D.C.ís Obama Souvenir Trail: Good, Bad and Ugly

Travel Blog  •  Julia Ross  •  12.22.08 | 1:35 PM ET

There’s nothing like a presidential inauguration to stoke Washington’s entrepreneurial spirit. With the big event less than a month away, Obama souvenirs are multiplying like “real Americans” at a Sarah Palin rally. I’m keeping an eye out for particularly egregious examples, but here’s a snapshot of what I’ve seen around town thus far:

On a bipartisan note: Wistful Republicans can check out the remaining John McCain T-shirts and bobblehead dolls in the back corner of the Washington Welcome Center (10th and E Streets, NW), stacked under a crumpled sign that notes, “All McCain merchandise on sale.” It’s tough to lose in this town.


Julia Ross is a Washington, DC-based writer and frequent contributor to World Hum. She has lived in China and Taiwan, where she was a Fulbright scholar and Mandarin student. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Time, Christian Science Monitor, Plenty and other publications. Her essay, Six Degrees of Vietnam, was shortlisted for "The Best American Travel Writing 2009."


6 Comments for D.C.ís Obama Souvenir Trail: Good, Bad and Ugly

Marilyn Terrell 12.23.08 | 2:34 AM ET

Memorabilia that will take you places:
You can buy an Obama-blazoned Metro SmartTrip card for getting around town on subways and buses and for parking at Metro parking lots. For more inaugural tips like where to get genuine Hawaiian kahlua pork to toast our first Hawaii-born president, check out Intelligent Travel’s Inauguration Guide:
http://traveler.nationalgeographic.com/guide/dc

Ling 12.23.08 | 10:11 AM ET

This inaugural thing is totally out of control. I did some research for a piece on the inauguration, and one of the tourism guys in DC I talked to says that around 3-4 million people are going to be there, and there’s going to be absolute chaos when people find they can’t get anywhere near the Capitol. The only rooms available are all priced over $400, and they want people to book for at least 3 days.

Grizzly Bear Mom 12.23.08 | 1:13 PM ET

WARNING!  As a Federal Government employee, they give us off for the inauguration, presidential funerals, etc to keep as many bodies out of town as possible.  For this historic event it will be even more crowded.  I wouldn’t even consider attending the inauguration.  They will run out of food, toilets, and standing room.  Even if you do make it in, the Presidnet elect will only be this big: 0.  I’m going to watch this historic event from my nice warm living room and recommend that you watch from yours.

Zach 12.23.08 | 6:04 PM ET

Thank you for not including the Obama Metro card on your list.

lilly 12.31.08 | 4:02 PM ET

i love the obamania. some of the things are all scrap but some are really nice. i came across this beautiful purse at boutiquemix.com. here’s the link - http://boutiquemix.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=741. i will definitely get one for my mom. i voted for mccain.

lydia 01.23.09 | 10:52 AM ET

i got the obama purse at boutiquemix.com too. it is nicer in person. i also got an obama tee shirt just because.

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