Anderson Cooper endorses cat running for mayor of Halifax
Published Tuesday, September 25, 2012 6:51PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 25, 2012 7:01PM EDT
A Halifax mayoral candidate has received a high-profile endorsement, even though his four legs and furry face not only keep him from shaking hands and kissing babies, but will also keep his name from the ballot.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper gave his “unofficial endorsement” this week to the candidacy of Tuxedo Stan, a feline whose sole plank in his platform is the city’s stray cat problem.
The issue is close to Stan’s heart. He was born at an animal hospital to a mother who was a stray.
On the “Ridiculist” segment of his primetime show Monday night, Cooper noted that he “doesn’t usually take sides” during political campaigns.
“But I think we will go ahead and give our unofficial endorsement to one candidate for mayor of Halifax,” Cooper said. “His name is Tuxedo Stan.”
The black-and-white cat’s campaign has garnered a lot of media attention, but he hit the big-time with Cooper’s endorsement.
His campaign manager and owner, retired veterinarian Dr. Hugh Chisholm, called the endorsement “crazy.”
“I see it as support,” Chisholm told CTV Atlantic. “I think Stan has the right attitude that people can relate to. He has some humour. He has a serious message, but he doesn’t moan about it, he just tries to get the message out there.”
Chisholm said the focus of Stan’s campaign is the city’s booming stray cat population, which Chisholm estimated to be in the thousands. Strays who are not spayed or neutered breed indiscriminately and then must live on the streets, hungry and sick.
Chisholm blamed local officials for ignoring rather than dealing with the problem, hence Tuxedo Stan’s campaign slogan: “Because neglect isn’t working.”
Stan’s campaign has nearly 6,000 “Likes” on Facebook, and residents have snapped up his campaign signs.
Tuxedo Stan isn’t the first feline to run for higher office. Stubbs the cat is the honourary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska. Local residents, disillusioned by the slate of mayoral candidates, urged voters to support him as a write-in candidate.
That was 15 years ago. And he just keeps getting re-elected.
Chisholm acknowledged a cat can do little himself to affect change.
But he promised Tuxedo Stan’s endorsement to whichever candidate takes the so-called “Stan Pledge,” which Chisholm said will be revealed in the coming days. The pledge will include issues that Stan would like the city’s next mayor to act upon.
Chisholm also said that he and his cat intend to continue their campaign, educating people around the world about how to avoid or solve a stray problem.
“I think if we can make people laugh and they can smile and give them some hope, then I think the message is going to go even further,” said co-campaign manager Kathy Chisholm.
With files from CTV Atlantic