Checkers, Richard Nixon's Cocker Spaniel
One of Nixon's canine pals, the famous cocker spaniel named Checkers, played a crucial role in helping Nixon's early career. While fighting to remain Dwight Eisenhower's running mate, Nixon was accused of misusing monetary contributions. Though denying the accusations, he admitted to accepting one gift, a puppy named Checkers: "And you know, the kids, like all kids, loved the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we are going to keep it." The public was moved, and Nixon kept his spot on the Republican ticket.
Read all of Nixon's infamous speech about Checkers