NEW YORK – The presidential pup made his convention debut Wednesday night in a spoof on the movie "Rocky," showing the pooch hitting the campaign trail.
Delegates saw a video that opened with White House advisers Karl Rove (search) and Andy Card (search) in a heated debate about how to improve President Bush's poll numbers among an important bloc — dogs. They decide to enlist the help of Barney, the first family's black Scottish terrier.
"We need to go to Michigan and Ohio and Iowa and Minnesota and West Virginia and Texas," Rove rattles off the list, a concerned tone in his voice, "and Oklahoma and Washington and Maine and Maryland. ..."
Card, one of many senior advisers to appear in the video, uses a bag of dog treats to coax the pooch away from watching cartoons on TV, exhorting him to "get every vote you can get. You're the one who can do it."
Barney is then shown facing off in debate with a fictional John Kerry dog — "Fifi" — played by a white sock puppet in a tiny brown beret. Presidential spokesman Scott McClellan moderates.
Barney barks that he will "Make tax cuts permanent!" Kerry's dog says he will "Raise taxes forever!"
Busy adviser Karen Hughes prepares an egg breakfast for Barney, as he prepares to take to the campaign trail, a white sweatband resting on his ears. "Go dog house to dog house, the most important instructions are stay on the message and smile a lot," Hughes tells him.
Barney hits the trail with a run through the White House lawn, the "Rocky" theme song music blaring in the background. As he runs, states turn Republican red on a map of the U.S.
As Barney reaches the landing of the White House, Rove, Card and a crowd of other White House workers chant "Barney, Barney" as the video fades.
The delegates cheered.