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Gail Collins: If you were a dog, would you rather belong to Ted Cruz or Mitt Romney?

The crucial question is whether Snowflake got a worse deal than Seamus.

(Dan Christian Rojas | AP photo) In this image from video, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walks to check in for his flight back to the U.S., at Cancun International Airport in Cancun, Mexico, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021.

So if you were a dog, would you rather belong to Ted Cruz or Mitt Romney?

Yes, you have to choose.

Perhaps you remember that many, many years ago, Romney drove to Canada for a family vacation with his Irish setter Seamus on the roof of his car. I mentioned this fact about 2 million times when Romney ran for president, mainly to break up the tedium of a very boring campaign.

This week Cruz made headlines when he got caught taking a plane for a family escape to Mexico while Texas was suffering through its stupendous weather crisis.

Michael Hardy, a Texas journalist, went to check the on the empty Cruz house in Houston and discovered the neighborhood had indeed had a power outage. He also saw “a small, white dog looking out the bottom right pane of glass in the senator’s front door.”

Ted had abandoned Snowflake the poodle! OK, that’s a little tough. A security guard parked outside the senator’s house volunteered that he’d been doing some caretaking.

We will not stop to investigate whether Snowflake is a boy or a girl, or even if we’ve got the breed exactly right. Suffice it to say that he/she was among the millions of weather-bound Texans Cruz had left behind when he went on, um, a planned vacation.

Cruz’s story keeps evolving, naturally. His original claim that he was just dropping his girls off for a visit with friends faded when many Americans noted the guy was dragging a really big suitcase for a dad who wasn’t planning to hang around.

The crucial question is whether Snowflake got a worse deal than Seamus. Any doubts out there, people? One dog is being taken on a family vacation and the other is being left behind in a weather crisis/power outage. In a house Cruz’s wife described to friends by text as “FREEZING.”

Serious citizens might also want to note that Romney has lately been reborn as the champion of independent thinking. Taking the lead in standing up to Donald Trump during the impeachment crises does tend to overshadow driving with a dog on the roof in 1983.

Cruz, however, stuck with the crazed conspiracy theorists after the election and voted against certifying Joe Biden as president. Romney said Cruz and his fellow Biden denialists would “forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy.”

And then he went off to Cancún, Mexico, after Texas was battered by snow, ice and rain, cut off from lights and deprived of reliable clean water. While he scurried back after getting caught in the act, it’s not likely a whole lot of his fellow Texans appreciated his explanation that he was just trying to “be a good dad.”

Yeah, tell it to Snowflake.

Gail Collins | The New York Times (CREDIT: Earl Wilson/The New York Times)

Gail Collins is an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times.

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