The 2008 Presidential race has generated some good TV, some bad blood, and some brilliant design. Presidential campaigns generally produce a lot of paraphernalia, but this historic race has inspired so many different forms—from badges, bumper stickers, t-shirts, and Facebook logos to posters, iPhone applications, and cereal boxes. There are so many ways to show your love (or hate) for a candidate that it’s hard to know what to toss on November fourth and what to hang onto.
A general rule for collecting is to look for unique, rare items, preferably produced in limited editions. Lots of people collect yard signs and buttons, but they’ll likely be worth less at the Antiques Roadshow in my future because they’re free and easy to come by. I’ll still swipe yard signs from my neighbor’s lawns, and buttons from old ladies at the post office, but my retirement plan is to flesh out my collection of presidential election paraphernalia with some unique souvenirs of the race.
American Presidential Wrestling Heavyweight Championship Poster
Find it at YeeHaw.etsy.com
This hilarious poster advertises “A Night of Broken Dreams and Fractured Hips,” where John “The McCainiac” McCain faces Barack “The Terrorist Fist Jabber” Obama in the main event, followed by various pairings of all your favorites from the political limelight.
Obama O’s and Cap’n McCain’s
Find it at AirBed&Breakfast.com
Whether you favor the breakfast of change or a maverick in your morning, you can’t go wrong with limited edition edible paraphernalia.
Dress Up Candidate Magnet Sets
Find it at Signals.com
Public speakers often use the old “imagine your audience in their underwear” trick to settle their nerves; I like to see my candidates in their undies for the same reason … and then see them in beachwear, punk rock wear, and sports wear, well … for other reasons.
Political Animal Chew Toys
Find it at BambooPets.com
Throw your dog a bone, or a political plaything, in the form of a “Bark Obama,” “Capitol Hillary,” or “John McCanine” chew toy! Handy political stress relief for adults, too.
Political Candidate Puppets
Find it at MossOnline.com
The race to the White House has produced some entertaining reality TV, and thanks to this highly collectible set of hand-crocheted candidates, the show can go on—and on—at my kitchen table. The set consists of political candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Fred Thompson, and Rudy Giuliani, as well as current President George W. Bush.
I could dedicate a whole collection to political tees. The Obama brand inspired some amazing t-shirts, making the best use of that prime real estate across all of our chests. If this was a “coolest tees” election, Obama would win hands down. The only truly interesting McCain tees were anti-McCain.
Find it at CultClassics.com
Find it at Skreened.com
Find it at DanIsGood.com
Un-PC Hillary Collectibles
The 2008 election is historic in that we had a woman and an African-American man running for president. It was also historic in that it raised some very controversial topics like sexism and racism. Selecting a few un-PC items to include in an election ’08 time capsule presents an interesting and controversial perspective of this election.
Find them at PerpetualKid.com
Find it at CultClassics.com
Bush Countdown Keychain
Find it at Shop.com
No collection would be complete without some reference to the huge cottage industry created around the unpopularity of the current president. There are blogs, support groups, calendars, Facebook applications, and several different types of countdown clocks to mark the date when George W. leaves office.
It’s not likely we’ll ever forget this election—the SNL skits alone will be making us laugh for a long time to come—but collecting some of the more unusual products of the campaign ensures we won’t forget how inspired we all were to create, to wear our endorsements, and to collect. I’m not sure this collection will appreciate in value fast enough to fund my retirement, but hey—it seems as sound a retirement plan as any right now!