The Setter on the car roof: the 'Bain' of Romney's existence?

Some of life's not-so-little gaffes have a life of their own.

Such is the case with Seamus the Irish Setter and his unfortunate 12-hour car ride atop Mitt Romney's family station wagon almost 30 years ago.

The incident - first reported in 2007 - resurfaced with a vengeance during the GOP primary, kept alive by animal rights advocates and pet loving pundits, led by New York Times columnist Gail Collins who has reminded readers of Romney's dopey move in her columns more than three dozen times.

There's even a website devoted to "Crate Gate" called Dogs Against Romney, which peddles T-shirts that say "Dogs Aren't Luggage."

Now opponent Newt Gingrich (a zoo lover who as a child wanted to start a zoo in Harrisburg), has seized on the Seamus story as fiery campaign kibble.

At a campaign stop in South Carolina on Sunday Gingrich took a double barrel shot at front runner Romney for "cheerily" firing workers while running the private equity firm Bain Capital and strapping Seamus to the roof of the wagon in a crate for a half day ride from Massachusetts to the Romney vacation home on the shores of Lake Huron. 

"I'd rather not have been in a kennel all the way to Canada. Personally, that doesn't strike me as a very good thing to have done. But that's just my personal bias," said Gingrich, according to Reuters.

Then he went on to link the dog incident and firing workers in an assault Romney's character.

"Like the use of words 'I like firing people' ... to putting a dog on the back of the car for 9 hours." Gingrich told reporters. "All of this paints a picture. The governor has to figure out whether or not that picture is electable."

(Illustration: Muddy Politics)