Boo-reaucrats: 8 Presidential Families—And Pets!—Dressed Up for Halloween
By Amanda Green
Politicians have to dress the part. Before public appearances, they meet with image consultants to ensure that they're wearing the perfect power tie and accessorizing with American flag memorabilia that's noticeable without being ostentatious. But what might impress the average American even more than a tailored suit? An awesome Halloween costume. Hollywood celebrities aren't the only famous people who get dressed up on October 31. Sometimes politicians don wigs, makeup, and weird clothes to get their Frankenstein on. We bet they're pretty good at campaigning for candy, too. Plus, check out the festive pets that rub elbows—err, paws—with some very powerful political figures.
1. B-Arrrr-ack Obama
Long before the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), President Barack Obama was an old-school pirate. Lots of Halloween costumes are scary, but yes we can also appreciate one that's just plain adorable.
2. Halloween Obama-Rama
First Lady Michelle Obama changed into leopard spots at a 2009 Alice in Wonderland-themed Halloween event for the children of White House staff members and military families. Sasha wore a red gown, while big sister Malia cleverly dressed up as the Morton salt girl. Meanwhile, President Obama could've been anyone's dad in a sweater and oxford shirt.
3. Mr. and Mrs. President as Mr. and Mrs. PresidentPhoto Courtesy of
Bill and Hillary are an easy go-to couples costume—you can find vinyl masks of both of them at most Halloween stores. But the power couple channeled another president and first lady at the White House Halloween party in 1993. If you thought the Clinton White House was exciting, consider what fourth president James Madison and his wife Dolley went through. During the War of 1812 (which actually lasted from 1812-1815), the British invaded Washington and set fire to various government buildings, including the White House, United States Treasury, and U.S. Capitol. Fortunately, Dolley rescued original drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution from the blaze.
4. Al Gore's Fuzzy Mask
Should we blame it on global warming ... or the full moon? Former Vice-President Al Gore and then-wife Tipper were dressed to the canines at their 1997 Halloween party. But with a last name like Gore, we expected no less. (They've also dressed up as Beauty and the Beast, mummies, and Underdog and Sweet Polly Purebred.)
The White House is probably one of the best places to go trick or treating, provided that the current health-focused administration hasn't completely phased out the candy. Back in 1963, John, Jr. and Caroline Kennedy made the rounds all the way to the Oval Office. Their dad's costume: most photogenic POTUS ever.
6. Bo(o) Obama
There's nothing scary about First Dog Bo Obama. His owners have joked that the four-legged fluffball is even more charismatic than the president. Still, Bo enjoys his privacy. This superhero doppelganger is only a statue that's decorated for each holiday at the White House.
7. Cowboy Dog-plomacy
Former First Dog Barney wasn't a favorite White House pet. The Scottish terrier got a lot of bad press, perhaps because he had a tendency to bite members of the media. Karl Rove called Barney "a lump," and Vladimir Putin said he was too small to befit a world leader. But his owners, former President George W. and Laura Bush, just think he's a loner cowboy—and dressed him accordingly in 2007. (India and Miss Beazley are dressed up as a wizard and a strawberry, respectively.)
8. May The Snark Be With You
Some critics of former Vice President Dick Cheney have called him "the Darth Vader of the Bush administration," a distinction he eventually embraced. In 2007, Cheney even dressed his black Labrador retriever Jackson as the Sith Lord. His other Lab, Dave, served as a heroic foil in a Superman costume.