Bush clothing line fails to find market

The "43" line is pulled from stores only three weeks after its debut

Topics: Satire,

Bush clothing line fails to find market (Credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Benjamin Wheelock)

In the early morning of August 4th of last year, a handful of senior executives from Ross Dress for Less, the popular discount department store, flew by private plane to Crawford, Texas, and presented the 43rd president of the United States with a creative business proposal: a signature George W. Bush clothing line. “He loved the idea right away,” said a Ross executive who attended the meeting. “We shook hands on the deal, and then he gave each one of us a bag of Funyuns and told us to follow him out to the garage, where we spent a few hours watching him play Q-Bert.” Later that evening, the executives flew back to California and immediately set to work on the project.

But the “43” clothing line, which was rolled out last month in Ross Dress for Less stores nationwide, failed to meet expectations and was recently pulled from the shelves only three weeks after its debut.

Many people involved in the project are assigning blame to the former president, a well-known creature of comfort, who reportedly insisted that every piece of his clothing line be made, at least in part, with pillows. “We showed him the market research that proved a pillow clothing demographic simply didn’t exist,” said a source who was involved in the project. “He got pretty testy and said, “I don’t care what the evidence says; I know there’s a bunch of ‘pillow clothing consumers’ out there; so go do the research again and find the PCC’s.” The “43” marketing team, fearing dissent would cost them their jobs, subsequently assembled doctored market research that conformed to the former president’s erroneous assumptions. “That’s how you end up with a warehouse full of pillow-padded-ass khakis,” said one Ross executive.

Many people who were involved with the project are still upset with Mr. Bush. “He refused to let go of his ‘man-pillow underwear,’ even though we pointed out that it would essentially just be a cloth diaper,” said one of the lead designers. “His absolute favorite idea was the ‘pillow sweat suit,’” said a Dallas venture capitalist who was pressured by the former president to invest in the project. “Bush ordered the design guys to come up with a pillow sweat suit sample, which he loved and ended up wearing every single day for two months straight. He looked like a 65-year-old version of the Michelin Man.”

One Dallas businessman who reluctantly invested in the “43” line said that Mr. Bush still owes him nearly $300,000. “He keeps telling me he’s a little short on cash right now,” said the investor. “Last time we talked he said he’d be able to pay me back in July … when the birthday check from his mom arrives.”

The “43” clothing line isn’t Mr. Bush’s only post-presidency business venture that has failed to meet expectations. Consumers were confused in October of last year, for example, when the former president released a battery-operated talking Bush doll which, when the string was pulled, said either “Tear Down This Wall,” “Go Ahead Make My Day” or “Who Let the Dogs Out.” The Bush Doll was market-tested in several Houston area Wal-Mart stores and then quietly pulled from the shelves due to poor sales. “I told him that everyone knows those phrases aren’t his,” said one disgruntled investor. “But he just narrowed his eyes, gave me that glare of his and then said ‘you’re either with the me and my doll or you’re with the terrorists.’”

Some of Mr. Bush’s close friends and associates are beginning to complain about the former president’s persistent interest in jumpstarting a business career. “He calls me up in the middle of the night, whispers ‘fortune cookie chimichangas’ and then makes a ‘cha-ching’ sound and hangs up,” said one friend. “He did the same thing with Bush Pac-Man, those glow-in-the-dark ‘W’ contact lenses and his ridiculous 24-hour drive-thru that only sold salsa. A few days ago he sent me an email with fifty dollar signs in the subject line — and the only thing he wrote was: ‘Mean Phil, the Angry Talking Toilet.’”

Mr. Bush was recently overheard boasting to friends about his latest idea: a nationwide retail brokerage firm to be called “G.W. Bush.” He is said to be particularly proud of the company’s motto, which the former president says he came up with himself: “When G.W. Bush talks, people listen.”

A spokesman for the former president declined to comment.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>