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Obama—Between a Pet Rock and a Hard Place

The funny business of plundering political misfortune.

Six months ago, Patrick Phipps was busy selling Prez BaRock, a pet rock which I blogged about in December. Phipps' Rockme Novelties was pitching the presidential paperweight as a bipartisan gift idea. Those who liked the President could decorate Prez BaRock with pro-Obama stickers like, "Yes We Can", while those who were not fans could cover the rock with "No We Shouldn't."

The President's approval ratings were already under 50 percent by then.

They've only gotten worse.

Source: nobamacountdownclock.com

This being America, where capitalism is (still) encouraged (kinda), Phipps is changing course.

He is now selling the "NObama Countdown Clock",which ticks off the days, minutes, and seconds until the President's term expires.

"We're mad as hell and not going to take it anymore," says Phipps.

"President Obama has failed his promises, he has failed his responsibilities, he has jeopardized our future! It's time we start counting down this disastrous presidency!"

The clock is the size of a credit card, can hang from a keychain, and costs $9.95.

The pet rock product cost around $15. Apparently Obama-related gag gifts are deflating.

Like the President's popularity.

Phipps tells me the clocks are selling faster than the rocks did.

"This product is a little more clear in its market than the Prez BaRock. Seems the Left find the Prez BaRock insulting while the Right aren't sure whether the product is Pro or Con."

Is it possible to retrench one's message, create a new product, and succeed?

Yes we can!

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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