What really gets George W. Bush riled up? Calling him a fashion victim.
Last week, Marques Harper of the Austin American- Statesman wrote a short piece about the president’s sartorial style on his Texas ranch, where Bush is spending a two-week vacation. The article was reprinted Tuesday in a Waco, Tex., paper, and the leader of the free world was not pleased.
Harper received a phone call that morning from White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino, who, Harper told friends, said the president read the article and was unhappy about the way he was portrayed.
On this trip, President Bush wins the coveted award for US Prez. who has spent the least time at the White House, rivaling only Governor Blagojevich of Illinois in time spent away from his respective capital.
According to Harper’s article, which requires a free subscription to view:
Bush has two distinct looks when he’s in Texas: the ranch-hand man and the crisp appearance of a ranch owner. In recent months, with his sliding popularity, he’s opted to look more like “Walker, Texas Ranger” than a sweaty, tough ranch hand.
“As he loses popularity, his image is more and more critical,” said Sara Canaday, an Austin-based communication and image consultant. “He’s being advised wisely. He’d better step it up. He wants to have this sort of bravado image when he’s on that ranch.”
When things really fall apart, bring in the fashion consultant!
It’s tough times at the White House on the style front. According to The Washington Post, signs have appeared at numerous White House entrances in recent days, reminding staff members and others that proper attire must be maintained. That means no jeans, sneakers, shorts, miniskirts, T-shirts, tank tops or flip-flops.
Harper’s piece ends with a bit of advice for the First Vacationer:
With only one presidential summer left in Crawford after this, perhaps it’s time for Mr. President to line up work for life after the White House. Here’s a thought: Follow the lead of Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader who is the new face of luxe brand Louis Vuitton.
In his Western duds, Bush easily could model for Ralph Lauren. But if his popularity is still low through the end of his presidency, he could always try Wrangler.
Time for Queer Eye for the Travelin’ Guy.