A Short Houston History of President Obama, in 3 Photos

Okay, well at least it’s a history of the mural version of the Shepard Fairey poster based on Mannie Garcia’s photo, painted back in February 2008 onto the West Alabama side of the former Obama campaign headquarters at 3710 Travis St. Candace Garcia’s photos show the mural as it appeared a few days after the 2008 election (top) and shortly after the President’s midterm shellacking — and the mural’s Midtown spattering — late last year (middle). The bottom photo shows the result of a little rehabilitation work completed late last week, clearly meant to cover up and gloss over all the wear and tear Obama’s image has suffered over the last several years, and put it in brighter shape for the 2012 election season.

Photos: Candace Garcia

52 Comment

  • Should have painted a hammer and sickle over that!

  • I’m 41 years old and never, ever – ever, remember seeing murals for Presidents.

    The experiment with communism is over.

    Paint the sucker yellow.

  • Oh yes because we’re clearly headed to a Communist style society, in fact, last night my brethren had their farm collectivized, their money confiscated and were handed stamps for meat and vegetables. Unfortunately the store didn’t have any.

    Luckily though we’re halfway through our stamp-book to finally get our Volga so perhaps can go visit our father in the Gulag’s of South Dakota.

  • Thank God I’m as old as I am. If some of the script kiddies complaining about Obama had experienced LBJ & Nixon they would have been screaming and ripping out handfulls of hair in the middle of the street.

  • I agree with Trevor. The argument that Obama is “socialist” is tired and baseless. They point to bailouts as proof yet fail to remember that Bush initiated the bailouts.

  • I’m no Obama fan, but it’s a pretty scum ball move to splash paint over his photo. If someone has a building and wants to paint Obama on there, more power to them.
    He is the president, for better or worse.
    That said, if there was a picture of Bush or any other republican ANYWHERE in Montrose on a building, my guess is it would have been painted over, or there would be demonstrators (why are there so many more demonstrators on the left?) all day and night, or perhaps the building would have been burned down.
    tldr version: Shame on the person that splashed paint on the photo, but thats civil compared to what would happen if the photo was of a republican.

  • So glib and short sighted to call anyone liberal a communist. Rolls eyes, every country with a higher standard of living is a democratic socialist state. So by your logic the Swede’s are also communists?

  • I know the political comments will be rolling around like crazy on this one but can’t we just say the mural is dumb? DUMB. I don’t care if it was anyone else I think it is a dumb idea. Dumb!

    Thankfully it doesn’t say God Bless America or that sucker wouldn’t have been around long enough for anyone to capture it in a photo.

  • Swedes can afford to be socialist while the oil lasts in the North Sea.

    There’s always more protestors on The Left is because they don’t have to go to work on a weekday.

    Being socialist is taking from those who produce and give it to those that do not. That’s exactly what Obama has been trying to do with his policies.

  • All the new paint in the world can’t make this president look good. The sooner 2012 gets here and we can get rid of this loser the better.

  • Nobody said we are headed to a “communist style society” or Obama is a foreign born Debil.

    But all you need is history book to see this mural is from the school of Socialist Realism adopted by the Nazis and Communists.

    The fact that many Obama supports are inspired by Socialist Realism is simply a coincidence.

    Or is it ;-0


  • Commonsense, it’s the Norwegians that have North Sea oil, not the Swedes. If you’re spout off on politics, at least get one fact right.

  • Faux news talking point 23, the Fairey Hope mural is socialist propaganda.

  • Remember that this building was used as a campaign call center back in 2008 (and will probably be used again in 2012)… so the mural is not just there for the heck of it.

  • Good grief. This mural was painted on the side of his campaign headquarters–it’s not like the government has erected a statue or Obama. It’s not to equivalent of some image of Mao or Stalin or Lenin at the Finland Station. It’s the exact equivalent of a campaign billboard, except that it happened to be made of housepaint instead of large printed sheets.

    Also, it was a political portrait in a highly public spot–I would have been amazed if someone hadn’t defaced it at some point in the past two and a half years. Hell, I was even tempted to draw a mustache on it, and I supported the guy. Political portraits on posters/billboards/etc. get defaced and always have gotten defaced. I’m not pro-vandalism, but I don’t find it particularly sinister that this got the splash.

  • Joe, I stand corrected, Sweden is the one with 50% income tax, constitutional monarchy, and business deregulation. “Quality of Life” is a relative thing… In Sweden you have healthcare and welfare but get ready to live modestly… owning your property, more than one car (or a sportscar) are few and far between. I’d take the US high risk high reward model over guaranteed mediocrity any day.

  • There’s a massive sign outside of Dallas that reads “Proud Home of President George W. Bush”, even though half of that city’s voters didn’t vote for the man (and I imagine a good chunk of the population aren’t exactly proud of the man). I don’t recall this giant mural to an even worse president than Obama ever being splattered with paint or vandalized, even at the height of the Iraq War.

    Does this mean that Right Wingers are less civil? Possibly. Does this mean that Left Wingers have better things to do than destroy others’ private property for a cheap political point? Possibly.

    Are we dragging BS political nonsense onto a website about f***ing real estate for absolutely no reason? Definitely. For a second there, I thought Swamplot was insulated from the world of partisan political hacks, but I guess I was wrong.

  • Tired and baseless??? HAHAHAHA He’s doubled the number of recipients on welfare in two years.

  • Didn’t take long for SMU, Craig, and CommonSense to pipe in with their idiotic drivel. Communism? Swedes with oil in the North Sea? Calling our President a loser?

    You three make Palin seem well read.

    I am praying that some day this country will once again celebrate intellectualism and frown upon the rampant ignorance that has taken over political discourse. For starters, if you don’t know that our Country has been a socialist democratic nation for multiple decades then maybe we do need poll tests to weed out the simpletons.

  • Also funny how it was cool to deface a real estate sign on Studewood and I-10, but uncool to vandalize one of the messiah. WHATEVER.

  • Obama is your messiah, SFP? Wow. Does Jesus know this? And I can’t believe you think it is cool to deface private property? Shame on you, SFP! Shame. On. You.

  • i say more dogmatic murals and more glowing crosses on I45!

  • Anyone who doesn’t support the $5,000,000,000,000 in new debt man is just racist.

  • somehow it perfectly conveys his approval rating, it’s now climbing back up to his early election levels without support from the young.

  • @ Doofus….Please tell me where in my post I stated anything other than I am ready for 2012 because I think the guy is a loser…
    I said no drivel. This president is awful, I dont have to espouse all the reasons that he is awful there are too many – It is my personal opinion that he is a loser.
    Your post seems to covet intellectualism and polite political discourse while at the exact same time hurling an ignorant insult…the same time of insult that you claim to despise….curious. Please use your massive superior intellect wisely oh gifted one!

  • Aside from the private property aspect, this wasn’t even a witty or amusing defacing – it’s just a drive-by splat. If one is going to chance arrest for vandalism, at least do something clever.

  • Percentage of home ownership in the US – 68%
    Percentage of home ownership in Sweden – 60%

    Who knew that 8% was the difference between high risk, high reward and few and far between.

  • Obama has destroyed this country with his socialistical communisms. Some examples:

    1. Ending Bush era tax cuts and raising taxes on the wealthy to fund single payer health care
    2. Bailing out homeowners caught in the real estate bubble by allowing bankruptcy courts to re-write or discharge mortgage debt and forcing mortgage lenders who recieved bailout funds to write down the principal on mortgage loans for borrowers who are underwater
    3. Appointing Dennis Kucinich to head the defense department and pulling all troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan
    4. A daring Navy Seal operation to serve Osama Bin Laden with a summons to appear in NY Federal Court to answer terrorism charges

    Just can’t wait for the radical leftist to go.

    What? Am I missing something?

  • SFP- That’s the kind of unintellectual statement that I am growing tired of. You need to do more than just taking conservative radio talking points as the gospel. While the number of people on welfare has increased under Obama, the rolls are no where near double the size. That’s just false.

    Also, it’s pretty disingenious to just look at the number of recipients without taking into account factors such as the lousy jobs environment, the economic collapse, and even an ever increasing population.

    Finally, if you dig deeper and compare the 2007 figures with the latest numbers, you’ll see that the number of welfare recipients has decreased or remained relatively the same in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont. 7 of those 8 are blue states, the other, Missouri, is a swing state.

    The states were the rolls have doubled (bolded) or come close to doubling are Texas, GEORGIA, North Carolina, LOUISIANA, Mississippi, West Virginia, Oklahoma, HAWAII, Utah, Montana, Alaska, and Wyoming. There’s just one blue state (Hawaii) and one relatively new swing state that has formerly been very red (North Carolina) in that grouping.

  • “drive-by splat”……has Weiner been in Houston recently?

  • C’mon people, commonsense and his various aliases are a garden-variety troll. Just set your eyeball filter to “Ignore”.

    The Obama mural was well done and I’m very glad to see it was restored.

  • Jeez! Enough to make a body swear off swamplot . . .

  • More importantly. Take a look at the grass in the pictures. We need some rain really bad.

  • Before Obama’s first year was up, HOPE was made to read NOPE. It was repaired very quickly. Not long after, words were spray painted on the mural to reflect someone’s unhappiness with the continuing slide in the economy .. it was again quickly repaired. The current splatter pattern has been in place for months. I guess even his local campaign HQ is too busy trying to make ends meet to justify the purchase of ‘optional’ paint.

  • Yay to Eric: Let’s discuss real estate!
    [Here on our own parched swamp lot, Obama ‘Hope’ murals/posters are very rare, so can’t you all just chill? This presidency is really pulling your collective chains.]

  • This whole thread is a meta-narrative of suck.

  • that’s not the first time that the mural has been touched up. i remember someone painted “puppet” across his face last year, then there used to be “change we can believe in” painted on the wall and people kept spray painting over the words. Really the entire wall is not appealing to me and not just politically, that yellow wall is even worse haha! happy tuesday everyone, can’t we all just get a long and go back to griping about houston’s lack of history, teardowns, and suburban style development of midtown?? :)

  • What they need to do is resurface the wall with “faux Tuscan stucco and lick-and-stick stone”. Everyone here seems to love that trend :)

  • I hope they preserve that painting forever as it will only gain importance as an example of the level of ignorance that the people have attained in this age of lies, propaganda and double-speak.

  • @DOOFUS…..Nice name. Very fitting. Your statements sir, are the false ones. In 2008, there were 26 Million people or 8.5% or our population enrolled in the SNAP program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program…foodstamps). Today, 2011, there are 43 Million or roughly 14.3% or our population. While not EXACTLY double…i’d say we’re DAMN CLOSE.

    But who needs this example to prove the socialist agenda? We took taxpayer money and gave it to businesses that could not pay their debts. We gave it to mortgagees that could not pay their bills and foreign countries that could not pay their bills. How is taking money from some and giving to others NOT SOCIALIST IN NATURE?

  • SFP, it’s about time you signed the anti-socialist pledge.


    Uh-oh, you are using the socialist internet right now!

  • I so want to hijack the Potty TARDIS and take SFP back to the Johnson era of the Great Society – the War on Poverty, the founding of Medicare, the EOA Act, the Department of Economic Opportunity (one-time director Donald Rumsfeld??!) just to see the cranial mushroom cloud. Yet somehow we’re alive and kicking to this day….

    If anyone considers this to be the Worst and Most Corrupt of Times, I have a book by a gent named Suetonius called “De vita Caesarum” I’d be happy to lend.

  • I suspect that this mural will see more vandalism in the next 18 months.

  • Hellsing….sooooo……are you saying since the ideal was first put forth by previous administrations, it is therefore okay to take the proverbial ball and run with it…..at an unprecedented clip?

    C’mon man.

  • It appears that whoever defaced this thing used the same paint used to create it in the first place.Do they have any mustard-colored paint for the trim work?

  • No, I’m saying that it’s been proven that no one individual from either side can “destroy” the country in four or eight years, though it’s popular to accuse some of trying. Have a little faith.

    And back to real estate….there is now a Red Mango in City Centre and it’s self-serve!

  • When people call Obama a socialist/communist, it’s because he says just as much with his writings (have you read his books?), with his friends (have you read the bio’s on his staff and czars written by people on his side), and with organizations he supported prior to running for the presidency.

    Calling him a socialist/communist isn’t baseless when it’s what he and all of his friends call him.

    Also, we are not a country of kings, murals to a leader (of any side) is disgusting and appalling place for a our society to be.

  • Crazy people, please take it to the chron comments. Your mother ship is waiting, kook-aid in hand.

  • Mel–I couldn’t disagree more. I think the comments section of a Houston area real-estate blog is precisely where the issue of whether or not Obama is a Communist will be finally settled. You will recall, for example, that when the John Birch Society accused Dwight D. Eisenhower of being a Communist, that issue was finally settled in the letters column of Hardware Retailing Magazine.

  • To bring the focus of this discussion back to Houston real estate, I am sure kjb434 avoids the following places of “King” worship:


    I am sure kjb434 will lead the fight to close these local edifices of communism and socialism, right after he/she takes the anti-socialist pledge.

  • I drive by that sign a couple of times a week, and that paint splatter was there for about a year. I’m suprised it took so long to fix.

    Now figure out which side I’m on politically. :)