Absolutely, positively the end of “Rudy ’08”

Rudyt I flew out of the Des Moines International Airport last Thursday. After sailing through security, I popped into the Paradies gift shop to buy some gum when I spied a little "clearance" section featuring four sweatshirts embroidered with the word "Iowa" and about four dozen black t-shirts, marked $4.99.  I counted and discovered 42 of the t-shirts featured Rudy Giuliani’s smiling countenance, with an American flag which — were it a real life picture rather than silkscreen — seems to be tickling the back of Giuliani’s neck.  Hence the smile, perhaps.  The name Rudy is featured in bright red; 2008 is in bright blue and underneath are the words "Giuliani for President" in white script 

The other six t-shirts featured a smiling Mitt Romney.  I probably missed a marketing opportunity, as my flying destination was Utah and Romney saved the Salt Lake Olympics, you know.  When I returned to Des Moines on Tuesday evening, the gift shops in the airport were closed.

In a conversation today with the manager of the Paradies gift shop, I learned that six black t-shirt variations on this theme went on sale last fall at the DSM International.  Three of the shirts featured Republicans: the aforementioned Rudy and Romney — plus John McCain.  The gift shop manager told me they also sold three varieties which featured Democrats, but they sold out long ago.  One featured Barack Obama.  Another pictured Hillary Clinton.  But the surprise is that the third was a mug shot of Bill Clinton — "for first lady" as the gift shop manager described it today.

I went out to the airport this afternoon, and a nice person in the gift shop went downstairs and fished out four of the "Rudy 2008" shirts, which I purchased for the bargain price of $4.99 (down from the original $14.99!).  While the shirts were in clearance last week in the gift shop, this week there is no chance for the general flying public at DSM International to buy these Rudy shirts as they’ve been moved out to make room for more merchandise. One of the four shirts I bought has been promised to a certain Democratic operative who sees the shirt as a collector’s item. The other is bound for a certain person in New York City who is a big Rudy fan.  Who knows?  I might be persuaded to part with the other two.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.