The merits of Obamacare, how to fix the economy, taxing the super rich, cutting the deficit, balancing the budget. Let's face it does anyone really listen to what the candidates are saying on these issues anymore? The Republicans hate Obama but right now they hate each other too and without a front runner, all of the candidates and issues are just turning into one homogenous political advert of bitterness and hate.
I say end this madness and let's find another measure to choose the next leader of the free world.
As a capitalist beacon for the globe it's clear that America is really good at making and selling stuff. I think that this should mean any candidate who wants to be President of the United States should make sure that everything from their campaign bumper stickers to t-shirts represents the nifty fifty states and shouts Presidential material.
It's a long way to November but still, lets take a look and see whose candidates merchandise shouts communist breaker Ronald Reagan style leadership and which shouts "I can see Russia from my house" Palin style loserville.
Mitt Romney's website is one big disappointment. For someone that has been defending his business record turning around companies and saving jobs, Romney wont be employing many people with this standard range of campaign gear that a candidiate in the 60s would be proud of. Also, his campaign logo seems to be inspired by toothpaste. I mean what is the deal with this weird stripe that looks more like Aquafresh than an R on all of his stuff? Also his campaign slogan is "Believe in America?" Sorry Mitt, but if you are trying to convince yourself to believe in America then I think we all should be worried and secondly, if you are telling blue collar Americans that they need to believe in their own country then I am not sure that is best message either.
Merchandise Electability Rating 2/10
If the change that Obama was seeking in 2008 was in relation to the range of election merchandising then let me tell you he would be a dead cert for a second term. Forget Obama's record on the economy, the wars in the middleeast and changing partisan politics, this guy is selling everything from campaign knitwear for dogs to martini glasses with his logo on. Obama even has a list of designers longer than at New York Fashion week who have all designed products for him. But has Obama gone too far? With his approval rating around 50% is there an air of champagne socialism on his website. I mean, its all very good talking about taxing the super rich but the image of Barack and Michelle drinking martinis surrounded by $85 Vera Wang bags doesn't exactly say you are in touch with the average American does it. But who cares about that when your dog gets to wear his own jumper.
Merchandise Presidential Rating 9/10
For someone that has been in the doghouse repeatedly due to his various marital indiscretions it's nice that Newt acknowledges this by selling dog bandannas. And let's face it, a bandana on a dog has that southern republican charm that will really energise Newt's base. I also like the fact that Gingrich proudly emblazons the word "Newt" across everything he sells completely laughing in the face of any comparisons to the slightly slimy amphibious creature. In many ways I wish that good old Newt had concentrated more on politics than serial marrying as I really think his merchandising shows great promise. Lets hope for all the dogs wearing bandannas that Newt makes a comeback.
Merchandise Electability Rating 6/10
Oh dear, Rick only two t-shirts to choose from in his clothing section. I'm sorry but for a nation that is used to more than 10 choices for each product at the grocery store only two t-shirts isn't very free market economy is it Rick? Then again, considering that Santorum has such extreme views on everything from gay marriage to dropping bombs on Iran I am guessing the there are not too many gay people or Iranians looking for something to wear with Santorum on it so maybe he just knows his market.
Merchandise Electability Rating 1/10 or 10/10 if you believe what Rick believes.
As you'd expect from the non mainstream candidate, Ron's done quite well offering a wide range of stuff to choose from. Trouble is, his favourite word to put on everything is "Revolution" which I have a couple of problems with. Firstly, America has already had one and since then it's been pretty successful and democratic so I am not so sure why another one is needed. Secondly, getting bills passed in America has never been the most dynamic process so unless Ron actually wants to see tanks rolling up the Whitehouse lawn then he doesn't really want a revolution does he. If only he'd put "slow evolution where no one can really point to real change after 4 years" . However, he does have another T-shirt with his face on and the word "dangerous" underneath. As the least dangerous politician I've seen for a while this is just so ridiculous he definitely deserves a few points.
Merchandise Electability Rating 5/10