The countdown to the Obama inauguration is in its final week. Your nation’s capital is getting more excited by the day about the opportunity this presents to make a few extra bucks.
It started after the election with street vendors selling random items – t-shirts, prints of Obama and his family, and things like that. Then, while Christmas shopping, I started to notice that stores in the Pentagon City Mall are selling cardboard cutouts and other Obama-themed novelties. Metro is even offering a commemorative fare card that is twice the price of a normal fare card.
Now businesses are getting into it who would otherwise not comment on politics – the picture here is from the Farragut North Metro station, which is currently awash in Ikea ads touching on the theme of “change.” (Apparently, the historic events of the next week should inspire us all to look to a future with brand new bedroom furniture.)
Of course, none of these money-making efforts are commissioned by the Obama transition team, which offers an important lesson for discussion of stimulus packages and other economic policies. The Obama White House should similarly recognize the innovation and opportunism of business owners.