The Most Superficial Political Analysis Ever: The Candidates Ranked by Their T-Shirt Designs

-By Warner Todd Huston

For months, now, we have all been involved up to our ears in policy debates, discussions of the candidate’s records, and general mud slinging in this Republican primary season. There’s more to come, too. So, let’s take time out to be completely shallow, shall we?

Let’s judge the six remaining candidates by the most substantive measure we can muster: their t-shirt designs.

That’s enough yackity yak… on with the contest.

The Winner And Runner Up

Newt Gingrich wins the shirt wars, for sure. His campaign t-shirt has to rank as the best of the remaining six candidate’s designs. It sits just right on the shirt, it holds together well as a logo, and it is quickly recognizable from a distance. My only qualm is that the color red is a bit darker than I’d have picked. But none of this should be a surprise, right? Who knows branding and salesmanship better than Newt Gingrich?

Mitt Romney comes in second in this t-shirt contest. His has a fairly good logo, but the design is unbalanced by the line, “Believe in America.” It is it is just too long and makes the logo look less important than it should be. Worse the design is wrecked by the stupid website on the front. The website should be on the back, not the front.

The Boring

Ron Paul just fails in t-shirt design. Befitting his aged status as the cranky old uncle of the GOP, Ron Paul’s shirt stands as a boring one. Not much style to it, for sure. All the little type on the shirt doesn’t help, either. No one wants to get that close to a Paul supporter to read all that.

The Rick Perry shirt is a big miss and is the most boring one of the bunch. It looks like he just took the design off his political yard sign circa 1998 and slapped it on a t-shirt. It’s like his team didn’t put any thought at all into this thing. Ugh. At least it is fully visible at a distance, though, unlike Paul’s.

The Total Fail

Jon Huntsman has had the hardest time trying to convince everyone that he is a real Republican and his t-shirt design sure as heck isn’t helping him. Look at that thing! First of all who can tell that those white stripes are supposed to represent the letter “H”? But even worse, this looks like the bad design of a European soccer team shirt, not that of an American political candidate! Finally, it is not easily recognizable from a distance at all. It just looks like a bunch of white bars. This thing is horrible.

So, there you have it. If we were going to elect based on a t-short design, the Newtster is the winnah!

(Note: Santorum does not have a store on his campaign website. I can only assume that he is still having his campaign sweatervests produced.)

“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001