World News Political Playbook

By ABC News

Feb 18, 2012 8:00am

It’s the problem that won’t stop hounding Mitt Romney.  On Friday MoveOn.org became the latest group in a long line of opponents to take advantage of Mitt Romney’s troubled past with canines with a new ad.  The ad reminds voters of the story of Romney’s family dog, Seamus, who was strapped to the roof in his kennel for a family road-trip to Canada.

So before ABC News’ political team headed into the weekend, ABC’s Jake Tapper and Jonathan Karl sat down with Diane Sawyer to breakdown why Romney’s dog problem isn’t going away anytime soon and what political junkies are looking forward to in the week ahead.

While the story of Romney’s dog might seem like a small issue to some, Tapper explained that in an election that is expected to come down to just a few voters, in just a few places, Democrats believe anything that works to bring even one more vote to Obama is worth trying.  It’s an even easier storyline to continue feeding when you have your own adorable pooch — in the form of Bo, the dog — to help win voters over, Karl told Sawyer.

However both Tapper and Karl agree that the fight for the week ahead will not be over dogs, but over the voters in Michigan as Romney scrambles for a victory in the Feb. 28 primary.  As Karl told Sawyer, Rick Santorum has gone from underdog to a candidate with a real chance at winning in Michigan and beyond.  Even the White House, who has long considered Romney to be their inevitable opponent, is now even beginning to show signs they are considering how they might have to run against Santorum this Fall, added Tapper.

While in the long run all signs still point toward a Romney nomination, Santorum’s strong run now could spell trouble for the Republican Convention this summer if it ends in a brokered convention – -something we haven’t seen in modern politics in decades.  While Romney may have the support of the Republican establishment, a divided party could have reporters strapping on their helmets and knee pads for a raucous ride to the finish, joked Tapper.

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