Can a nation go bonkers over a president? Apparently, yes! Americans, this Christmas, are buying little trinkets with Presidential-Elect Barack Obama's stamp on it!
Americans can enjoy your morning cuppa with the Obama coffee mugs which are on sale now. Or, those who don't drink coffee might prefer a pair of Obama cufflinks to dress up their shirtsleeves, or perhaps an Obama Christmas bulb to adorn the holiday tree
AdvertisementThere has been a sudden explosion of collectible Obama coins, Barack Obama porcelain plates and gazillions of other items capitalizing on the popular president-elect's very marketable image.
Even as Americans tighten their purse strings with the country in a full-blown financial crisis, a surprising number appear eager to part with 20 or 30 dollars for their very own Obama treasure.
The Obama marketing blitz - evident in US convenience stores, corner kiosks and especially on the Internet - comes just in time for the Christmas holiday shopping season, when consumption-oriented Americans are even more ready than usual to part with their money.
"We are expecting huge crowds during the holidays and Inauguration Week," said Audrey Cooper, sales clerk at the new "Obama Inaugural Gift Center" opened earlier this month in downtown Washington.
In the wake of last month's groundbreaking election anything with the president-elect's name or face printed on it has gained sudden cache - and often a hefty pricetag to match.
The shop on 15th Street Northwest, just blocks away from the White House, does a brisk business in Obama Christmas decorations and "first family" buttons for sporting on lapels, with the beaming faces of the future president, his wife Michelle and two photogenic daughters, Sasha and Malia.
The Obama-commercialism is raging across this consumption crazy country has even infected visitors from overseas.
"There are floods of people during lunch time or before and after work and a lot of tourists from England, Brazil, France, Germany or Russia, even from Africa," said Cooper.
With Obama's January 20 inauguration coming in a few scant weeks, Americans are more eager than ever to claim that Obama collectible for their knick-knack shelf.
"Be among the first to have the most sought after collection that celebrates the most significant, event in presidential elections, since the founding fathers gave birth to this great country," trumpets one Internet site offering specially minted coins with a "life-like image of Obama as the man who changed the world."
For the president-elect's younger fans there is the Obama doll - a molded plastic figure selling for 29.95 dollars, plus shipping and handling costs.
One now-famous Obama collectible was available across America on the day after the election for the bargain price of a dollar or less: the coveted November 5 editions of newspapers proclaiming Obama's election victory sold at newsstands across the United States - and set off the buying frenzy for all-things-Obama that has gripped the country ever since.
And there is what has quickly become classic Obama bestseller - the iconic pop-art tee shirt - sold by the thousands across the country - displaying the image of former Illinois senator, in semiprofile, gazing heroically into America's future.