There has been no shortage of ink spilled recently regarding the recent downturn in enthusiasm for the president. And now the Washington Post has identified another way in which support for the president has dwindled: merch sales.
"Souvenir vendors in Washington say once-thriving sales of the garish merchandise fawning over the president are nowhere near what they were. Sales peaked at the height of Obamamania, between the election and the inauguration, but vendors said that Obama paraphernalia still moved from their shelves through much of 2009."
While the paper concedes that “using merchandise sales as a measure of public opinion is anything but definitive,” that doesn’t stop 'em from connecting the sales change to the shift in the “president’s popularity.” And it appears that not only are items supporting Obama not as popular, shirts expressing anti-Obama sentiments are picking up in sales.
The change in Obama's political fortunes led Tini Cherkaoui, manager of Discount Souvenirs and Novelties in the District, to alter her inventory. The merchandise touting hope and "Change We Can Believe" has been replaced by items taunting those themes.
"It used to be that anything Obama — it was just hot," she said, as a group of tourists wearing anti-Obama T-shirts milled around on the sidewalk. "Now, they're just against Obama."
Cherkaoui said she is hoping to capitalize on the new cultural sentiment by coming out with a line of shirts plastered with slogans like "We Need Jobs. Not This Hopey-Changey Thing" and "Don't Keep the Change." Don't everyone rush to Discount Souvenirs and Novelties all at once now!