Party Animals

Why This Matters | Samantha Lish | February 8, 2016

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      As the United States presidential candidates set their sights on the next caucus states, social media posts are buzzing about with conspiracy theories, donation requests, and misinformed articles. However, there seems to be something missing. The animal side to these party animals has yet to be seen. So here’s a list of the presidential candidate’s spirit animals. It’s sure to be a roar.



   Best known for her long standing relationship with the White House (as past First Lady and Secretary of State), Hillary has garnered a lot of support from organizations like Planned Parenthood and just recently won (albeit barely) the Iowa Caucus. Her classy yet spitfire personality fits perfectly with her spirit animal: the swan.

   Swans, often seen as majestic, can be seen lackadaisically floating on natural and man-made bodies of water throughout the country. However, when they feel their family is under attack…they attack back. Hillary’s record parallels this in many ways. Standing by her man through the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Hillary is not one to abandon the Clinton dynasty nest.


    Coming all the way from Vermont, Bernie Sanders has taken college campuses (and other liberal areas) by storm. Focusing much of his campaign time on healthcare reform, gun control, and education affordability, Bernie has solidified himself as a real threat to semi-incumbent Hillary Clinton. His down-to-earth yet stick-it-to-the-man attitude has propelled him forward as a legitimate candidate.

    Compared to Clinton’s experience with the White House, Bernie’s spirit animal is obvious. He’s the underdog. Although there is no one specific breed of dog that exemplifies the underdog, the Underdog cartoon exemplifies a beagle, part of the hound breed group. Considering Bernie likes to hound and hold the government accountable, Bernie fits in well as a beagle. 



 (I’ve only included the 5 highest polling candidates. Sorry Christie, Fiorina, Gilmore, and Kasich fans.)


  Entering the race with a very familiar last name, Jeb Bush was predicted as a frontrunner. However, after losing steam throughout the past few months, Jeb has gone from Jeb! to Jeb? Serving as Florida governor for years and (possibly more importantly) as POTUS’s son and, later, brother, Jeb was often left in the shadow of his family’s good fortune. That is, until recently.

  Trying to break through the shackles that his last name bears, Jeb has revitalized his campaign trail by inviting his mother, Barbara Bush, along for the ride. Seen as one of the Bush clan, it’s clear Jeb is a sheep. Flocking back to his mother and referencing his father’s actions, Jeb’s ideals seem quite similar to what America saw years ago under the Bush administration(s).


  Widely known as the candidate with the least political (but most medical) experience, Ben Carson was virtually unnoticed until 2013. However, in the past three-ish years Carson has traveled the country preaching his ideals to conservative listeners. Coming from a very different background (compared to other candidates), Carson’s inexperience with politics hasn’t served to his deficit. He appears untainted by the political atmosphere- something that’s a plus for many voters.

   Spending decades as a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University, Carson has spent a great deal of his time in surgery. Saving lives and performing intensive brain surgeries, Carson’s stamina and knowledge of science parallels that of the majestic dolphin. The dolphin is one of the smartest animals, perhaps due to its highly complex brain. This emphasis on neurological superiority makes the two a perfect match.



  Coming off of an Iowa caucus victory, Ted Cruz has recently taken the #1 spot in many nation-wide polls. Serving as Attorney General and, later, Texas State Senator, Cruz has used his experiences to bolster important political issues. Spending a lot of his campaign on illegal immigration, gun control, and other conservative issues, Cruz has reaffirmed himself as a plausible candidate.

 Cruz seems to come from all over. With a hispanic background, Cruz was born in Canada but eventually relocated to Texas. With one of the most common last names and one of the most pro-gun campaigns, it seems somewhat ironic that Cruz’s spirit animal is the elk. Boasting large antlers (just as Cruz highlights his past political experiences), Ted Cruz and an elk are sure to be best friends.



  Hailing from Florida, junior Senator Marco Rubio is largely seen as a family man. Taking a break from the political sphere to teach (political science) in 2009, Rubio has been able to articulate himself well. Focusing a lot of his time on immigration reform and foreign policy, Rubio has also started to mobilize the youth vote with his social media strategies.

  Owning a shih tzu, it seems like Rubio has chosen his animal himself. Rubio and shih tzus share an affectionate and positive demeanor, something that’s more rare in political animals than dog breeds.   Rubio, famous for his 2013 swig of water during his State of the Union response, channeled his inner shih tzu, as they’re easily dehydrated due to their small size. It is clear, from these comparisons and more, the Rubio family’s shihi tzu has clearly imprinted on him.



  Easily the most boisterous candidate, Donald Trump is internationally known (although not for his politics). The billionaire businessman has created the most controversy of any political candidate. Coming from no political background, Trump has garnered a lot of support from business partners and television personalities (including Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson).

  Spending a lot of his time focusing on immigration, tax changes, and foreign policy, Trump has asserted himself as politically knowledgable (although inexperienced nonetheless). With relatively uncensored comments, Trump parades himself around like his spirit animal, the lion. As king of the jungle (or in Trump’s case- real estate, golf courses, Celebrity Apprentice, etc.) Trump roars about, trying to garner support from all types of voters all across the jungle.


***My classifications of political candidates as animals are my own. These classifications do not represent how these candidates might actually classify themselves.***