Selling Obama

Obama-mania has taken over the country and sweeping through to a retailer near you. In case you've missed out on all the great gear, we're connecting you with the coolest Obama items circling the country. Some may even surprise you. By Lauren Blassingame and Porsche Slocum
ESSENCE.COM Jan, 14, 2009

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Not all merchandise is without taste. ESSENCE.com found a few items that might be worthy of your money: You know what time it is, and even if you don’t, Obamawatches.com has a selection of 11 different inaugural watches to choose from. Whether you opt for a timepiece that reads “Yes We Can” or a wittier message like “Love Your Mama (Earth)," you’ll be sure to reach the right time for change. The President Obama Inaugural watches start at $50.

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Enthusiasm for our forty-fourth President doesn’t stop at “Obama ’08” buttons and “Yes We Can” T-shirts. Creative minds all over the country gave America (and beyond) the option for change and elegance combined. Take a look at the Obama-inspired merchandise that rocked our socks.

California couple David and Crystal Casanave’s 22K gold keepsake stemware is the official glassware of the Inauguration West celebration at the Metreon City Terrace, San Francisco. Have an inauguration party of your own and enjoy this historical moment time and time again. The glasses range from $59.97 to $99.57 on presidentialglassware.com.

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Say hello to fashion at its finest. Boutique Mix’s handcrafted, one-of-a-kind, leather clutch ($195), designed by Armando Javier and Lynda Zamora, features a collage of President Barack Obama’s triumphant news headlines. “I decided to carry [the purses] because they send a message of inclusion, hope, hard work and change,” says Miatta “MiMi” Dabo, owner of BoutiqueMix.com.

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Join the “Runway for Change” initiative, which features a collection of high-fashion handbags and T-Shirts designed by some of today’s top designers, like this Unisex T-shirt by the House of Dereon, $45, at inauguralcollectibles.com. Proceeds from your purchase go toward the offset inauguration costs.

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President Barack Obama had a dream, and you can too in these cozy “Ojamas.” Drift off to sleep or lounge while you’re taking in the inauguration activities on TV in this cotton cuddler featuring the “O” logo patterned throughout the garment, $34.99, available for purchase at ojamas.com.

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Obama lovers, eat your heart out. Chocolate Graphics released its limited-edition Obama Chocolates just in time for your inauguration party. These delectable, milk chocolate squares can be purchased for $15 at obamachocolatesonline.com or by calling 1-866-323-0745.

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It might be from last year but it’s certainly not out of season. Diane Von Furstenberg exclusively designed this “Obama 08 Love” tote bag. The canvas bag is embellished with words like ““hope” and “change” in addition to red hearts for a personal touch. Get your authentic tote for $75 at President Barack Obama’s official website barackobama.com.

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With a slogan like “The audacity to have a good hair day!” it’s hard to pass up Etsy.com’s Barack barrettes. If that wasn’t enough to tickle your fancy, you can also choose from a set of Michelle Obama barrettes or a combination of the two. A portion of the profits from these $10 clips were donated to the Obama 2008 presidential campaign.

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Give the kids something unique for show and tell. This super-adorable coloring book, featuring the new First Family, is perfect for the tots at $6 on inauguralcollectibles.com.

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Get your daily dose of inspiration with this cute “Got Hope?” Obama Necklace ($38 at Etsy.com.) This 16-inch, sterling silver necklace will be a handy reminder if ever you need a little pick me up.

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These “Hope Obama” earrings by Etsy scream trendy yet stylish. The fashionable sterling silver beauties are hand-stamped and oxidized for a clean finish and unique effect. The earrings are priced at $30 and available at Etsy.com.

By Lauren Blassingame and Porsche Slocum

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We’re onboard with the idea that the personal is political, but these Obama undies may take the phrase a little too far.

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When this set of dolls, named “Marvelous Malia," and “Sweet Sasha,” was announced, First Lady Michelle Obama shot back that the marketing of her children should be off limits. Although the Ty Inc. toy company initially denied that the dolls were named after the Obama girls, they were soon rebranded as “Marvelous Mariah,” and “Sweet Sydney”.

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We should have known that it was only a matter of time before President Obama became immortalized in Chia form. From the makers of The Clapper, this clay bust of the President sprouts a green Afro when you add water.

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Jeremy Rupke, the young Canadian man who started printing President Obama’s face on rolls of toilet paper during the campaign, insists that the product is nothing personal. His business is equal opportunity. Rolls with Senator John McCain and former President George W. Bush are also for sale through his Web site.

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With the cautionary tagline, “Use With Good Judgment,” these Obama-labeled condoms at least promote safe sex, but we won’t vouch for the effectiveness of novelty, punchline birth control.

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