Rand awareness: Sen. Paul sells presidential campaign merchandise featuring anti-NSA items
From koozies to cornhole sets, Beats headphone skins to beer steins, NSA-blocking devices to anti-drone shirts, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is hoping donors to his presidential campaign will buy doodads that will bring his brand to backyard barbecues.
Paul kicked off his campaign Tuesday, announcing his bid not with a typical political speech ‒ that came later in the day ‒ but with a declaration on his website. Like his announcement, Paul’s fundraising is happening online, in a store filled with items designed to woo millennials.
Rand Paul really consectetur adipiscing elit his new store pic.twitter.com/cwmZ5ySNPB— Eric Reif (@esreif) April 7, 2015
With a nod towards safety and security, the website sells several items that portray his opposition to governmental overreach, especially by the National Security Agency and the military-industrial complex.
One such accessory is the ‘NSA Spy Cam Blocker’, which allows the purchaser to use a Rand-branded plastic tool that opens and closes access to a computer’s camera. The device prevents the NSA from remotely taking control of the Paul fan’s webcam.
— Brian Resnick (@B_resnick) April 7, 2015
Recalling Paul’s 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference that was interrupted by an audience member yelling, “Don’t drone me, bro!”, the site sells a shirt with the meme on it.
— someecards (@someecards) April 7, 2015
For those who want to emulate Paul’s presidential run while they run, they can stay safe in a neon yellow sports top that allows them to “let the running world know which candidate has the endurance to go the distance and protect our Constitution.”
When donors aren’t running, they can, quite literally, “stand with Rand” on car mats and in flip flops. No, wait, make that sandals ‒ at some point on Tuesday, the shop decided to change the name of the footwear to a less politically-charged term.
Millennials, known for their casual shoes and love of drinking games, can party hard with Paul, too. The site sells plenty to keep the younger generation entertained, from Beats headphone skins to all manner of barware. There are two different bag toss game sets (also called cornhole) so players have something to talk about while drinking and tossing beanbags.
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) April 7, 2015
Other fun buys include ‘Rand on a Stick’, a giant Rand Paul birthday card and an eye chart, in case you forgot that the senator’s first career was as an opthamologist.
Paul’s competition is behind the eight ball when it comes to their online stores. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who announced his candidacy for president in late March, doesn’t have an online store. Neither do either of his political action committees (PACs).
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton isn’t expected to announce her presidential campaign for another two weeks, so she hasn’t set up a store of her own. But the Ready for Hillary PAC has plenty of objects for anyone clamoring for another Clinton candidacy. That store goes for a classier kind of booze, with ‘Hillary Rocks!’ old-fashioned glasses and champagne flutes.
And perhaps a little something for the crazy cat lady to dress her babies in.
Though Ready for Hillary may want to rethink their iPhone cases, in light of the revelations about her use of two devices for work email on her private server ‒ neither of which was an iPhone.
But while the PAC store’s most expensive item tops out at $65 for a “formidable fleece,” Paul supporters can drop an even grand on an autographed copy of the Constitution. Buyer beware, though, as purchasing two of the bound books brings you to the $2,000 campaign contribution limit.
— Rare (@Rare) April 7, 2015