There are really two transitions happening in Washington, D.C. The real-life transfer of power from Barack Obama to Donald Trump. And then there’s the trinket transition.
At the Washington Welcome Center, a souvenir shop in downtown Washington, Donald Trump hats are selling out. Hillary Clinton is on clearance.
Assistant store manager Michelle Washington points to a forlorn stack of T-shirts, sporting Clinton’s face.
“They was $17.99,” she said. “They’re marked down to $8.98 because she didn’t win the election, so we don’t want to be stuck with it.”
Washington said they started getting new “President Trump” merchandise the day after the election.
“If you walk over here on this side with me, I can show you,” she said, as we walked around the store.
She points to a window display of Trump shirts, pens, bobbleheads, stickers and candy bars.
“And then Donald Trump has his own window here, and then he has a window on that side,” she said. ” And a whole wall.”
Leading the Trump transition? A life-size cardboard Trump. It’s just $46.
The trinket transition is also unfolding at dozens of vendor stands down the street from the White House. Dan Bjerk is visiting from Clearwater, Florida, scouring the stands for Christmas presents for the family back home.
“I haven’t found really what I wanted so I haven’t bought much,” he said. “There’s just not much to select from right now, I guess.”
There’s a reason for that. Just like in real life, President Obama is still around, taking up space on vendor Jae Shin’s cart. And selling well.
“Especially the picture with his family – very popular,” Shin said.
Grinning Obama and Trump bobbleheads stand toe to toe. Hillary Clinton’s behind them, peering over Trump’s shoulder.
Delise Bernard and her three kids are picking up Obama tote bags and mugs. Bernard figures she’s spent about $1,000 on Obama souvenirs over the years.
“I bought a sweatshirt,” she said. “I bought blankets. I have water bottles.”
Bernard is buying up Obama stuff while she still can — before the Obama bobblehead formally hands off to his Trump counterpart.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.