Obama Third Time’s the Charm Tie

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

President Obama outlines the 2009 Federal Budget, February 26, 2009.  White House Photo / Pete Souza.
White House Photo / Pete Souza

This week President Obama introduced two new potential members of his administration: Secretary of Commerce Nominee Gary Locke, and the proposed 2010 Federal Budget.

Obama chose a new neck tie for introducing Locke on Wednesday, one with alternating dark and light silver stripes. Since he is worried that public confidence might wane as he taps his third choice for Commerce Secretary, the President chose a tie that symbolizes wealth and says that the valedictocracy remains vigorous. Thursday’s budget announcement was accompanied by a “power” tie that the President has only worn once since taking office.

Neck of State: President Obama wears a new tie with silver stripes as he introduces Secretary of Commerce Nominee Gary Locke. February 25, 2009.Neck of State: President Obama wears his "Power Blue" tie as he unveils the FY 2010 Fisical Budget. February 26, 2009.

Obama State of the Nation Tie

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

White House Photo: Pete Souza

It’s barely Wednesday, and already this is a monumental week for Barack Obama’s neck.

Sunday, the president set the attitude for the week with a high-powered, high-class, and high-octane black bow tie.

Monday, the President suited up in a consistent favorite, “Starry Night”, as he began encouraging support for his upcoming budget bill. Tuesday morning, the President once again brought “Big Blue” back for his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, which speaks volumes to this administration’s commitment to building a stronger alliance with Japan.

Neck of State: Tie worn by Barack Obama as he previews the upcoming budget. February 23, 2009.Neck of State: Tie worn by Barack Obama while meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso. February 24, 2009.

Last night, Obama gave his first address to a joint session of congress. The speech was vigorous, entertaining, and comprehensible. He spoke directly to the American People about where we are, how we got here, and where we are going. Most viewers had high-expectations for the speech, and they were not disappointed.

The only unexpected turn of the night came when Obama changed ties into a new crimson cravat with white stripes for his address, a move that was certainly not calculated by his political opponents in the GOP. The President’s schedule is extremely regimented and busy, so for him to deliberately change ties is wholly significant. Moreover, donning a new neck tie despite recent tie reuse is a maneuver designed to show the nation that with the passage of the stimulus bill, America is not only turning the page and starting a new chapter, but also learning a new language and writing in a previously unexplored genre. Some analysts also claim that by wearing a wide, red neck tie Obama is renewing his pledge to reach out to Republicans in Washington, but Neck of State could not confirm these reports.

Neck of State: Barack Obama's State of the Nation Tie. February 24, 2009.

Quick Hit – Obama Gubernatorial Black Tie Affair

Tags: , , , ,

President Obama appeared Sunday at a dinner with the nation’s governors wearing a black bow tie. Normally, Neck of State only reports on the President’s “weekday” ties, but as this was his first public appearance in a black bow tie since taking office, we thought it was worth acknowledging.

Neck of State: President Obama's black bow tie at a dinner with the nation's governors. February 22, 2009.

Obama’s Economic Monotony Tie

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

In his fifth weekly address to the nation, Barack Obama wore a solid gray neck tie. He chose a dull color to deliver a somber, repetitive message that was fundamentally about unity and accomplishment. From the address:

Because of what we did together, there will now be shovels in the ground, cranes in the air, and workers rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, and repairing our faulty levees and dams. Because of what we did, companies — large and small — that produce renewable energy can now apply for loan guarantees and tax credits and find ways to grow, instead of laying people off… Because of what we did, our children can now graduate from 21st century schools and millions more can do what was unaffordable just last week… Because of what we did, lives will be saved and health care costs will be cut… Because of what we did, there will now be police on the beat, firefighters on the job, and teachers preparing lesson plans… Because of what we did, 95 percent of all working families will get a tax cut — in keeping with a promise I made on the campaign.

No single piece of this broad economic recovery can, by itself, meet the demands that have been placed on us… In short, we cannot successfully address any of our problems without addressing them all.

Emphasis and HTML mine.

The President’s tie serves multiple purposes in this message. His monotonous “because of what we did” mantra parallels the Obama/Biden “yes we can” campaign slogan, but in this neck tie, the color and enthusiasm of his campaign are gone. By passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Obama has achieved his first major milestone with the grace of a Cecchetti ballerina, yet his neck tie reminds us of the darkness of Die Fledermaus. The stark tie he wore Friday is simultaneously symbolic of the fierce economic road ahead and the composure that we must maintain while we travel that road together.

Neck of State: Necktie worn by Barack Obama on February 20, 2009, while recording his fifth weekly video address to the nation.

Obama Delivers Economic Stimulus, Repeats Neckties

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

President Obama greets a supporter in Ottowa, Canada.  February 19, 2009.
White House Photo: Pete Souza

After decades of intensive training, years of strategy development, months of planning, weeks of negotiation, and ten seconds of penning, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act this week in Denver, CO. The passage represents an important symbolic victory for a President who took office amidst an economic and fashion maelstrom.

Two days after signing the bill, the President fled the country to Canada, possibly to carry his message of economic recovery through economic stimulus and neck wear fashion to our allies in the North.

Neck of State: Tie worn by Barack Obama as he greets a supporter in Ottowa, Canada.  February 19, 2009.

For the second Thursday in a row, the president wore his American striped blue tie. It’s appropriate that Obama would wear a tie with American stripes on his first visit to a foreign country while in office. As a candidate in 2008, Obama’s foreign policy credentials were frequently criticized, and now he’s making a daring statement to the world about who he represents (i.e. the American People).

The President also wore the same tie this Monday (February 16, 2009) that he wore last Tuesday (February 10, 2009). This is the first time that the President has worn the same tie twice in a seven day period, which some analysts think may point to the early signs of stress setting in after the challenging start to his first term in office.

Neck of State: Tie worn by Barack Obama after returning from Valentine's weekend in Chicago, IL. February 16, 2009.Neck of State: Tie worn by Barack Obama while signing the economic stmiulus bill. February 17, 2009.Neck of State: Tie worn by Barack Obama while detailing mortgage relief to an audience in Arizona. February 18, 2009.Neck of State: Tie worn by Barack Obama on his way to Ottawa, Canada. February 19, 2009.

Obama’s First Eleven Days in Neck Ties

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

In late January, The New York Daily News put out an analysis of Obama’s neck ties for his first eleven days in office. They concluded that “when it comes to his ties — one of the best ways a man can beam individuality — the nation’s 44th President hasn’t stuck his neck out. All his ties have been red or blue, whether solid or striped or subtly flecked.”

Emphasis mine.

Leaving aside that President Obama spent his first eleven days in office undoing every Bush Policy that he could find (certainly a sign of individuality), the assertion of this piece lies in direct contradiction to the fact that the President wore at least two neckties that were neither red nor blue during his first eleven days in office.

On January 26th, President Obama signed an executive order enabling fourteen states to set strict limits on greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency for cars and trucks. He is pictured below during the signing of this “green” legislation wearing a dark green tie.

Original Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mark Wilson

To their credit, the NY Daily News did include this tie in their analysis, they just inappropriately labeled it as dark blue. Neck of State has analyzed several photos of the President from the 26th of January, and in all of our tests, the tie came up as more green than blue.

Just a few days later on January 29th, Obama posed with Lillly Ledbetter, the namesake of recent legislation that makes it easier for women to file fair-pay lawsuits. His tie in the snapshot below is not only neither red nor blue, but also carries a non-traditional “static” pattern.

Neck of State: Barack Obama in a decidedly non red or blue tie on January 29, 2009.
Original Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mark Wilson

Together, these tie choices represent more than 20% of the ties that the President wore on business days during his first eleven days in office.

The Daily News clearly came to a conclusion based on their expectation of what Barack Obama would wear simply because, yes, many people in Northwest Washington D.C. wear red or blue ties. They wrote what they thought listeners wanted to hear, and didn’t bother to actually look at the data. Luckily, Neck of State did bother:

Neck of State: President Barack Obama's Ties for his First Eleven Days in Office

Pictured above are President Obama’s neck ties for his first nine business-days in office. From left to right are the ties he wore on January 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30 of this year.

At Neck of State we carefully catalog the President’s ties every day, and we will never report based on preconceived notions of Washington D.C. fashion. We look forward to sharing the patterns that emerge with our readers as we continue our research. For pictures of all the ties that the President has worn since taking office, please visit the Tie Gallery.

Daily News story via Yahoo News.

Obama No Silver Lining Tie

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was passed last week, and on Friday President Obama trumpeted the achievement in his fourth weekly address to the nation. From the address:

Congress has passed my economic recovery plan – an ambitious plan at a time we badly need it. It will save or create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years, ignite spending by business and consumers alike, and lay a new foundation for our lasting economic growth and prosperity.

Our debt has doubled over the past eight years, and we’ve inherited a trillion-dollar deficit – which we must add to in the short term in order to jumpstart our sick economy. But our long-term economic growth demands that we tame our burgeoning federal deficit; that we invest in the things we need, and dispense with the things we don’t. This is a challenging agenda, but one we can and will achieve.

It will take time, and it will take effort, but working together, we will turn this crisis into opportunity and emerge from our painful present into a brighter future.

Emphasis mine.

The President’s address was rife with powerful metaphors. By igniting spending, we can jumpstart our sick economy, tame the deficit, and emerge from our painful present into a brighter future. The words describe something like a Transformer with low batteries fighting a lion in the circus, and such confusing imagery can only mean that the President’s true intention was to direct our attention to more powerful metaphors via his unprecedented necktie.

Obama’s choice of a tie that’s neither red nor blue shows that he’s not only above partisanship, but also above bipartisanship. With all the emphasis that gets placed on reaching across the aisle, the President has found it necessary to point out that bipartisan is not the same as correct. Some GOP senators are crying foul at this behavior, while other more compliant senators apparently didn’t get a chance to read the bill. Meanwhile, the President sits in style in the Oval Office pushing his agenda through relatively unhindered.

Neck of State: Necktie worn by Barack Obama on February 13, 2009, while recording his fourth weekly video address to the nation.

Obama Town Meeting Series Neck Ties

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

White House Photo: Pete Souza

President Obama made a series of appearances this week in Town Hall style meetings where he tried to win broad public support for his ailing economic stimulus plan. Because, like fairies, stimulus plans can only survive if you believe in them. It’s Neverlandian democracy in action.

Obama’s only other recourse for stimulating the stimulus is to either send out massive amounts of spam or to showcase a new series of presidential neck ties. This week, the President donned three ties that had never before graced the White House, which stands in severe contrast to last week’s unprecedented tie reuse, and could indicate that he is willing to burn more political capital on the recovery legislation than his opponents thought.

Neck of State: Necktie worn by Barack Obama on February 12, 2009. The tie features a telling "negative" slope.

Thursday also marked the first time that the President has worn a tie with stripes that have a “negative” slope (a.k.a. “American striped”), a move that’s been hailed as evidence that’s he’s disgusted with both Republicans and Democrats for their infantile posturing and ready to move on to consistent, clear communication through the latest in neck wear fashions.

UPDATE: Reanalysis of an earlier neck tie revealed that this is not in fact the first time that Obama has word the American striped tie.

Neck of State: Necktie worn by Barack Obama on February 9, 2009, at a Town Hall Meeting in Indiana.Neck of State: Necktie worn by Barack Obama on February 10, 2009, at a Town Hall Meeting in Florida.Neck of State: Necktie worn by Barack Obama on February 11, 2009, at a Virginia Construction Site.Neck of State: Necktie worn by Barack Obama on February 12, 2009, on his way to celebrate the Lincoln Bicentennial.

Obama ‘Hurry Up, So That We Can Wait’ Neck Wear

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

In his third weekly address to the nation since taking office, President Barack Obama spoke on the need to act post haste on the stimulus package even if the bill isn’t quite right. From the video:

Legislation of such magnitude deserves the scrutiny that it’s received over the last month, and it will receive more in the days to come. But we can’t afford to make perfect the enemy of the absolutely necessary. The scale and scope of this plan is right. And the time for action is now.

Neck of State analysts are skeptical about the President’s commitment to acting right now. We expect instead that the stimulus bill’s execution will exemplify the ‘Hurry Up, So That We Can Wait’ Principle, which states that the speed at which an organizational or authoritative entity will take action is inversely proportional to the urgency with which said entity makes its requests.

Case in point: after recording the address sometime Friday, Obama took off to Camp David with his family on Saturday. A fortuitous photographer was able to catch the President truly kicking back with no tie at all.

At Neck of State, we do not believe that this is miscalculation by the President. On the contrary, we encourage the President to take any and all vacation time that he deems necessary to support his inconceivably stressful lifestyle. The switch to casual mode is a signal to the nation that we can all just chillax. The President’s urgency is meant only to strike paralyzing fear into the overconfident hearts of his enemies. His neck wear tells us what he cannot say outwardly in any Press Conference: “Everything will work out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out, then it’s not the end”.

Neck of State: Necktie worn by Barack Obama on February 6, 2009, while recording his third weekly video address to the nation.Neck of State: Casual collar sported by Barack Obama on February 7, 2009, on his way to Camp David.

Obama Implements Neck Tie Reuse Plan, Reaches Lucky Thirteen

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


White House Photo: Joyce N. Boghosian

This week, for the first time since taking office, Barack Obama began regular reuse of ties that he had already worn this term, a move which is at once being hailed as a signal that the time for negligent waste is past, and dismissed as a partisan fashion faux pas to be expected of someone who lacks real Washington leadership experience.  Some commanders-in-chief may have worn upwards of thirty ties after being in office for eighteen days, but Obama’s total stands at an environmentally aware thirteen ties. The President’s recent tie wearing schedule broke down as:

  • Monday, President Obama brought “Big Blue” back to the Oval Office for the first time since his repeat Inaugural Oath with John Roberts.
  • Tuesday, the President wore a previously unseen tie featuring dark blue dots on a light blue background light/dark blue stripes.
  • On Wednesday, President and Mrs. Obama made their first public appearance since the Inauguration, visiting a second grade classroom in Washington, D.C. (pictured above).  In order to instill the value of reducing, reusing, and recycling in the future voters, Obama chose to re-wear the tie that he wore in his first weekly address.
  • Thursday the President broke out a new necktie while appearing with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.
  • Finally, today (Friday) the President reused the tie that he wore when he first started pushing his economic stimulus plan on Congress.

Some presidential neck wear analysts have speculated that this pattern could foreshadow a push for legislation governing responsible neck wear reuse.

To browse photos of all thirteen ties that the President has worn since taking office, visit the Tie Gallery.

Neck of State: Necktie worn by Barack Obama while reading with school children.  February 3, 2009.Neck of State: Necktie worn by Barack Obama while signing the new State Children's Health Insurance Program legislation.  February 4, 2009.Neck of State: Necktie worn by Barack Obama when he appeared with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to announce new energy standards for household appliances.  February 5, 2009.Neck of State: Necktie worn by Barack Obama while introducing his Economic Recovery Team.  February 6, 2009.