As the Democratic candidate for President, Secretary Hillary Clinton also sold a wide range of products including shirts designed by fashion heavyweights like Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Diane von Furstenberg and Joseph Altuzarra. She even sold "woman cards" for $5 a pop.
Jeb Bush was the center of many jokes after he tried to sell a $75 "Guaca Bowle" on his campaign site.
Rand Paul hawked branded products including a spy cam blocker and a beer mug featuring a picture of a dog holding an American flag under the word, "UNLEASH." Of his merch, he said, "Thomas Jefferson would be proud."
But none of these products crossed over into the mainstream.
There are many reasons people purchase political merchandise. Tom Davis, Associate Director of the Symbolic Systems Program at Stanford University, explains that "red and pink hats are ways for their wearers to identify themselves with a political movement. The hats promote the movement, or advertise it, to those who see them, and the hats signal to other people who identify with the movement that they are connected to each other.
"Plus they may keep your head warm or the sun off your face."
No matter the reason for the demand, these symbolic goods are for sale everywhere from Amazon to Walmart. Turns out, running a campaign or a social movement, like running a large company, requires successful and widespread merchandising.