The once-hot market for liberal novelty merchandise appears to be cooling, with souvenir shop owners and employees reporting a decline in sales.
According to Politico senior editor Michael Schaffer, the current crop of Democratic Party heroes, including President Biden, Vice President Harris and Supreme Court Justice Kentanji Brown Jackson, aren't selling as well as they once did.
Schaffer spoke with several store owners and buyers in Washington, DC, who said customers are less inclined to buy political merchandise this season.
“I just feel like people are a little deflated and tired,” said Leah Kenyon, the “secondary goods” buyer at the “Politics & Prose” bookstore. “When Trump first came into office, people felt he could make a difference, but not so much now.”
Schaffer suggests that the lack of enthusiasm among buyers might also have something to do with the list of icons on display in bookstores and gift shops in America's blue metropolises.
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dead and in some circles discredited. Anthony Fauci, who for a time generated almost as much impulse-buying buzz, is retired. Nancy Pelosi is backbencher again. Abrams was soundly defeated in his second run as governor of Georgia. The Obamas have been out of the White House for seven years. But they are all still great merchandising issues,” he wrote.
Mike Draper, the founder of the progressive T-shirt company “Raygun,” told Schaffer that Biden and Harris merchandise really isn't selling well.
“He's not a merchandising guy, he's a good manager,” Draper said of Biden. “We produce Kamala Harris stuff, which doesn't sell at all.”
Draper noted that, in the past, “there were a lot of people I could make a product for.”
“I think the whole progressive side of things peaked last summer with the overturning of Roe. That was the last big thing. It had been a big run that started with the Women's March.” .
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