Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Buy American

So I've got the Virginia/Tennessee primary stuff running on CNN tonight (no, TCL, I'm still not back in to politics; but I always love to see how bad HoDean does on election nights). And I figured this was as good a time as any to actually check out what kind of crap we'd have in store if Kerry were to beat Bush.

I went to Kerry's website and tried to find out how much of my money he wants; what he plans to do with it and generally how much the ass-raping I would experience at the hands of President Kerry would hurt.

Frankly, Kerry scares me much less than John Edwards, who can't go five minutes without saying "no child should ever go bed hungry" or some other damn socialist garbage.

It didn't take me long to get bored, however, so I jumped over to Bush's site to see how an un-hip Republican president puts together a website in the era of candidate Blogs, "meetups" and all that new, "hip" Democratic stuff.

GWB actually does a good job with his site in an area called "W Stuff". He's got screensavers, wallpapers, web buttons and the like. He's even got news feed modules to drop in to your Blog (no, I'm not putting one here).

But the really cool thing is the George W. Bush Online Store. I'm not kidding.

About the coolest thing Kerry sells on his online store is the John Kerry toque:

But the Bush store rocks. They've got six separate product lines, each with an amazingly deep and interesting selection, plus a specific kids' section.

A sampling of merch:

There's the standard Bush/Cheney 2004 store with bumper stickers and whatnot:

Bush/Cheney Car Flag

At the President Bush store, they've got a lot of W-specific stuff, including this damn-sharp GWB "43" football jersey:

Then we get into the thematic stores. At Interstate W'04, there's all kinds of merch with this Interstate-inspired logo:

But wait, there's more ...

W The President borrows its style and black & white motif from the New York fashion scene:

W The President tote bag

If you're more of a Dude-Ranch type, I recommend the Farm Ranch collection. Borrowing from the John Deere and ropin'-and-ridin' genres, you can find things like this sterling-silver cowboy buckle there:

And, finally, there's the Americana Collection. This is where you go for your faded, American Eagle type gear:

All together, there's more than 100 items in the GWB store. Interestingly, the store has a very clear statement saying it's operated by some company called the Spalding Group, and Bush-Cheney '04 gets no money from the merch sales.

So without a profit motive for the campaign, I'm not sure exactly the benefit of having such a robust store. It's not like they sell the t-shirts for $3.50 to get them on the backs of every Americans or anything like that.

But it sure beats the Kerry Toque.


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