Like any big event, presidential elections offer enterprising merchandisers a chance to hawk their wares. Of course, supporters can head over to www.johnmcain.com and get their official “McCain 2008” hooded sweatshirt for a “suggested donation” of $100, but there are dozens of other, non-candidate sponsored Web sites selling T-shirts, hats, buttons and other goodies emblazoned with slogans of support for everyone who is running, thought of running, might run, ran in the past, or is being recruited to run by small bands of believers.
ElectionOutlet.com sells Condoleezza Rice 2008 mousepads, CampaignSource.com sells a Tom Vilsack ’08 button set and the Oval Office 2008 Web site offers the chance to proclaim your support for your candidate intimately with thong underwear stating, “If you don’t vote for Brownback, this stays on.” The underwear (which also comes in boxer shorts) is available for fans of Bloomberg, Kerry, Feingold, Cheney, Kucinich, Tancredo and many others.
Other online stores are committed to just one candidate. One Web site announces it is the “First Tancredo for President 2008 store!” There, supporters of the Colorado congressman can buy infant bibs, T-shirts for dogs and dozens of other items. The store is “run out of a dorm room by a college student in Missouri.” The student, Daniel Barker, writes on the Web site:
I keep the prices as low as possible because my number one goal is not to make money, but instead to raise awareness of the need for better border policies and promote Tom Tancredo.