When you’re running for president, it’s not enough anymore to simply have a robust web site with a “donate now” button. You need to sell merchandise, and that stuff (mostly junk) needs to feature a message that sticks with voters. All but one of the top Democratic candidates for president have online stores selling everything from t-shirts to bumper stickers…and not much else in-between. A few managed to stand out with their offerings, while others were obviously phoning it in.
Since President Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee for the Republican nomination, there’s no need to cover his online store here. Besides, we’re already aware of his Putin-red “Make America Great Again” caps, which are proudly worn by white supremacists everywhere.
Below is a list of each Democratic presidential candidate’s most interesting merch, ranked from worstest to less worse:
21. Bill de Blasio — 😟
Mayor De Blasio ain’t selling product. According to polls, no one is looking to buy. I guess the market works sometimes.
The candidate’s store was an instant disappointment. I was really hoping there would be replicas of the infamous salad comb, but why attempt to distinguish yourself by embracing one of the most bizarre stories about you?
“The Senator Next Door” — published in 2015 and currently ranks #698 in Amazon’s “Political Leader Biographies”, where it sells for $2 less than on the candidate’s shoppe.
I fell asleep multiple times while perusing Senator Bennet’s campaign store. When I woke up for good, this is what I landed on, because there really isn’t much else.
David Duke and FOX News’ favorite Democrat must hate selling merch because the racks here are bare. This t-shirt with the pledge of allegiance is the least worst of a sad and lacking selection.
There’s only nine items for sale on the former governor’s web site. Hickenlooper, are you even trying to be president?
To which Moscow Mitch McConnell will reply, “no.”
Almost every item in former Congressman O’Rourke’s store is a rendering of “Beto” emblazoned upon the standard range of candidate merchandise. Nothing stands out. I don’t know what Beto supporters can do with this bandana, other than use it as a white flag if he can’t gain momentum soon.
This is clearly an attack on Bernie Sanders. And unfortunately for Congressman Ryan, in 2019, everyone is yelling, so in essence, no one is yelling.
Beats him at the polls on election day? Beats the dead gerbil fur off the top of his dome? Beat him using the long lost art of effective berating?
I don’t think the Bernie Bros will care either way, so long as the senator from Vermont beats something, and this coozie keeps their suds at a frosty temp. Cheers, I suppose.
The motivation here is great and the message needs to be blasted to every CEO in the country. But who on earth wants to read all these depressing facts while drinking their morning coffee? That’s the only time of the day where I actually briefly experience any sort of happiness. Why does Senator Gillibrand want to take away my happiness?
When I first saw this t-shirt I seriously thought it was ad for Pepsi. And when did Biden become known for wearing sunglasses? Did I totally miss that during the eight years he was veeping in the White House?
Update: A friend reminded me of this bit he did with President Barack Obama. I maintain that my failure to recall this video only reinforces that this branding is a reach.
This is cleary the “Fuck Joe Biden T-shirt”, as it invokes her takedown of the former vice president during the first debates. At some point, the senator from California may just want to have that phrase printed on everything, as that debate exchange isn’t the most immediate memory when seeing the photo on this t-shirt.
9. Steve Bullock — 🐂🔓T-Shirt
I’m 99.99% convinced that Governor Bullock has this tattooed somewhere on his body. And good for him if he does. I think it will age well.
I’m going to invite everyone over for a big dinner party. The dining table will have only one place setting and chair. I’ll walk out of the kitchen wearing this, covered in meat blood. Everyone will slowly read the apron, survey the table, and offer up a courtesy chuckle. I’ll laugh uproariously for about five minutes at the brilliance of it all. Everyone will quietly think it’s lame and hate me for wasting their time. It will be totally worth it.
Kudos to former HUD Secretary Castro for embracing the “El Presidente” title and trying to appropriate it from the perhaps better known and much more reviled late Cuban El Presidente. In an unlikely world where Castro wins the presidency, I hope there’s an executive order making ICE wear these as their new uniform.
The “Boot-Edge-Edge” t-shirt is the only thing that’s shown me how to properly pronounce Mayor Pete’s last name, so it may be the most important campaign device he has. https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/chasten-for-first-gentleman-t-shirt
I’d like to imagine that while everyone’s debating on stage, Senator Booker has his aides plaster these all over Biden’s Chrysler Sebring.
Wait, he did the illustrations as well?! Why the fuck are you running for political office, Governor Inslee? You actually have a real skill. Why waste it on this presidential bullshit?
I don’t know if non-Asians can get away with wearing this one. Someone who doesn’t know about Yang, which is almost everyone, may think this is a racist caricature, while I believe it’s just a Bitmoji character. Either way, I love the shout out to math.
The man of a thousand gif reactions also has some of the most novel merch among this list.
“Simply place one eraser beneath your pillow before falling asleep and by morning you’ll have forgotten all of the pain, invective, division, and incoherent ramblings of our 45th president.”
I have doubts this will work, but it’s probably better and safer than the special detergent I’ve been pouring down my memory canals.
This t-shirt is very much like Williamson’s candidacy — I am beyond intrigued and want to know everything about it, but also quite sure I’m never going to buy it. It is everything, yet it is nothing. Joy and pain. Like sunshine and rain. And it might give you measles, but who the fuck cares when the ride is so wild?!