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Fact: No shortage of Obama shirts in Union Square

(Credit: Politirazzi)

Decisions, decisions: Sampling the Obama options in Union Square Park.

By Linnea Covington

Special to amNewYork

“Obama for yo mama.” “Barack’s How I Roll.” “Obaaaama for president.” “Bark for Obama.”

Even the dogs have gotten in on the Barack Obama frenzy that has swept through the T-shirt business catering to a new generation of voters that likes to wear its politics on its sleeve rather than on traditional pins or banners.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Union Square, where about a quarter of the merchandise stalls sell political T-shirts – all of them pro-Obama. From the simple heart shape with the letter O to the mass-produced image of Obama’s face, found in all sizes and colors, there has never been a political figure so wearable.

“I see lots of people who are taking it upon themselves to do something this time around,” said Helen Walters, who’s written three books about the T-shirt business. “And if you can put it on the T-shirt, you feel like you are making a difference.”

At Union Square, Ellen Weiss wanted to make a political statement. Holding up a pink “Blondes for Obama” tee, Weiss demanded $20 from her husband. “Haven’t I given him enough already?” he said, referring to Obama.

Weiss took the money and bought her first political T-shirt. “ I love him and I love this and I’m a blonde,” she said and walked away with her prize.

For the T-shirt sellers, of course, their efforts aren’t just pure Obama loyalty.

“I came out with a Giuliani, Hillary and Obama shirt,” said Larry Kleinstein, who runs a T-shirt stand in Union Square. “Obama worked the best.”

Now, Kleinstein’s stand sells only Obama tees – including one for dogs.

“Excuse me, do you have Red Heads for Obama?” a woman asked Kleinstein.

“Not yet, check back next week,” he replied. “It’s an Obama frenzy in New York!”

Tags: barack obama , politics , union square , t-shirts

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