We at the Department of Burnt Ends have recommended quite a few witty T-shirts of our own design lately.
But we also like to point out when other people have good ideas for slogans to slap across your chest. Like "LBJ for the USA."
Neil and Julie Swanson didn't come up with that catchphrase. But through their Web site, RetroPresident.com, the Brookside couple makes it easy to pimp your favorite past presidential candidate with a faux vintage tee.
Founded last fall, the site features the catchphrases and names of about 40 campaigns. The most popular: "I Like Ike" from Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1952 campaign.
Now that it's officially president-picking time again, the Swansons have been hitting the road to drum up business. They took their kids and their fliers to the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. The whole clan of six was in Washington, D.C., when the Department of Burnt Ends caught up with them by phone.
"We're on our way to the National History Museum," Julie says.
The Web site was originally Neil's idea, but Julie became the spokeswoman in Des Moines. That's where they were when MSNBC requested an interview. Through rock, paper, scissors, the couple decided who got to be on national TV.
Emboldened by their success, the Swansons decided to head east the following week. Julie says she was driving when she said, "We need to go to New Hampshire, and we need to get RetroPresident.com slapped on the side of our van."
The national publicity has paid off. Before the MSNBC interview, their site had 100 visitors a day. The day Julie was on TV, the site got 2,000 hits. Still, she isn't sure if she's crazy about being the press contact. She wonders about that rock, paper, scissors game. "I'm not sure if I won or I lost," Julie says, laughing.