Not that long ago, President Obama was more than a president wading through two wars and a bad economy. He was Superman, clutching a basketball in mid-air and about to slam-dunk, on a sparkly T-shirt available in Union Station for $14.99.
A medallion of his face was airbrushed onto T-shirts, swinging on a gold chain next to another medallion with the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. His family portrait was emblazoned on not-quite-microwave-safe dinner plates, and his essence was somehow captured for a cologne. (Of course, the same was done with Michelle Obama for women.)
He was everywhere. In the worst of the recession, Obama was creating jobs and spurring consumer activity — and all it required were vendors and Web sites hawking stuff that could somehow be tangential to him and his moment in history.