When designing presidential medals, neckwear matters.

Thanks to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, President George W. Bush may have narrowly avoided an embarrassing situation—being caught, for all of posterity, with his tie down. In a Sept. 19 meeting, representatives of the U.S. Mint presented the commission with initial designs for a soon-to-be-released George W. Bush presidential medal. According to Charles H. Atherton, the commission’s secretary, the panel balked at one detail: In the sketches, the knot in Bush’s necktie appeared to hang at a casual level, closer to his chest bone than to his Adam’s apple.

“The tie was a bit loose,” says Atherton. “It wasn’t properly cinched up to his neck like a normal necktie would be. It looked too informal for a president who is pretty much a stickler for neatness in dress.”

Fearing that the president looked like a prep-school slacker, commission members asked that the necktie be tightened into a more respectable position. The mint says that the recommendation will be taken into account before the final design is sent to the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury for approval.

But before the results are set in bronze, the Washington City Paper would like to present a few alternatives for sprucing up Bush’s presidential pose.CP

Hoover collar

The ultimate in presidential collar discipline. Time-tested image of authority and efficiency in the face of economic collapse.

Bolo tie

Don’t mess with Texan formalwear. Ideal accessory for chuck-wagon diplomacy.

Giant clock

Nineteen-eighty-NINE! Recaptures the magic of the first Bush administration.

That thing George Washington wore

Proven leadership in wartime. Helps fend off colds.

Loosened tie

Why fight it? Let the president be himself.