When people donate money to a politician, all they usually get is a letter of thanks, or maybe a chance to get their picture taken with their favorite elected official. Supporters of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie can now get something more: branded merchandise.
Striking while the iron is hot, the New Jersey Republican State Committee on Wednesday started hawking Chris Christie merchandise, ranging from a $2.95 bumper sticker to a $45.95 hooded sweatshirt, with proceeds benefiting the party. Missing from the product lineup is an action figure -- which, given Christie's go-getter personality, would seem like a natural fit. The governor, though, has plenty of fans who'll be eager to snap up stuff with his name on it
Though he has earned the nickname "governor wrecking ball" after repeatedly butting heads with Democrats and the New Jersey Education Association, Christie's approval ratings remain exceptionally high. A poll taken earlier this month by Quinnipiac University showed 51% of New Jersey voters approve of the job Christie is doing, higher than the 46% who gave President Obama the thumbs up.
A White House Run in 2016?
Christie, a former U.S. attorney, recently won kudos from fiscal conservatives for canceling a multibillion rail tunnel project between New Jersey and New York City because he said it would be too expensive. He has ruled out running for either president or vice president in 2012, but he has left the door opened for 2016.
Maybe the New Jersey GOP should broaden its merchandising horizons. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and Library sells "The Spirit of Ronald Reagan," a 17-inch full-figure bronze statuette of the late president for $9,995. The first casting was on display in the Oval Office for three-and-a-half years. The Richard Nixon Foundation offers a variety of modestly priced merchandise at its museum store, including some that celebrates the meeting between Elvis Presley and the president. Even the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum sells $75 polo shirts.
So what's next for Christie merchandise? Party officials declined to comment.