Saturday, May 1, 2004

Presidential rivals 'carded'

Decks feature Kerry and Bush - and some real jokers

By Gregory Korte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The top cards are from the Bush deck, the bottom cards are from the Kerry deck.
Who's going to win the 2004 presidential election? A local company thinks the answer may be in the cards.

Parody Productions, a partnership of two local men, is going national with presidential candidate playing cards.

The two decks feature George Bush and John Kerry, each with important players in their campaigns.

The company is a partnership between David Krikorian and Eric Burdette. They started out last year with "Wall Street's Most Wanted," a spoof of the Defense Department's deck of wanted Iraqi leaders. (Former Enron chief executive Kenneth Lay was the ace of spades; domestic diva and now convicted felon Martha Stewart was the queen of hearts.)

For the presidential decks, designers made sure to include local references. Congressman Rob Portman of Terrace Park isn't Bush's ace in the hole, but he is the four of hearts. Former Sen. John Glenn is Kerry's seven of spades.

Throughout the decks, Krikorian and Burdette - working with Clifton artist Kelley Hensing - tried to keep a sense of humor. The "Trump" card in the Kerry deck (the five of hearts) has The Donald saying, "George W. Bush: You're fired!"

"This is a feel-good, make-you-laugh product," said Krikorian, an independent who said he voted for Bush in 2000.

He said sales of the casino-quality cards - made in Tennessee by Carta Mundi - may be helped by the increasing popularity of poker games such as Texas Hold 'em. But he thinks sales are driven more by their novelty value.

At Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Norwood, the $10 decks are arranged on a table next to Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack.

"We're doing really well with them, with what's going on with the election. There's 600 books coming out on Bush every day," said Stephanie Porter, the bookstore's inventory manager. "They're a good impulse buy. ... People think they're funny."


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