Hot GOP products get votes of approval

  • Article by: BILL WARD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 3, 2008 - 11:23 PM

Items bearing a mascot and a VP candidate are the hottest merchandise near the convention.

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Republican merchandise, blinking light necklace

When it comes to GOP-themed merchandise, the Ps have it. Anything pachyderm or Palin has been a hot seller, merchants near the convention's St. Paul epicenter agree, as visitors gobble up images of elephants (the party's mascot) and items with vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's name or photo on it.

"I couldn't even get the McCain-Palin T-shirts up on the wall the other day, they were selling so fast," said Jon Pfeifer, general manager of Maharaja's on W. 7th Street.

"We sold out of elephant pins on Monday," said Dee Johnson, a sales clerk at Landmark Center. "Elephant mugs, McCain mugs and pins, those are moving well too."

Business at the stores on either side of the barricaded convention zone have been somewhat bipartisan. Johnson had just sold his-and-her mints -- a woman buying the McCain version and her husband the Obama-labeled candy -- and Maharaja's has been moving a lot of Obama-themed material. The offerings would have been more GOP-skewed, Pfeifer said, if more Palin items had been available.

"The Palin T-shirts are long gone," he said Wednesday afternoon. "... The guy can only print so many, and we've been wheeling 'em out when we get them."

Bill Ward • 612-673-7643

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