The president-elect tweeted his full-throated support of an American business this morning:

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For those who didn't grow up in the Northeast, L.L. Bean is a mail-order retailer that, along with selling clothes and outdoor gear, seems to have provided backpacks for every single student who grew up on the East Coast during the 1980s and 1990s. Their cyclically trendy Bean boot is also something of an institution, but what customers know and love best about L.L. Bean is their remarkable customer service, including a generous policy that (anecdotally) has allowed customers to send items purchased as long as 30 years ago back for refurbishment or replacement. One could argue that the Maine outfitters are chiefly responsible for the trend of preppie-chic that's been recurring every few years since the early '80s, and there are few New Englanders who don't have fond attachments to one product of theirs or another.

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Which makes our golden goose's tweet all the more distressing, not simply because it looks like the person who's been voted into highest office in America is using his Twitter account to offer advertising for donors. Turns out Linda Bean, a member of the large Bean family (one of more than 50 family members involved in the business) and one of 10 people currently serving on the company board, donated $30,000 to a Trump super-PAC. Trump's tweet, as many of them do, was most likely inspired by his watching cable news on TV earlier today. The Washington Post says,
"The unprecedented endorsement came less than two hours after Linda Bean said on a talk show early Thursday that anti-Trump groups are browbeating American businesses, an effort she called “un-American.” “It’s a case of bullying,” Bean said on Fox and Friends. “I'm not going to back down. I never back down.”

But there's more here than meets the eye. Linda Bean is a conservative crank (and failed politician) whom the company has distanced itself from numerous times over the years, according to the New York Times. And while L.L. Bean has found itself on the grabyourwallet.org short list of companies to boycott for their connection to Trump, the Portland Press Herald reports that they are likely to drop the boycott if Linda Bean is kicked off the board. So what's really going on here? Comedian Andy Richter, who I have never seen make a serious tweet before today, has an interesting theory:


So maybe don't toss out those Bean boots just yet. After all, they were meant to last a lifetime.

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