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Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney in fierce fleece fight

October 28, 2011|By James Oliphant
  • Campaign gear is for sale, with a Michele Bachmann fleece, left, and a Romney pull-over as options.
Campaign gear is for sale, with a Michele Bachmann fleece, left, and a Romney…

Republican presidential candidates, always looking for an edge, are now turning to a different kind of retail politics.

Take Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney. Winter’s on its way (indeed a snow and sleet storm is set to hit the Eastern Seaboard this weekend), so why not stay protected from the elements—and, implicitly, from the Obama administration—in a specially authorized fleece jacket? Both candidates this week offered pullovers to potential voters.

Bachmann’s jacket is a deep blue (not red, for those who are into those distinctions) with a “Michele Bachmann for President” embroidered near the collar. Romney’s fleece comes in two different colors, blue and gray. (Make of that what you will, Romney critics.) It bears the Romney logo, which, because of its highly stylized “R,” many folks still read as just “Omney.” And the presidency is not mentioned.

Bachmann’s fleece will cost you at least a $75 donation to her campaign, but since Romney has sizably outraised the Minnesota congresswoman, you can snag one of his for the discount price of $60. And speaking of size, Romney must be counting on some heftier support, because his fleece is available in XXXL, while Bachmann’s pullover is limited to XXL and down.

Bachmann, in her ad, suggests that her fleece could be worn to a tea party rally. Romney suggests his could be used during a less rollicking pursuit such as, uh, phone-banking.

Not to be outdone, Rick Perry opened his online store this week. Given his Texas roots, there’s nary a long-sleeved garment to be found. But there are plenty of baseball hats, some with American flags embroidered on them. Along with in-state tuition credits for immigrant children. (Not really.)

Other candidates have similar stores, of course. Ron Paul offers a pack of “Energy Independence” trading cards. Jon Huntsman sells a backpack for those who --- well—stay in the back of the pack?

It’s all pretty standard campaign stuff. We’d like to see the candidates become a little more creative.

For instance, Romney should be selling -- what else? -- mittens. (Perry would argue in favor of flip-flops.)

Herman Cain, well, he could offer "The Real Herman Canes" to the elderly. For, naturally, $9.99. (He'd likely find a way to add an extra 9.)

How about a GPS—a Gingrich Positioning System? No matter where you are, Newt tells you you’re in the wrong place.

Or some Rick Santor Rum? But that might clash with the conservative’s wholesome values.

How about a Ron Paul “End the Fedora”—perfect now that the weather’s growing cold.

It's not so crazy. With a plethora of televised presidential debates to come, it's only inevitable that one lands on the Home Shopping Network.

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