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Question of the day

Thursday, Jul 8, 2010

* The Illinois Republican Party has a new t-shirt for sale

I can’t decide whether combining the Blagojevich image with the elephant image is a good or bad thing, so…

* The Question: Is this effective or not? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Knome Sane - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:12 am:

    I would have to say: not effective. The cartoon looks cheesy and the slogan is poor. I give it a solid “D”.

  2. - wndycty - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:15 am:

    Not effective. The GOP is making a huge mistake if it wants to make this election about Blagojevich. His influence in this election is overstated. Illinois is in a crisis and voters want to hear what their vision for the state is, not how snarky they can be.

  3. - Skeeter - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:15 am:

    The general idea is not bad, it is poorly executed. The elephant looks very weak, lying on it side. Give that lounging position, and that they are in the same room and he’s blow drying the hair, it almost seems like they were in bed together.

  4. - George - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:16 am:

    I think it is ridiculously bad.

    Did they NOT read the story about the $400,00 and the custom-made suits?

  5. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:16 am:

    It’s too complicated for a t-shirt and it doesn’t even make sense. Unplugging Rod’s hair dryer will stop the chicago machine? There is so much good material out there - this seems sophomoric to me.

  6. - Sacks Romana - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:19 am:

    Slogan is great.
    Cartoon is horrible.
    T-shirt is unsellable.
    Election is unwinnable.

  7. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:24 am:

    It’s awful. Who signed off on it?

    You have Blago, and this is the best that you can do?

  8. - D.P. Gumby - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:25 am:

    OMG this bites the big one. Caricature of Blago is unrecognizable; total pix has nothing to do w/ much of anything–no linkage to current situation or pols, too confusing for casual viewer. Even the most foaming Rep. shouldn’t waste their $$

  9. - Montrose - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:27 am:

    It does not work. I can see sitting around a table, brainstorming, and thinking it is hilarious. The problem is, they went ahead and made the shirt without realizing it does not work beyond that initial brainstorm session.

    This t-shirt, though, is emblematic of how the ILGOP has so much good material to work with but has not idea of how to use it effectively.

  10. - View from the Cheap Seats - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:27 am:

    Should have connected Blago to Quinn and Alexi. “Keeping the machine alive…”

  11. - Good Thinkin' Lincoln - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:32 am:

    Not effective, and what’s up with the hair dryer?

    Bad idea including the “elephant” since some of their big guys (Cellini & Kjellendar) many tons of money with Rod.

  12. - Irish - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:32 am:

    I think it is ineffective.
    Reasons being;

    I don’t think that you can say that Blago was part of the Machine. He really was not close to Daley. And he was not part of Madigan’s group. and he most assuredly was not close to his father in law’s people. Blago had his own inept group that put corruption and pay to play on a whole other level but the only real connection he had to the Machine was the Cellinis and I wouldn’t say he had any real connection there.

    And given that George Ryan is in jail for corruption and unethical behavior for his actions as a Republican politician and governor the use of the elephant unplugging the corruption does not work.

    The t shirt is obviously an attempt to link corruption to Blago ergo the Democrats. And to make the statement that if you want to end that the Republicans are the answer. One word blows that all up in the Republicans face. Ryan. This was not thought out very well.

  13. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:35 am:

    Seems funny to me..

    Is it summary of what is wrong? No, but its funny nonetheless.

  14. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:36 am:

    Extraordinarily awful.

  15. - shore - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:37 am:

    Not really-and I’m a republican. I think it gets lost in all the partisan back and forth. Corruption really helps the other party when they can tie it to things that are hurting people or do aggravate people.

  16. - Living in Oklahoma - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:37 am:

    yeah, thats pretty poor work.

  17. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:38 am:

    Explain, please.

  18. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:39 am:

    So true, Montrose.

  19. - Zora - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:43 am:

    It doesn’t work for all the reasons listed above, and this one too: Hair dryer = a small, cheap, easy to replace appliance that we all own. “Machine” = strong, invisible force apart from us that doesn’t go away.

    Hair dryer ≠ Machine

    Sorry guys, keep trying.

    Rich, you may have a new business line here: You could charge campaigns to have your commentators critique ads before they go up.

  20. - Anon - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:43 am:

    I don’t know how you guys can say its not effective, its funny and memorable

  21. - Way Way Down Here - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:47 am:

    Doesn’t work. The impression is that the elephant is playing a practical joke on the Blago character. Look like they are just goofing around Tom and Jerry style.

  22. - Bring Back Boone's - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:48 am:

    The elephant has a sheepish grin on it’s face and is borderline creepy.

  23. - Berkeley Bear - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:55 am:

    Don’t really see it working. Blago got kicked out by Democrats, after all, not an election.
    The one thing impeachment did was isolate Blago from the wider Democratic party. The trial has made it even clearer that Blago thought of himself as a seperate entity from everyone else in the party rather than as any sort of leader of the wider party. So I don’t think anyone other than hard core GOP types see Blago and link him to all other Democrats. Madigan and Daley are the true faces of the “machine” (to the extent there still is one) - and it takes some real effort to link them with Blago. Quinn, for all his flaws, is pretty clearly clean when it comes to Blago’s shenanigans, and Blago’s views on Giannoulis show he was never part of Blago’s team.

    The GOP needs to focus on the weaknesses of the actual Dems, not keep flogging the hairdo.

  24. - Coach - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:56 am:

    Not effective.

    Frankly, the face of Rod is far too flattering - the opposite of what you’d expect from such a cartoon.

    In real life, Blago’s facial features are naturally exaggerated and lend them themselves particularly well to caricature; his head is oddly compacted (his chin and nose are punched into his head, rather than having much character of their own), while his jaunted jaw and chipmunk cheeks round out his head almost to the shape of volleyball.

    Then, or course, there’s that way-out-of-style thick mop of hair that sits atop his head - again, a feature that is mostly lost in this cartoon.

    This cartoon actually manages to make Rod look more handsome than he is in real life. He appears as a man with well-defined, distinguished facial features. The character in this cartoon looks more like Clark Kent than like Rod.

  25. - OneMan - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:57 am:

    It’s a t-shirt on Cafe Press, not a election strategy people.

    Will it get a laugh, yeah a bit. Is it brilliant, no. Is it likely the last t-shirt we see before the end of the year with Rod and his hair, no…

  26. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:03 pm:

    Okay Rich… here goes.

    Terrible font
    Elephant expression (looks like he will be surprised if the shirt sells)
    Elephant posture (looks like a weakling)
    Motion lines around plug look like radio waves
    Spark at both outlet and hair dryer has no meaning
    Blago caricature sucks (at least make him impeccably dressed with perfect helmet-like hair) it doesn’t look like him
    Very busy for a tee-shirt
    Look at shadows by Blago and elephant feet, where’s the light
    Should we even go into the message?

  27. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:04 pm:

    - Berkeley Bear - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 11:55 am:

    “Don’t really see it working. Blago got kicked out by Democrats, after all, not an election.”

    Impeachment was sponsored by Dan Cronin, Dupage Republican

  28. - RightGirl - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:08 pm:

    Totally juvenile and consistent with the ILGOP braintrusts in charge.

  29. - DuPage Dave - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:09 pm:

    It’s not effective at all because even people minimally interested in state government are aware that Blagojevich has been out of office for some time now and is not in control of any “machine”.

    Those who pay attention more closely are aware that Blago was not much in control of himself in his last year or so in office, and was scarcely in control of anything at any time- except fundraising, of course.

  30. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:11 pm:

    An F

    I agree with D.P. Gumby “Caricature of Blago is unrecognizable”

    And Irish and others are right, no one, with the exception of these folks who put this out, associate Blagojevich with a machine.

    And as others have mentioned he spent a lot on his wardrobe. Anyone who spends that much does not tuck an overpriced tie, into an overpriced shirt, and leave an overpriced jacket undone.
    Plus, I don’t remember Blagojevich every getting that casual in a suit.

    An F.

    If people can recognize him, the rest does not add up. The elephant looks lazy laying on the floor as well.

  31. - Thoughts... - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:14 pm:


    Might want to check your facts. Impeachment, to the extent it could be sponsored, was sponsored by Madigan (HR 5) with all, or nearly all, of the members of the House as co-sponsors. The Senate sat as a tribunal, thus there was no resolution/legislation/etc. to be sponsored. Constitutionally, Cronin couldn’t “sponsor” impeachment because impeachment can only occur in the House under the Constitution. The Senate conducts the trial.

  32. - Aldyth - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:15 pm:

    This is mostly stupid.

  33. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:16 pm:

    I was told a few things that it seems the ILGOP seems to have forgotten;

    If you have to explain a joke/symbol/metaphor … you lost them already.

    If you get too cute with something you can destroy with a sledgehammer, then its not THAT cute.

    If you feel the need to use a cartoon to prove a point, make sure the part of the cartoon that includes you is not MORE silly than what you are satiring.


  34. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:17 pm:

    Thank You, thank you, thank you
    Now get Michael Steele in for GOP Day at the Fair
    Big Bimbos reminds us of KJ and Pagano and other GOP baggers past, present and future.
    Keep up the good work.
    NoTaxRushmore Crew is going overtime this week.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:21 pm:

    How about this for a T-Shirt ….


    Vote Republican


    Its “Bleeping” Golden

    (image of GOP Elephant - gold)

  36. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:24 pm:

    The reason it’s so bad is that it looks like someone on the central committee’s kid did it. The idea is fine, it just looks terrible. It’s a visual medium; it should look good on a basic level.

  37. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:29 pm:

    If you think of it as a t-shirt for the faithful who are already Republicans it’s kind of funny and goofy and good to wear to your Republican picnic.

    Does it work as a general message? No. But who cares.

  38. - nellaelad27 - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:31 pm:

    It doesn’t work for me! Instead the Republicans should continue to distance between them.

    Instead put blago on a donkey with the slogan:
    “Buck blago!”

  39. - Dooley Dudright - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:32 pm:

    Lousy concept. Poor execution. And crummy artwork.

    For openers, it’s the wrong Rod: the caricature looks more like Serling than Blagojevich!

    And this is what?, Serling being done in by Dumbo the Elephant? What a laff-riot!

    Give this one an “A”. For “Amateurish”.

  40. - just sayin' - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:34 pm:

    Childish and completely dishonest. No one was closer to Blago than Republicans like Tom Cross, Skip Saviano, Bob Kjellander, Stu Levine, and Bill Cellini.

    I wouldn’t wash my car with that propoganda rag.

  41. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:37 pm:

    The cartoon doesn’t even match the slogan.
    The elephant looks like a creepy boob.
    Blagojevich is more attractive than the elephant.
    The whole hair-dryer joke is six years old.

    Embarrassingly bad.

  42. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:41 pm:

    Correct, Thoughts. I had this in mind:

  43. - Niles Township - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:41 pm:

    I really think the GOP winning strategy is to focus on Quinn’s current ineptness not Blago’s criminal and lazy past. That was so two years ago. The GOP could be giving Quinn a big pass if this becomes their strategy.

  44. - ANONIMO - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:42 pm:

    So when I first saw it I thought the elephant was a donkey! It wasn’t until I actually took a couple seconds to look at it that I realized it was an elephant.

    I think this was a bad choice - unplug the machine is a message that resonates with progressives (such as myself) - this just connects Republican imagery with the machine - which in reality those in the machine act like Republicans. So I guess it makes sense.

  45. - Easily Entertained - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:50 pm:

    Blago charicature bears resemblance to former Governor Jim Edgar!

  46. - too obvious - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 12:52 pm:

    So the GOP elephant is doing what a 5-year old boy does to his teenage sister when she’s getting ready for her big date.

    Really says it all about the immature, silly way the IL GOP approaches politics. I could definitely see Tom Cross for example proudly sporting that t-shirt.

  47. - FillB - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 1:00 pm:

    I’d say it’s effective at separating people from their money. Assuming it’s a lark, sure. I can’t imagine building a campaign around it. Anger at Dems or not, the GOP brand isn’t exactly lighting it up these days.

  48. - Gregor - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 1:01 pm:

    Just run Britt’s “Garage Sale” cartoon from the other day; WAY stronger statement than this shirt.

  49. - PalosParkBob - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 1:06 pm:

    The image of Blago is young, virile, WELL DRESSED, and charismatic.

    The image of the “GOP” is fat, naked, sloppy and that mischievous trouble maker.

    Blago stands tall, straight and has an endearing smile.

    The “GOP” is a smirking, inhuman “creature”.

    A better image would have been to use Blago as a charicatured Dem Jacka$$…err…donkey, with a fancy suit and cash falling out of his pocket.

    Rather than a blowdryer, the GOP could be unplugging a unwieldly contraption grabbing money from a persons pocket and “laundering” it into neat piles into a Dem “corruption” basket.

    So many good, useful images.

    So little inspiration on the t shirt.

    Musta been made by a liberal Art student looking to cash in.

  50. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 1:06 pm:

    So Repubs are sloppy fat, sit in a corner, and pull out electrical plugs - with no fingers?

    Seeing that plug on the bottom of that foot, with no real way of that sloppy elephant to pull that thing out, you have to wonder …”Is this the best the ILGOP could come up with?”

    I would never want that specific elephant cartoon to represent the GOP … makes what it represents looks silly…

  51. - Liandro - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 1:09 pm:

    Pretty weak, with the exception of the hair dryer, which amuses me.

  52. - Justice - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 1:16 pm:

    It’s goofy. I wouldn’t buy it or wear it if it were free. The elephant does a good job representing the GOP, weak looking, lazy, timid, up to no good behind somebody’s back. Yeah, that pretty much covers it.

  53. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 1:28 pm:

    I think Goodwill is going to get a big donation of shirts in December because whoever made these is going to have pay people to wear them. I’m looking forward to seeing some homeless guys wearing these next year. The Republicans I know wouldn’t be caught dead in this tee-shirt.

    Is the shirt made in the USA?

  54. - seebee - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 1:30 pm:

    Deep Six the cartoon and the T-shirt. Illinois Republicans need to campaign on getting a balanced budget that pays bills, and ridding Illinois of the murder capitol, Chicago,and Chicago corruption. Give Blagojevich the boot.

  55. - ann - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 2:16 pm:

    Who cares, it’s a shirt! It does not matter if the shirt works or if the shirt does not work. Just keep making phone calls and walking doors ILGOP, who cares if people like your shirt or not.

  56. - Yadi Dog - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 2:46 pm:

    So that’s what a $195 tie looks like:)

    It looks like a shirt you get at a county fair. Overall,the artist was trying way to hard for such an easy setup.

  57. - Chubby Cubbie - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 3:17 pm:

    It looks like a T-shirt typically sold at a carnival….or a circus…where some clown poses and the airtist air brushes their image onto the T-Shirt….. Oh….wait…. LOL

  58. - Visual Manager - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 4:52 pm:

    why would they ever associate themselves with rod blago? All the dems need to do now is be clever and flip that around and connect that with George Ryan. Which probably is not too difficult… And the elephant looks lazy and unkempt.

  59. - Rob_N - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 5:05 pm:

    The guy was impeached, removed from office, and is on trial. By November he may even be in jail.

    Blago’s already been unplugged.

    Say, who was it that recommended Stu Levine to Blagojevich…?

    Wasn’t it Tom Cross, the head of the House GOP?


    Maybe Pat Brady ought to unplug Tom Cross.

  60. - zatoichi - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 5:13 pm:

    Basic HS student council ad. Without some background, I would have no idea what this is supposed to to represent. If it was free, this would be a nice shirt for painting the house.

  61. - Matt Dietrich - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 5:27 pm:

    I love the clunky footwear on Rod. It’s a throwback to The Cure. Or maybe to Herman’s boots on “The Munsters.” Rod also appears to be wearing something between an ascot and a conventional tie, which makes him look all the more sinister. Plus, it can’t be easy for an elephant to grasp and disengage and electrical cord with its feet. For those reasons, this one deserves an A+ on all fronts. Great job, guys.

  62. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 5:37 pm:

    Face is off; elephant does look a bit beaten to death. Leaves me wondering whether the shabby suit was added to “promote discussion”. Reminded me of the McKenna ad theme, which I didn’t like. And also made me wonder whether it was a “contest” winner design, and if not, whether the design cost alot.

    Also left me wondering why women’s tees have to cost more than men’s. The concept was good, though.

  63. - HatShopGirl - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 6:32 pm:

    Niles Township 12:41p.m., my thoughts too. The Reps may give PQ a pass. Quinn seems to have genuflected and kissed the same rings that Blago expected to send him to the Whitehouse. Quinn is “thisclose” (a Sneedling) to Thompson.

  64. - HatShopGirl - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 6:38 pm:

    BTW, my understanding of “the Machine” (and please correct me if I’m wrong) is the bipartisan, (D) & (R) collusion, effort to put the right person in elected office. The “Machine” of my childhood, divided the County, giving the City to the Dems and the suburbs to the Reps. Since that was so effective, it branched-out to State and National politics. Obama is a “Machine” politician too. He came to power with acceptance from the Republican leadership. It was curious to see how serious challengers to Obama demurred and the Republicans basically let Obama win.

  65. - Excessively Rabid - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 7:46 pm:

    Blago looks like a young Warren Beatty here. It’s a complete loser.

  66. - Horrified Republican - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 10:14 pm:

    Really awful. And just when you thought the IL GOP couldn’t get more juvenile.

  67. - SpringpatchProud - Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 2:10 am:

    If you wrestle in mud with a pig you most probably will be mistaken for one. What else would wearing a tee-shirt with this caricature possibly say in the minds of anyone looking at you? Rep, Dem, Black, White, Indian, etc … who would want this idiot on their chest for any reason or message? If you would, I have a few recordings you might want to listen to and see then how proud that image (regardless of message) makes you.

    Blago’s new “word of the year” for 2008 seems to have been “repugnant.” You can add an image of this tee-shirt as a new alternate definition of the word.

  68. - Macoupin Observer - Friday, Jul 9, 10 @ 7:37 am:

    Not effective! Would have been better to show Speaker Madigan in a suit with “no necktie” and the elephant holding a colorful necktie with the caption reading, “UNTIE THE MACHINE”.

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    * John Frayne: Gunns mixed it up in an intimate setting

    * Rozner: Chicago Bears find victory, reason to believe
    * Historic South Carolina floods: Heavy rain, hundreds rescued
    * Cutler, Gould give Chicago Bears something to celebrate
    * Cubs' manager Maddon enjoys one-start-fits-all day
    * Davis hits 2 HRs as Orioles beat Yankees 9-4 in finale

    * House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
    * Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
    * The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
    * Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
    * Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
    * CBD Oil, and politics
    * Simon considering state Senate bid
    * Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
    * Shutdown? State may not notice
    * Rep. Bob Dold

    * Judiciary Committee Reaches Agreement on P......
    * Senators Introduce Landmark Bipartisan Sen......

    * Kirk's VA bill fails to move ahead in Sena......

    * Cubs fans will celebrate, but maybe we ought to root, root, root for the Pirates
    * McHenry Community High School teachers are out.
    * We drove to McHenry this Sunday to support striking teachers in District 156.
    * Party, and Decorate, and Trick-or-Treat, All In Sheridan Park on Halloween
    * Hebru Brantley Mural Completed On Broadway
    * East St. Louis teachers walk out.
    * Sunday posts, pics and tweets.
    * Meet Uptown's "Gangsters and Ghosts" On October 29th
    * You’re Invited – Illinois REbarcamp Powered by YPN!
    * Next 10 general admission registrants for Vertex 15 Conference get extras

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