Inside the Elizabeth Warren merchandising empire

Prayer candles. Action figures. Temporary tattoos. Coloring books.

Elizabeth Warren isn’t just a progressive icon, she’s a merchandising industry unto herself.

The Massachusetts senator and presidential prospect is at the center of a sprawling business built around her appeal to liberals across the country — a reminder of the unabashed devotion she inspires on the left and the footprint she’ll cast in the 2020 Democratic primary.

“Elizabeth Warren is an increasingly popular brand that people want to associate with,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “She’s the Apple of politics.”

It’s impossible to know the true size of the Warren merchandising-industrial complex. The bulk of it exists beyond the Democratic senator’s control on sites like online marketplace Etsy. And her campaign, which hosts its own online store, declined to disclose the exact amount of money it raises from merchandise sales.

But it’s safe to say no other senator has anything like it.

Warren’s campaign store has expanded beyond traditional political fare such as buttons, bumper stickers, tote bags and T-shirts to offer a line of products that capitalize on the “Nevertheless, she persisted” meme spawned by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s much-publicized admonishment of Warren on the Senate floor earlier this year.

Several items are sold out at the moment — among them the $9.99 temporary tattoos. According to the Warren campaign, the tattoos were inspired by attendees to Warren’s home-state town halls this spring who showed up with permanent ink bearing the McConnell quote. The senator gave her blessing for the temporary tat, which uses her handwriting to spell out the quote in dark blue ink.

Her campaign team was quick to recognize the opportunity presented by the dust-up with McConnell. Less than 24 hours elapsed before designers were at work with Warren’s campaign staff trying to translate the viral political meme into product.

 

 

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