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Second Prize Is Two Weeks in Grand Rapids



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No, seriously, just got back from a vacation in western Michigan, and it was great — the weather was delightful and there was lots for the family to see and do — including the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum, which is a real blast from the past for someone who was 12 when Nixon resigned. However squishy his me-too Republicanism, Ford’s basic decency and patriotism are a drink of cool water today.

Amidst the big-picture stuff, two things at the Ford museum stuck out: The map showing the outcome of the 1976 election had the red and blue states as they’re supposed to be — the Democrats in red and the Republicans in blue. Has anyone tried to dig out which graphic artist or art director at one of the networks decided to change this in 2000? It has to have been a considered decision by a leftie who didn’t think the Democrats should be portrayed as the reds, but I’ve never seen the name(s) of the specific person or persons responsible.

Also, everyone remembers the “Whip Inflation Now” buttons, but the museum had a whole display of other paraphernalia: W.I.N. pens, W.I.N. watches, W.I.N. necklaces, etc. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect from an administration with no idea how to respond to the crisis before it — are Outgrow Unemployment Today buttons in our future? Or Hustle Against Joblessness armbands?



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