think of our dear representatives in D.C. as a troupe of screeching monkeys, or on good days, a school of fish that forges through rough waters to reach a common end. With the presidential election moving at full steam, I have to wonder where each of our dear politicians would find their home in the animal kingdom. If they had past lives as non-human animals, which animals would the presidential candidates be?
Like all of us, politicians tend to resemble different animals, both in their appearance and in their tendencies (I also really like to take other peoples food). For example, friends have compared me to a baby bear, because I am cuddly but horrible to deal with in the mornings. And lord knows I've dated some lizards. So in the spirit of good fun and love for all creatures great and small, let's put our zoology hats on and discuss the animal nature of these White House hopefuls.
(Note: no animals were harmed, and hopefully not offended, in the making of this article.)
Rick Perry = Pit Bull Terrier
Pit bulls are often adopted for purposes of home protection, as they have a solid bark and are considered intimidating to many. Given that Perry is very concerned about protecting the U.S. from foreign harm, I think it's safe to compare him to pitties.
Hillary Clinton = Parrot
If Clinton were to be a pet, I think she'd likely be a beautifully plumed parrot. Parrots are regal and have the gift of gab, as does Clinton, and people love to go on about parrot's feathers much in the same way some media loves to squawk about Clinton's fashion choices.
Lincoln Chafee = Goldfish
Don't tap on the glass, you'll frighten Lincoln Chafee! Like Chafee, pet goldfish tend to fly under the radar, and most people probably don't notice them. In addition, neither of them are likely to fare well against larger, perhaps more accomplished predators.
Bernie Sanders = Tabby Cat
There's something sort of calming and reassuring about Senator Sanders' off-the-beaten-path policies, but we also know he's a little wily, just like my favorite kitty from childhood. Like a loyal tabby cat, Sanders is also rather popular among the elderly.
Rick Santorum = Meerkat
Meerkats are very into protecting their families, and stand guard watching for any potential threats. Republican candidate Rick Santorum feels that gay marriage lurks in the shadows waiting to harm America's children. I am sure he'd like to set up a special Republican warning call like meerkats have anytime progress on gay rights is made. (Also: I really think Santorum just looks like a meerkat. He does, doesn't he??)
Rand Paul = Hedgehog
Kinda cute, but not especially cuddly when you get right down to it, Rand Paul and hedgehogs are both a little too prickly for me to truly warm up to. Props on your cute noses, though!
Mike Huckabee = Potbelly Pig
No offense to potbelly pigs, but they kind of remind me of Mike Huckabee. They're loud and mean and make a huge mess out of everything.
Carly Fiorina = Sea Sponge
Carly Fiorina doesn't really have any political experience. It seems like she's just sort of hanging out in the political arena, hoping to feel like one of the gang. Hard not to compare her to a humble sea sponge, who is content to chill on the ocean floor, hoping to get seen by snorkelers.
Images: Getty (15); Houston Chronicle/ Twitter; Wikimedia Commons