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Stuff for the takers


Time was when you could go to Mitt Romney’s campaign Web site and find position papers, policy pronouncements and other important election information.

Alas, is but a shadow of its former glory. There’s just a very nice photo of the former presidential candidate and a note from him. “I still believe in the people of America,” he says, despite the shocking, unforeseeable loss. “And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for this great nation.”

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993. View Archive

But wait! There’s a link to buy Romney swag. Yes, the campaign is over, there’s talk that the Romneys are moving full time to San Diego, but you can still buy buttons, hats, T-shirts and fine jewelry for that special someone.

The holiday shopping season is upon us, so don’t delay. There’s the usual low-end stuff, like “The Official Romney-Ryan Unisex Tee” for $30, or the official baseball cap for the same price.

There are some pretty iPhone cases for $40 — the “Built by Us” case is excellent. You can pick up a bumper sticker for $5.50. Our favorite says “No Money, No Jobs, No Hope, NoBama,” but there’s also “Juntos con Romney.”

The Weekly Standard’s annual week-long cruise to schmooze and hang with conservatives embarks about a week after President Obama’s inauguration. (Jon M. Fletcher/AP)

You can buy in bulk for all your cars — 300 “Believe in America” stickers are just $300. (But who’s got an elevator that big?)

For something more personal, there’s jewelry featuring that stylish “R” in red, white and blue as a lapel pin ($8) or tie pin ($15). And wouldn’t your wife or mistress look great in that silver-plated “R” necklace ($30) or gorgeous “R” earrings ($25)?

Hold on, now. The campaign’s over, but not one of these items is on sale? Nothing off?

So we checked President Obama’s campaign site,, to see if there were any special deals. Naturally, the site was more upbeat, with videos of Obama speeches, lots of election-night photos and such.

The swag, not nearly as stylish as the Romney stuff, wasn’t featured at all, but we found it at

Sure enough, lots of items on sale! The buttons and bumper stickers aren’t discounted, but other stuff is. There’s the “My Two Dads Support Obama Baby Onesie” which was $20 but is now $10.” (There’s nothing like this at the Romney store.)

There’s a “unisex slim fit tee” that says “I’m Out for Obama” (once $30, now $20) and a “Youth Bo” sweatshirt ($5 off at $35).

Get your memorabilia now! For a gift or for later sale on eBay. Operators (digital ones) are standing by.

Cruising and regrouping

“On January 20, 2013, President Obama will begin his second term,” our pal Terry Eastland writes. “You, meanwhile, will be doing . . . what?”

Well, sitting here, typing, watching desperate Democrats stab one another in the back in the scramble for those plum government jobs.

“How about this,” he says in an e-mail invite, “preparing to cruise with us on January 26. We’ll depart from Ft. Lauderdale on Holland America’s excellent ms Eurodam and make our way under warm skies to Grand Turk, San Juan, and St. Thomas, before returning to Ft. Lauderdale on February 2.”

Yes, it’s the annual Weekly Standard’s week-long cruise to schmooze and hang with conservatives trying to get their act together after losing yet another election to Barack Obama. (There may be some serious drinking on this one.)

Publisher Eastland, editor and columnist William Kristol, and Executive Editor Fred Barnes will be on board, along with GOP political consultant par excellence Mike Murphy.

There are several other Weekly Standard folks and other conservative media folks lined up, with more speakers to be announced, we’re told. (It looks like an all-male cast of speakers so far, but maybe they’ll add conservative women for some panels at some point.)

But it’s not just all panel discussions and incessant chatter. There’s great entertainment, a fine casino and we hear even karaoke competitions.

So hurry on down. Rooms range from $3,300 (per couple) in what looks to be a tiny windowless interior room, to $8,500 for a suite with a veranda.

“There are still some excellent cabins available,” Eastland says, but we suggest upgrading a bit to one with a window.

The exodus begins

Alan Hoffman, deputy chief of staff to Vice President Biden and before that Biden’s chief of staff in the Senate, has moved to PepsiCo’s headquarters in Purchase, N.Y., to run the company’s public policy and government affairs operations worldwide.

Before that he had been at the University of California, a partner at Timmons & Co. and a vice president for external relations at Rand Corp. He also worked in the Clinton White House and the Department of Health and Human Services on health issues.

With Emily Heil

The blog:
intheloop. Twitter: @InTheLoopWP.

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