A father's influence on his son can be incredible, from shaping a boy's outlook on life to the tiny, seemingly unimportant things like choosing between Bic and Sharpie. That's certainly been the case in the Bush family, where President Bush has sometimes gone Texas-big with his dad's lessons. Where the 41st president played baseball, the 43rd owned a baseball team; while Dad stopped troops short of invading Baghdad, W made it his target; and as the former prez prefers to use Sharpies, the current prez demands them-and even gives them as presents.
"He asks for them by name," says a Bush insider, "and if someone hands him something else, he barks, 'Where's the Sharpie?'" How come? "They're so easy to use," says another Bushie. "And you can see what you've written." Bush's isn't just any Sharpie. Like those famous boxes of peanut M&Ms, Bush's Sharpies carry his signature and the words The White House. He even has Camp David Sharpies. If you're an important aide, the presidential Sharpies are included with a signed golf ball, baseball, tie clip, and cuff links in the White House trinket bag each gets.
Sharpie boss Howard Heckes, president of Sanford Brands North America, says lots of celebs-like tennis star Maria Sharapova-have personalized pens, but "it's pretty cool" to supply the prez. "Sharpies are good for the president of the United States or the president of the PTA."