On the Campaign Catwalk

Kinky’s mini-mercenaries came from China, arriving in Texas on 20-foot pallets like grunts on the beaches of Normandy
Chris Bell
The Chris Bell collection is for the hipster with a flair for the historic. His campaign buttons are Cold War-chic and, three years from now, his T-shirts will be treasured finds at Goodwill. You may want to wait until then: His materials are made in the U.S.A. with union labor, and socialism ain’t cheap. You’ll pay $20 a shirt, $2.50 for stickers and  buttons.

Carole Keeton Strayhorn
Say what you will about her campaign contributors, but Strayhorn’s only beholden to the bargain hunters. At $10, her
frugal shirts are simple and straightforward. Stylish they’re not. The designer responsible for nutritional info on the side of your cereal box could’ve done better. The jewel of the collection, so to speak, is her “One Tough Grandma” pin. File away the “Strayhorn,” you’ve got a great birthday gift for your Nanna.

Rick Perry
Rick Perry wear is designed to last — beyond the election, that is. Without a date, or any explicit advocacy position, you need not be a campaign supporter to get in his “Proud of Texas” T-shirt. Complement it with a hat made in Texas (eat that, Bell) and you’re ready to hit the trail. Also available are autographed posters, coffee mugs, and DVDs of the IMAX-featured film Texas: The Big Picture. However, you can’t buy any of it: merchandise is earned through an elaborate point system. A sepia despot-cum-sexpot glamour poster will cost you 30 volunteer shifts.  

Kinky Friedman
There’s nothing worse than standing at a rally where everyone looks the same. That’s why the Kinky campaign boasts the largest variety of merchandise, especially T-shirts: from the ubiquitous Guy Juke design to biker tank-tops to tight-fitting “I `Heart` Kinky” ladies tops. Prices range from $12-20, and will likely drop even further as the campaign nears its end. The bad news for the globally conscious:  the shirts were manufactured in Haitian sweatshops. (Sadly, so were The Current’s tees). Also available: pint glasses, cookbooks, CDs, DVDs, bandanas, and limited-edition screen prints.