Fashion Backward

The Source of Our Troubles garment-factory.jpg

The campaign t-shirt is not one of the higher art forms. For that matter it’s not one of the higher forms of campaigning. But they get made and worn nevertheless.

Not always, though. Past Presidential candidates may have been restrained by lack of ready access to the mills of Asia, or the knowledge that few of their supporters would look attractive in the items. But by harnessing the power of the web, some visionaries have dared to dream the dream of a William Howard Taft t-shirt. taft-for-pres.jpg

The Des Moines Register calls our attention to, source retro-president.gif of this salute to an earlier, less visibly sweaty era.

Neil Swanson launched the notion.

“What if someone could have a Truman or FDR or Nixon T-shirt, just like the vintage sports shirts and hats? They didn’t have T-shirts back in the day, obviously, so why not create some?”

Lesser lights get their moment as well, although reviving Dick Gephardt’s Chrysler star logo gephardt-for-president-tshirt.jpg isn’t likely to make anyone misty for what might have been. The best graphics are Republican –

Alf Landon landon-knox.jpg

…and Richard Nixon. nixon-tshirt-repo.jpg

The overall lesson is relief that most of these sorry graphics did not get wider exposure “back in the day.” And the certain knowledge that Obama’s small-town-electric-co-op looking logo obama08_thumblogo150.gif has company in blandness.

Taking the Field

Field of Dreams roosevelt-t-firemens-field.jpg

Oyster Bay Long Island residents opposing the proposed Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Museum location in his hometown have their web site up, and sort of running.

Their call to arms:

“Our purpose is to prevent this 3.5 acre multi-use public space / parking field from being used as the site of the proposed Theodore Roosevelt Library. Our group takes no official position on the existence, size or timing of the Library, only asking that it not be placed in Firemen’s Field.

They explain that they’ll flesh out their objections in greater detail. That’s to be hoped for, because right now in defending the largely empty Firemen’s field they paint a portrait of elementary school students denied boat launching facilities, or something.

“It provides the only contiguous flat public view shed of the waterfront in downtown, and links the Roosevelt Elementary School’s playing field with the Roosevelt Park launching ramp and swimming beach.”

roosevelt-t-rough-rider-classics-illustraited.jpg We shall of course provide complete coverage of the battle of the flood plain.

Not Fit To Shine His Shoes?

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Reagan progeny Patti Davis despairs at the Republican Presidential field’s efforts to all look like true sons of Ronnie. She seems particularly upset at Mike Huckabee’s fashion choices huckabee-hunts.jpg for bird slaughter, then closes with this send off:

“…imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery; it’s just an indication that the imitator is going through a serious identity crisis.”

Burnt Out

bush-burnt-house.jpg Home on the Range

First the Cheney office fire, now arson has struck a childhood home of President Bush.

Odessa Texas’s thoughtful recreation of mid-American mid-century middle class splendor bush-home-odessa.jpg has suffered damage to “the green carpet inside the living room, the mid-20th century radio console near the door and the ceiling. Much of the porch roof is burned, and smoke damaged the ceilings throughout the home.”

But hope lives: “The Bush family photos in the northwest bedroom were not damaged”

A youthful George W. Bush moved to Odessa Texas with his parents at age two in 1948. His short-lived encounter with the region lasted but a year, then the family enjoyed a brief sojourn in California. After tasting such delights as Bakersfield and Compton they returned to West Texas in 1950, but this time they settled in the comparative glamour of Midland.

All this too and fro, and what can only be called rootlessness has left multiple Former Bush Homes scattered over the landscape. The family had three addresses in Odessa, then three in Midland before heading to Houston. When George W. Bush lived in Midland eleven years as an adult he had four more addresses.

The fire-damaged home is the only one remaining in Odessa, moved from it’s original location to the backyard of the covering-all-bettingly named “Presidential Museum and Leadership Library,” presidential_museum_outdoor_photo1.jpg which bizarrely enough claims to have actually preexisted both Bush Presidencies.


Traditional Odessa rivals down the road in Midland have their own entry in the recreation race. Pledging that “The George W. Bush Childhood Home will be one of the Nation’s first 1950s residential restorations,” the George W. Bush Childhood Home Inc. has visions of raising $7 million to gussy up one of Bush’s Midland homes.

bush-childhood-home-midland.jpg Seven Million Dollars, American

Hype Your Reality

Nixon ’08 nixon-langella-frost-nixon.jpg

All I know about Richard Nixon’s exile comes from stories and pictures of the demolition of his Saddle River New Jersey house.

From that slim base of knowledge, I have to say that the photo released flogging the upcoming “Frost/Nixon” film does seem to capture the crummy dreariness of Nixon’s home, before the mold.

And Nixon wasn’t even living there when he taped the interviews.

nixon-saddle-river-tv-floor.jpg The odd shaped rooms, nixon-saddle-river-rot.jpg

the pointlessly complicated lighting fixtures. nixon-saddle-river-demo-dining-room.jpg

Complicating the film’s promotion for the expected 2008 release may be this site. Wait till the Nixon and Frost profiles appear and hit “click here to watch.” Enjoy the show!