This shoe metaphor resonated for me. I know that that in 2007, candidate Obama told union workers that as President he would "put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself" and walk the picket line with them:
The reason I'm familiar with Obama's shoe rhetoric is that I saw references to it again and again during the Wisconsin protests. There were "Where's Obama?" signs with reference to shoes and even an effort to get people to mail shoes to Obama:
Let's think about the shoe as a political symbol. Where else have we seen that?
I ask that question out loud, and Meade says: Adlai Stevenson! Ah, yes. An iconic photograph:
And then I remember this one:
IN THE COMMENTS: Henry says, "Don't forget Nikita Krushchev." Still photo at the link. Here's video:
The word "sabotage" comes from a French protest of throwing shoes into a machine (mill?) so that it would break down.The word comes from "sabot," which is a wooden shoe, but according to the Online Etymology Dictionary:
[T]he oft-repeated story that the modern meaning derives from strikers' supposed tactic of throwing old shoes into machinery is not supported by the etymology. Likely it was not meant as a literal image; the word was used in French in a variety of "bungling" senses, such as "to play a piece of music badly."