Can I Get a Refund?

Obama's Merch Dip Mirrors Popularity

Once top-selling items from designers such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, and Beyoncé's own House of Deréon, the sales of merchandise touting President Obama are in a state of decline, mirroring the president’s dip in popularity as the midterm elections approach. Souvenir vendors in Washington D.C. are being hit the hardest—in Union Station, a souvenir shop once dubbed the Obama Store because of its large quantity of Obama merchandise, has closed and been replaced by a jewelry-repair shop. “That moment in history is gone,” said Molly Andolina, a professor of political science at DePaul University. “The Democratic base is less excited than the Republican base. Obama has lost the enthusiasm.” The sales lost in merchandise supporting the president have been made up by products ripping Obama and his policies, said Amy Maniatis, vice president of CafePress, a California-based online store that allows customers to upload and sell their own designs. The decline in Obama's popularity forced Tini Cherkaoui, manager of Discount Souvenirs and Novelties in the D.C., to tweak her inventory. T-shirts bearing slogans like “Change We Can Believe” have now been replaced by messages of a more conservative variety: “We Need Jobs. Not This Hopey-Changey Thing.” “It used to be that anything Obama—it was just hot," said Cherkaoui. “Now, they're just against Obama.”