Every inauguration of a new president brings out the kitsch, the manufactured collectibles of the moment. But this inauguration has more marketing opportunities than any before. As Stephen Colbert says, "Barack Obama can sell crap. I mean worthless crap." Anything and everything with the words Obama, inaugural, commemorative, or collectible is on sale and flying off the shelves. There is, of course, the same type of memorabilia you recall from past inaugurations. There are commemorative coins, plates, photographs, videos, t-shirts, and buttons, as well as the coffee mugs and caps you've come to expect from any big occasion. Look a little further, and you'll find that anything you can buy, you can now buy with Barack Obama's name on it.
There is an amazing assortment of food items hooking onto Obama's inauguration. L.A. Burdick created a box of chocolates for each presidential candidate in the 2008 election, and sold more of the Obama boxes than any other. Now they have the Obama Boxes on sale with in a wooden box with a gold wax seal and red, white and blue ribbons as an inauguration commemorative package. Old Pueblo Sauces has issued the Barack Obama Inauguration Hot Sauce. Ben & Jerry's traditionally names an ice cream after any large occasion, usually with a pun. The flavor of the inauguration is Yes, Pecan. Go ahead and groan, they are expecting it.
The assortment of Obama light switch covers will remind Americans that they have a new president every time they turn on the lights -in every room of the house! Could this be an incentive to save energy by using those switches more often to turn off the lights and save energy?
For your next keg party, you'll be proud to pull out your Obama Inauguration Souvenir Collectors Stein Mug, available in several designs. You can even change the design and slip your own name in there somewhere! They'll go well with your inaugural plates, shot glasses, and stemware.
This model airplane is a replica of Barack Obama's campaign plane. Only 100 were made, and only 90 were ever available to the general public for sale. However, the price has been marked down to $149.99, so they must not be selling as fast as expected.
So far, I haven't heard of a commemorative inaugural perfume, but the scent called Yes, We Can has been spotted in stores. No word on what it smells like, although you might guess that it smells like "change".
Buy a permanent, rechargeable fare card from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority with a picture of Obama on it to commemorate the inauguration. A card with $10 worth of train or bus rides will cost you $20, or you can get one with no value for only $10.
For $30 (or two for $50), you can display your Presidential Inaugural Plates on the front of your car, but I seriously doubt there will be many of these on the road six months from now.
The US Postal Service doesn't issue stamps with the image of a living person, but that doesn't stop them from issuing an official souvenir for the inauguration. For $14.95, you can get an envelope with images of Barack Obama and Joe Biden on it, with a special color postmark of January 20th. Because of the postmark, they go on sale today.
This only scratches the surface of the Obama kitsch available. Some push the envelope of taste, like this candle holder. Some I don't even want to link here, but you can search for "Obama sex toy" if you wish. Where will you store all these wonderful souvenirs? In your new Barack Obama Inaugural Keepsake Box, of course!