Obama as Merchandise

Less than one month in, we know the Obama administration has been a success in at least one area: merchandise.

In Washington, selling Obama merchandise seems to be almost a prerequisite for having a business license. And just because the Trover Shop has taken down its $25 Obama posters doesn't mean Capitol Hill is no longer a veritable Obama-Mart. A quick walk down Pennsylvania will reward the Obama-conscious shopper with an overflow of Obama wear.

*T-shirt of Obama as Superman? Check.

*T-shirt of Obama as Muhammad Ali? Check.

*T-shirt of Obama as Michael Jordan in mid-air dunk? Check.

*T-shirt of the Obama family, daughters included, as Jedi Knights? Sold out!

Starting at $15, these collector items are bargains. True, it's more than the $13 taxpayers can expect from the stimulus bill, but what's an extra $2 when you can have a shirt featuring our president as a superhero? (No shirts of Obama and Joe Biden as Batman and Robin have been spotted yet, but as our president taught us, one can hope!)

Need a last-minute Valentine's Day gift? Why not stop by the new Obama store in Union Station, where for $20 you can surprise a loved one with a T-shirt of Barack and Michelle Obama commemorating the "Presidential Romance!"?

Obama Fever has not only inspired independent retailers — corporate America is getting in on the action, as well.

Aside from the Obama hats and commemorative magazines, 7-Eleven shoppers can buy their own bottle of Obama Water — yours for $1.79! (Note: The bottle does not indicate if the water is holy or suitable for baptisms.)

No company has embraced Obama Nirvana more than Pepsi. Having changed its corporate logo to resemble the Obama campaign's, its new marketing slogans have become one-word affirmational phrases such as Hope! Together! Joy! Yo! The new Pepsi logo is placed in the "O," of course.

From large corporations to sidewalk sole proprietorships, business is banking on Obama to make a quick buck. And while the overkill of Obama merchandise may seem a little silly or, at times, like something from the movie “Spaceballs,” it is the purest form of capitalism and meets a market demand that somehow exists. Judging from the sales of Obama wear — the winter caps seem to be everywhere — it may be a smart short-term business strategy.

In the meantime, however, I'll have a Coke.