George Bush made Crawford the place to see, both for his supporters and anti-war activists. Since Cindy sold her nearby land and Bush's numbers have dropped into frigid territory, bad times have fallen over the little town in the middle of Texas. Stores and restaurants were used to brisk business, now the activity has dwindled and shuttered businesses are easier to see than tourists.
From The Houston Chronicle:
A for-sale sign is the only thing in the smudged window of the turn-of-the-century, two-story brick building that once housed the Crawford Country Style store. "The numbers just weren't working," said Norma Nelson Crow, who closed the shop at the beginning of the year.
Traffic and sales of shirts, caps, refrigerator magnets and other presidential curios began slowing in 2005, she said. By the summer of 2006, Crow said, her hopes for a turnaround in the business faded. "It was my baby and I loved that little store, but I had to face the facts," she said.
Retail sales figures kept by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts document the slide. In 2004, gross retail sales in Crawford totaled $2.6 million. They fell to $2 million in 2006, down by more than 20 percent.
Nothing against the residents of Crawford, but if they thought they could capitalize on this monster's Presidency for long, they were going to be inevitably disappointed. Crawfordites should be glad for what they got in the last few years.
The situation is even bleaker this year according to residents. They lay at least part of the blame on Bush's popularity plunge. On top of that, residents were disappointed George chose Dallas for his library instead of nearby Waco. Even when Bush is long gone, the tourists looking for GWB memorabilia will be far north of the little ranch town.