On Monday at the Sandbar on State Street, more than one dozen Santa Barbara residents bid President George W. Bush a less-than-fond farewell by hucking their footwear at a cardboard effigy of the outgoing commander-in-chief, whose last day in office is January 19. The contest, organized by public relations impresario Maureen McFadden, was inspired by the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at Bush last month.
During the happy hour event - which raised shoes and money for the international nonprofit shoe-giving foundation Soles for Souls - participants also yelled why they were throwing their shoes, listing such Bush era legacies as “torture” and “ruining the Constitution.” Although at times angry - the effigy’s head had to be reattached with medical tape numerous times - there was a celebratory feeling in the air, as the Bush-haters looked happily toward the January 20 inauguration of Barack Obama.
To help Santa Barbara follow along, The Independent‘s own Ethan Stewart will be taking a train this week to Chicago and then Washington, D.C to report on the inauguration. See his coverage of The Obama Express online at independent.com/obama-express.