"Hi, Mr. President!"
If you look in the surveillance files, you'll find another picture of me in this same pose in this same place from back in November 2002. That is, it is the same pose except for the gesture. I was letting the occupant of your home at the time know that he was #1.
Ah, look, here is the President himself, visiting a tourist gift shop: Admit it, for a second there you thought that was actually him, right? Well, I did. I came around the corner of some t-shirt stacks and had a split second of shock. Then, I felt stupid. I've been taken in by life-size cutouts before.
If you prefer a three-dimensional president, the same shop sells Obama busts:
Yeesh! Does it really need any comment?
Leftovers from the inauguration. These are those "see over a crowd" or "see around a corner" viewer thingys:
Let me tell you, if you needed one of these things to see the inauguration around a corner or over someone's head, they weren't going to do you any good unless they had a NASA-issued binoculars attached.
An Obama-themed tie and cuff links:
Isn't it a little-known rule of fashion that tie and cuff links should match? I think I saw it on "What Not to Wear."
An Obama pin:
What makes that pin special is that the head bobbles. It is attached to the body by a little spring and will bounce around.
That made me realize that I hadn't yet seen an Obama bobble-head. Well, sure enough, the next day in Eastern Market, I saw a "vendor" selling one. He wouldn't let me take a picture unless I bought something, so, no picture.
I also didn't take a picture of the Obama pin that lit up and flashed. The effect just wasn't the same in a photograph.
Naturally, someone has to *heart* Obama:
Of course you knew that this was coming:
Yes, an Obama action figure! Did I call it or what? Sadly, he is not ripping his shirt off, and his arms and legs only move at the shoulder and hip, so not much action going on there. No cape either.
The piece de resistance:
An Obama Beanie-Baby Teddy Bear! Or would that be an Obama Bear? Watch out TR! Your namesake is about to be stolen!
I couldn't leave out Hillary. The kitsch level on her wasn't so bad, limited to just a few pins hearkening back to earlier waves of feminism. Here we have Rosie the Hillary Clinton voter:
And Hillary the Heir to the Suffrage Movement:
Not too bad. Fortunately, I haven't seen the Hillary nutcracker since last summer. The only good thing about that artifact is that they didn't make her ugly, which you would expect.
If you click on the link, you'll also see that the same company markets a Bill Clinton corkscrew, which I, sadly, find tastelessly amusing and not so nearly offensive as the nutcracker.
That is the building where Lincoln died.
The Lincoln Building was probably so named in tribute to the Great Emancipator, in memory of his death so nearby. Yet, if you will notice, the architecture is from a much later period. Cynic that I am, I suspect a little capitalization of the gory death of a fallen leader had a more that a smidge to do with the naming of the building.
Thus are the perils of a public persona. The public will take that persona and interpret it however they wish -- as a gaudy Beanie Baby or a sexist bar tool or a name on a building adjacent to the site of your assassination -- and then capitalize on their interpretation.
In some small, hopefully more respectable manner, we historians make our careers off of the same process. Although I'm sure that could be debated when you see the plethora of published crap about Lincoln.
*By the way, if the president wants to set an example, maybe he and the Secret Service should not be driving around in all of those big ass SUVs that are parked out front. Just sayin'.