At times, the 2008 presidential election seems more like a three-ring circus complete with strange sideshow merchandise.
Bizarre election paraphernalia is nothing new. However, the vigor with which voters have embraced and derided the candidates this season has produced some strikingly oddball items.
We’ve done a wide sweep and pitted the weird against the weirdest products to present you with the strangest election merchandise out there.
This guide is dubiously divided into categories like apparel, comic books, action figures and hygiene products, with a winner and a runner-up in each category.
We introduce you to the top products Americans have devised to promote democracy:
School Girl Sarah Palin
If anyone in this campaign has action-figure potential, it’s Sarah Palin – the moose-hunting, shotgun-toting, and surprisingly sexy governor from Alaska.
And indeed, shortly after her candidacy was announced, an action figure was unveiled that features none of the aforementioned adjectives.
There are two major drawbacks to this figure though: mangled wrists and a zombie-like face.
Runner up: Obamakinz Plush
This item is perfect for snuggling up with once you get ready for bed.
Soft and squeezable, it can easily replace your child’s favorite teddy bear.
Buy an Obamakinz plush for each child so they can learn to love Obama before he’s even elected!
Commie Obama Rally Cap with “Leninade”
This cozy ushanka hat flaunts Barak Obama as the candidate of choice for all well-dressed communists, and comes complete with a bottle of lemony “Leninade” to toast with on election night.
It’s hard to tell whether this gem was designed by Republicans or dreamed up by enterprising pranksters to send up hard-leaning Republican rhetoric.
Either way, it’s a hoot!.
The implication that Obama is a liberal, card-carrying, Lenin-worshiping (and “Leninade”-drinking) communist is obviously absurd.
There’s no doubt that those behind the Commie Obama goods are blatant capitalists.
Who else would charge five dollars for a bottle of novelty soda?
Runner up: Lipstick on a Pit-bull Underwear
Thanks to websites like Café Press, you can get any design you can possibly imagine on tee-shirts, coffee mugs and, most importantly, thong underwear.
Sarah Palin designs dominate that particular category, but this is perhaps the most terrifying one of the bunch.
Perhaps the idea is to use it as an alternative form of birth control, sending would-be lovers heading for the hills.
The Savage Dragon #137
Analysts were initially skeptical of Obama’s ability to pull the key demographic of muscular, fin-headed humanoids into his camp by election time, but with the Savage Dragon’s support, he seems to have captured 100% of their vote.
The Savage Dragon was nearly elected to the post himself in 2004, thanks to a fraudulent write-in campaign engineered by the son of arch villain Dread Knight.
He seems to have put the past behind him to support the Democratic candidate.
Copies of Savage Dragon #137 are going for five times the $2.99 cover price on ebay, and the issue even went back to press for a second printing, which mercifully fixed Obama’s short-tie fashion faux-pas on its original cover.
Runner up: Presidential Comics
Their startling origins have been detailed in comic book form.
Which candidate will be revealed to possess the power of losing on election day?
Only time will tell, comics fans!
Sex and Hygiene Products
Sarah Palin Condoms
These actually exist. There’s nothing I can say that will be funnier than the fact that Sarah Palin condoms actually exist.
They have been taken down from ebay because no one bought them.
Someone made a shoddy novelty sex item to capitalize on a political scandal and not a single person bought it.
This signals a new day for America!
Runner up: iKiss Barack Chapstick
This strawberry chapstick was made specially for Obama’s groupies who plan on puckering up for election day.
There’s complementary iKiss Barack mints as well, to make the political snogging experience a cornucopia of flavors.
That’s right: mint and strawberry – the taste of democracy.
I’m just relieved they didn’t call it Lim Balma for Obama.
Props and Masks
Life Size John McCain Standee
McCain’s merchandising clout really should be higher than it is – considering he’s a former soldier and POW who’s been getting senior citizen discounts since before I was born.
There should a talking McCain fridge magnet that yells “You kids get off my lawn!” or something similar.
Unfortunately, this full-size standee is about as maverick as it gets – McCain standing limp-shouldered, head tilted gently to the side, looking like he’s about to collapse.
Fortunately, the company, Celebritygift.com provides the option of spicing things up a little bit: “To add a little ‘personal touch’ to your Life Size John McCain Standee, you can put your head on his body for the ultimate personalized John McCain collectible item!”
Apparently, the ultimate John McCain collectible item does not have anything discernible at all to do with John McCain
Runner up: Obama and McCain Masks
If you’d rather put McCain or Obama’s head on your body, these grotesque masks are about as close as you can get.
They’ve been produced just in time for Halloween!
This product wins the category because it would literally not exist, save for its allegedly knee-slapping hilarious name. “Supporting the nominee even in your sleep? Only in Ojamas!” chirps its website.
Even if you sleep in and forget to vote, you’ll be safe in the smug comfort of Ojamas!
Grand Prize: Obamarella
This is worse than Ojamas.
It is actually the worst thing on this list.
It might actually be the worst invention on earth.
An umbrella with flashing lights and Obama pictures glue-stuck to its top.
It also plays a horrible screeching sound that is supposedly an endorsement of Obama which includes the phrase: “The United States is in desperate need of change. Let’s sustain in the rain.” .
Because, you know … it’s an umbrella.
Simply describing the Obamarella makes it sound benign, but the video clip that introduces it to the world is too awkward to believe.
If you can navigate the company’s atrocious website, buy yourself one for just $25!.