We’re used to badly-dressed politicians making bold statements. Think of Harold Wilson, a scruffy Gannex macintosh and his ‘white heat of technology’ speech. Or Tony Blair, looking like a dummy out of a Burton’s window display, declaring that he was going to be “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”. Both of these examples were endlessly satirised, which begs the question, would voters take politicians seriously if they were more fashion conscious?
Over a century ago, in the Wild West, one ambitious doctor tied together fashion and politics in a rather unique, really effective and incredibly hardcore manner. Doctor John Eugene Osborne left voters in no doubt as to where he — quite literally — stood on tackling serious crime during his campaign to become Governor of Wyoming.
Osborne had a stylish pair of shoes made out of the skin of executed train robber Big Nose George, a former member of the James Gang, which he wore during his successful election campaign and at his subsequent inauguration ceremony. In reflecting Osborne’s political commitment, the shoes certainly proved far more effective than a red or blue tie!
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