Need a Chicago Brick and Mortar Store with Obama Merchandise
February 22, 2012 2:14 AM   Subscribe

Obama SWAG in Chicago---where can I get some fast and in person? Leaving for Ethiopia in a matter of days and I've received a request from someone there for anything "Obama"...t-shirt, pins, posters, etc. But I don't have much time and anything ordered from the campaign store online will not arrive in time (they don't have an option for faster shipping.) Are there any brick and mortar stores in Chicago where I can pick something up?
posted by jeanmari to Grab Bag (14 answers total)
Any local campaign headquarters? They'll always have at least stuff like stickers/bumper stickers, and should be able to say where you could get more.

Alternatively, is there time to order from
posted by easily confused at 2:19 AM on February 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

Contact the local chapter of the American Political Items Collectors organization and ask for dealers or more advice. There's also a specialty group within APIC, the Obama Political Items Collectors.
posted by knile at 2:35 AM on February 22, 2012

Stores in Hyde Park almost certainly still have lots, though I haven't made the rounds lately so I don't know for sure what the offerings might look like.

Recommended spots to check, in order of likelihood:

• The 24 hour Walgreens at the corner of 55th and Lake Park (phone: 773 667 1177)

• Cornell Dollar at the corner of 55th and Cornell (phone: 773 241 7410)

• First Aid Comics at 1617 E 55th has various silly Obama themed comics

• Jeffery Dollar at 1443 E 53rd St might also be worth checking (phone: 773 752 5675)

• U of C Barnes and Noble at 970 E 58th (phone: 773 702 7712)

• The thrift store at Southside Hub of Production at 5638 S Woodlawn (almost certain I saw some Obama pins - some from his Senator era! - when I was there last week... but whatever they have, there probably won't be a ton of it)

Or just drive/walk/bike down 55th, 53rd, and maybe 47th and keep your eyes open. He's the rock star of the neighborhood, and every single local merchant has tried to capitalize on that fact in one way or another. You are guaranteed to find what you're looking for.
posted by bubukaba at 3:47 AM on February 22, 2012 [4 favorites]

Unless Chicago's Obamania has died down, you should be able to find this at one of the gift shops on Michigan Avenue like Bye Bye Chicago. They have five downtown locations.
posted by Xalf at 4:58 AM on February 22, 2012

If all else fails, I'll bet you can find Obama stuff in the gift shops at the airport.
posted by Dolley at 5:59 AM on February 22, 2012

Call up his office downtown - I bet you could stop by and pick up something in person or they could connect you with the campaign organizer in your neighborhood who might have stuff.
posted by Bunglegirl at 6:08 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

You could ask for it on Freecycle.
posted by Miko at 6:44 AM on February 22, 2012

The Walgreens that bubukaba mentions at 55th and Lake Park had Obama swag as of a few months ago, and I don't know why that would have changed since then. They have t-shirts and hats, as well as cheesier items like Obama shot glasses (I confess I own one of these) and "Barocks."
posted by enlarged to show texture at 7:06 AM on February 22, 2012

(Also, wandering up and down 53rd Street, you may be lucky(?) enough to encounter the man who sells woodburned portraits of Obama.)
posted by enlarged to show texture at 7:08 AM on February 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

Campaign headquarters, or the local Democratic party office.
posted by elizeh at 7:53 PM on February 22, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks all, I'll try to make a trip down to the south side before I leave. It'll be tight on my current schedule.

FYI, for posterity, what hasn't worked:

-I called the Obama campaign office at the number on the website and they told me that you can only order things online to be mailed to you.
-Many Walgreen's and CVS stores on the north side (all over) have nothing Obama.

I'll keep trying!
posted by jeanmari at 8:52 AM on February 23, 2012

I was in Chicago last summer and the CVS and Walgreens just off Milennium Park had Obama swag.
posted by Miko at 10:05 AM on February 23, 2012

Oh, and try going in person to the Obama office. In 2008, it was true that people called to order stuff, especially signs. But the campaign office definitely kept stashes of buttons and stickers around that you could pick up by walking in. Just go on in. If you feel sheepish about having called, don't - the person minding the office is not all that likely to be the same person you talked to on the phone anyway.

And I'd still try Freecycle. Until I moved last fall I had a lot of Obama 08 stuff around my house and would have gladly shared some of the bounty. I got rid of some when I moved but am saving a few things for posterity.
posted by Miko at 10:08 AM on February 23, 2012

Dunno if you're still reading this, but I probably should have been more specific about the Walgreens thing. I'm not surprised that other Walgreens stores don't have stuff — but this particular Walgreens was literally billing itself on their outdoor signage as "Obama Headquarters!" and things like that back in 2008. They've toned it down since then, but this particular store has still very Obamatastic when I've been there in recent months.
posted by bubukaba at 7:00 PM on February 28, 2012

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