If someone tells you they have a friend with political ties, you have to figure they are either in politics or perhaps they know someone who is. Or, just maybe, they have really good connections in town.
For political collectors, nearly all of us know someone who has political ties. Some of us even have them ourselves. Political neckties, that is. Bowties, traditional neckties and even bolo ties have been used in political campaigns back at least as far as Ulysses S. Grant in 1868 to get a candidate’s name out.
The 1940s-1960s were the heydey of political ties. Franklin Roosevelt, all four candidates who opposed him, and Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower through John F. Kennedy and Barry Goldwater – they all loved their ties with messages. Most were far from fashionable, but they carried the message.
From 1952-1996, the Mark Fore and Strike clothing stores sold men’s ties with donkeys for Democrats and elephants for Republicans. They kept track of sales, and in the first 11 of those election cycles, the sales predicted the winner of the election nine times. And never a tie, so to speak.
Even for the current election, a check of Google for “political neckties” yields a treasure trove of Obama and Romney ties, as well as “anti” ties for each. You’ll never find these on the runways of Fashion Week in New York, but you might find them in the future in some fine political collections.