“Our top-selling caucus merchandise this year is the ‘Iowa, for some reason you have to come here to be president’ slogan. We have it on t-shirts, buttons, stickers, postcards — a whole slew of things,” says Taylor Frame, manager of the Raygun store in Des Moines.
He says actress Jamie Lee Curtis was an in-store customer last week, but none of the candidates have stopped by. On Sunday, NBC’s Tom Brokaw held up a Raygun postcard during “Meet the Press” to praise the store’s quirky merchandise.
The store has a whole section of clothing and tchotchkes set aside for out-of-town media, some covered with questions Iowans have been hearing from reporters for years.
“Didn’t I interview you four years ago?” and “Sorry to interrupt your meal, but are you alive and have an opinion on the election?” are just two of the slogans the store has placed on its merchandise.
The shelf-life for all this stuff is short.
“This coming week the tear-down will begin,” Frame says. “We will take down the caucus stuff. We’ll put up our regular spring stuff and we will be forgotten about once again. We’ll become a flyover state again.”
And back to selling t-shirts, like the one that declares Iowa is “75 percent vowels, 100 percent awesome.”
(Reporting by Scott Peterson of the Minnesota News Network)