Ike

Ike by Avedon.

Dwight Eisenhower’s eight years as president were about a lot more than I Like Ike buttons and interstate highways. From Wikipedia:

After his many wartime successes, General Eisenhower returned to the United States a great hero. It would not be long before many supporters were pressuring him to run for public office.

Eisenhower was generally considered a political moderate, and it was not immediately clear which party he would choose to join. Eventually he settled on the Republican Party, and in 1952 he was nominated as the party’s […] candidate in the 1952 U.S. Presidential Election.

Unlike today’s Republicans, he refused to reduce taxes until he balanced the budget and left the preaching to the church men.

Eisenhower had mixed feelings about his Vice President, Richard Nixon, and only reluctantly endorsed him as the Republican candidate at the 1960 Presidential election. Nixon campaigned against Kennedy on the great experience he had acquired in eight years as Vice President, but when Eisenhower was asked to name a decision Nixon had been responsible for in that time, he replied (intending a joke): “Give me a week and I might think of something.” This was a severe blow to Nixon, and he blamed Eisenhower for his narrow loss to Kennedy.

Still, we should be careful not to oversimplify the man. It was with Ike’s support that the US started an active period of covert action in foreign countries. And Eisenhower put the Shah of Iran in power, setting the stage for the 1979 revolution.

Anyway, Richard Avedon’s photo of him is rather amusing. This one less so, but I want that tie — really, look at it.

Until then, the Ike T-Shirts (originally released in 1994) have been re-released and added to the collection with Beef T-Shirts and everything else..

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