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    Anecdotal Observations On History & Politics


    Preppy Politicos

    Politico interviewed the Preppy Handbook and True Prep author Lisa Birnbach to discuss Washington's preppiest pols today. While she made the obligatory references to JFK, the Bush family and John Kerry, several new names were added to her prep list: Michele Obama, Olympia Snowe and Al Franken. Politico also ran an online poll with the article:

    However, readers were obviously disappointed by the choices since 33% have chosen "none of the above". The reason? Maybe today's politicians have strayed too far from classic prep. No one dares wear a bowtie, khaki suit or seersucker -- or better yet, plaid: 


    A Political Host's Dream

    Scoring interviews with heavyweight politicians is the name of the game in political journalism, especially amongst cable TV hosts. It just so happened that in 1967 two of the brightest political figures appeared together on a televised "international town hall": Ronald Reagan and Robert F. Kennedy. 


    John Kerry May Be In Hot Water Again

    The Daily Caller brought attention to a potentially damaging story for Democratic candidates come November, reporting that Senator John Kerry has blamed negative democratic poll numbers  on an uninformed electorate. Whether or not Kerry actually meant to portray voters as ignorant, the optics of his statement can be construed as finger pointing: "we have an electorate that doesn’t always pay that much attention to what’s going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what’s happening..."  

    While the story hasn't gained much traction, it is needless to say that by not recognizing voter discontent as genuine, Kerry may further alienate potential swing voters and a disaffected democratic base. Kerry's reputation as a gaffe-prone politician has preceded him since before the 2004 presidential election and we've learned over the last several election cycles that careful messaging is even more crucial in the modern political arena -- but the question in this case is whether or not he can get himself out of hot water by now.

    Here's a flashback to some of Kerry's past gaffes, not including "I voted for it... before I voted against it":

    - Kerry was inadvertently caught on microphone calling Bush's campaign team crooked liars in the spring of 2004, "These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group of people I've ever seen." 

    - His "get stuck in Iraq" statement that was criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike in 2006.

    - The embarrassing "don't tase me bro" incident, when a rowdy member in the audience of a speech was tased and arrested by police in 2007.

    - More recently, the Yacht tax issue. 


    Oval Office Redesign

    Anyone who still favors the previous, more traditional, Oval Office design after President Obama's "earth-tone" makeover should enjoy Roy Lichtenstein's representation of the President's private digs above. The painting, apparently created in 1992, seems to depict the room as President Clinton's redesign would have it, with royal blue and gold contrasts. However the painting was completed the year before Clinton had officially moved in. Perhaps Bill took a cue from the famous pop artist?

    Curious as to what an Ikea Oval Office would look like? See here