Wearing Your Politics On Your Sleeve

For those who literally want to wear their politics, your favorite candidate has (or soon will have) a line of apparel and souvenirs, including yarmulkes and other gear with logos in English and transliterated Hebrew.

Much of it comes from third party paraphernalia peddlers but some of the campaigns will be selling their own to raise money.

Republicans will be making a big push for Jewish support in 2012 but for now they’re focused on the early caucuses and primaries in Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire. But wait til their attention turns to big states like Florida, New Jersey, New York and California.Barack Obama had buttons and yarmulkes with his logo in English and Hebrew lettering in 2008 and this year’s crop is already out there. In addition to T-shirts and buttons candidates are also peddling baseball caps, assorted apparent, wrist bands, mugs and stickers.

You can buy them on the campaign website’s "store" – most have then — or go to Google and see what private entrepreneurs are offering. For a $30 donation to Obama 2012 you can get a "free" T or a Stand With Mitt shirt for only $20.12 (clever pricing). Get a Gingrich shirt — $20 each — while you can before the campaign totally tanks and he turns to selling baubles from Tiffany’s. The priciest T-shirts I’ve seen are Michelle Bachmann’s at $35 in navy or crimson.

Ron Paul may have the biggest choice of merchandise and sells his T’s for $29.95, though in bulk they’re $19.47 ( no that’s not the year he was born, it was 1935). But don’t look for a big run on Ron Paul merchandise among Jewish voters; even the hyper-partisan Republican Jewish Coalition can’t abide the man, whose isolationism and opposition to foreign aid don’t go down well even in the most conservative Jewish circles.

Shop now before most of them drop out and those shirts and caps are only available on eBay. If you’re a button collector, as I am, you can go on-line and find a some good ones. Two of my favorites are "Reagan 1980," one of the first with Hebrew lettering and in white letters on a blue background, and 2000’s "Gore vs. Gornisht."



About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.