Gearing Up for November: The 10 Weirdest Buys in the Candidates' Official Stores

Just when I thought this election season couldn’t get any sassier, I stumbled upon the official Mitt Romney and Barack Obama online stores. One word: Goldmine. Even if you’re bipartisan, it’s fun to buy partisan…or at least eWindow shop til you drop.


When I think about buttons, which is pretty much all the time, I think “There is nothing better than putting a statement onto a small laminated circle, pinning it to your hopefully canvas-thick top and passively announcing ‘Look at my button!'” Maybe it’s the thought of wearing a button of someone who doesn’t look happy that weirds me out. Or perhaps that it’s possible these pictures were taken in their backyard with an iPhone 3 that throws me for a loop. To be honest though, if these were of my own parents, I might not buy them. But I also think I could take more inspiring pictures of my parents. Maybe throw the next batch through an InstaGram effect for a vintage old-but-new touch. Or just use words. These are a little weird.


Why do the work of finding 44 buttons and a tote bag to put them on and the time to open alllll those clasps and then close allllll those clasps and bandage your pierced fingertips when you could just buy a bag that makes it look like you’ve spent the last four years enrolled in Barack Buttons 101?! Take it to your local farmers market or to school or even better, just leave it empty and carry it around since it probably weighs 10lbs. with all that metal already. Weird.


Democrats and Republicans alike can join forces over the agreement of one thing: We’re all support the Tee Party. T-Shirts have become personalities all their own. It might just be time to swap out your YOLO tee for a YOPO (You’re Only President Once) or maybe a YOPT (You’re Only President Twice). The Obama Store…and probably your local Urban Outfitters…offers this little gem for $30. I think Michael Scott was among the first to introduce “BFD” aka “Big Frickin’ Deal” to the world. And maybe it should’ve stayed that way. I guess The Situation can finally get his GTL on a little BFD from BHO. Weird. But sort of not  weird.



Stretching the truth: Bad. Stretching your hammies: Good. Stretching your hammies while keeping politically informed: Great! While I’m totally for sending out a big ol’ namaste to the world, I’m not sure Mitt would be too happy about it when he finds out about my post-class sweat patterns. Innovative, but weird.


What’s the only thing more fragile than the American economy, breaking at any second upon impact? Your iPhone. A case seems like a legitamate idea here. Protection, style, a message to boot. Except this ones got a picture of Mitt Romney’s backside…actually, that may sell pretty well! You can imagine him talking right into your ear since it’d look like he’s facing, well, your face. Plus, if you ever find that women in the front row of the photo, she can autograph the case! That’d be weird.


I get it. His name is Joe. So is coffee. It’s a mug. They go together like…mugs and coffee. I think I missed the part of the last four years where Joe Biden always said “Cheers Champ” or called me a “Champ” in general and then we’d drink together. Although it would be fun to tailgate Election Day and have Joe Biden call me a champ. But that’s weird. And not going to happen.


What? Michelle isn’t even running for President! Weird, guys.



“Here’s an idea, let’s combine the most American things we can: Voting and grilling. Then let’s make it so apparent that the patty you’re about to eat from the freezer is old by embossing it with a big 2012 logo on it! Let’s make sure these people are so fired up they are literally firing up their grills and inviting us over for dinner! Who wants dinner! I’m so hungry.” -Someone on the Merchandise team, circa 2011. Why meet the President when you can cook meat with the President? Weird choice. Awesome regift.

2. BABIES??!!

Oh wait no. Just baby clothes. That’s less weird than I thought. Except that babies can’t vote guys. OR CAN THEY? They can’t.



If you buy a sweatshirt announcing your love for someone else’s dog any other time of the year, everyone but the President of Animal Planet would think you’ve gone a little cuckoo crazy. If you actually bark for Barack Obama, that’s weird. If you’ve been convinced that a black labradoodle is actually the one running for president, well Lucy, you have some ‘splainin’ to do and probably a few newspapers to read. DNC doesn’t stand for Dog National Convention. Unless it does and I am totally wrong, in which case, VOTE FOR BO!



I applaud the Obama campaign for putting such weird gifts and apparel on the internet to turn this race into a rager. Romney had an equally appealing amount of oddities, but somehow just didn’t match up in the “Useless Pet Purchases” department which accidentally dominated this list. There’s still time. While garb is awesome, don’t let a T-shirt or a button sway you too easily. Just like shopping for the best deal, do your research on the candidates! What are you looking for in an ideal candidate, and more importantly, ideal candidate schwag?


all images via the official romney & obama online stores.