Washington Babylon — January 19, 2009, 4:40 pm

Obama: Inspiring Tackiness

Inauguration fever is cresting with the inevitable flood of Obama merchandise. Here are three candidates for the worst of the lot:

In the “cute and cloying” category, there’s the “Obama, Time for a Change Baby Ultrasoft Onesie.”

In the “right-Wing Paranoia” category, the “Communist Obama BBQ Apron,” with hammer and sickle design.

Finally, in the “child exploitation” category is a new book, Hi It’s Me Zenin, Barack Obama’s Kid Neighbor. This one isn’t on the web yet–I learned about it from a press release. Reproduced verbatim:

Directly across the street from the Obama’s residence, in Hyde Park, lives Zenin Miller. Zenin is what many would call a typical 6 year old little boy Zenin loves Star Wars, Bakugans and super heroes. Actually, Zenin is anything but normal, he’s written a children’s book about what it’s like to be Obama’s neighbor – with the photos to prove it.

The book, titled “Hi It’s Me Zenin, Barack Obama’s Kid Neighbor”, that Zenin came up with on his own, describes how his daily schedule has been affected by living directly across the street from the President elect. The book includes photos Zenin took with his camera; shows what it’s like to have to drive through a security parameter just to get into his house for homework time, hanging out with Obama’s favorite waitress and his local breakfast joint, watching the Obama’s coming home to celebrate and the girls own play party, watching the street change as Barack Obama went from nominee to president elect, through the eyes of a 6 year old.

“Heartwarming interviews” with Zenin, promised the pitch, can be arranged through his publicist.

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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