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Trail Mix 

by TED S. McGREGOR JR. & r & & r & Campaign 'til You Drop & r & & r & If you've Googled your way into the Barack Obama and John McCain Websites, you'll find just about everything you ever wanted to know about the candidates -- most important, what kind of campaign schwag they're selling. Need some Obama golf balls to stick it to those Republicans in your regular Wednesday round? Or how about a "Sportsmen for McCain" baseball cap to wear to that barbecue at your liberal neighbor's house? (Bonus: It comes in camo.)

If they can't get you to focus on their platform, at least they can keep you perusing their vast selections of T-shirts. And after all, who really cares about the alternative minimum tax credit -- America wants to know who has better style.

Let's see... T-shirts blatantly pandering to Irish-Americans. McCain: check... Obama: check (with humor, calling himself "O'bama" on the logo). Then there's the ever-popular power-word T-shirts. McCain: "Leadership." "Honor." "Experience." "Integrity." (Man, how do you choose?) Obama: "Hope." "Change." "Yes We Can." (Again, Obama adds the flourish, with a line of "Got Hope?" shirts.)

The Obama face shirts are a little creepy on the cult-of-personality front, while McCain's seem more about Pavlovian slogan repetition than creating a look (although his simple baseball shirt is nice). But in these economic times, it comes down to price, and here the shrewd Obama crew wins again, offering his T-shirts for the recession-ready price of $20.08; McCain's go for $25 apiece.

He Is Coming, After All

Contrary to what was widely reported last week (including in this space), Vice President Dick Cheney will emerge from his undisclosed, secure location to speak at the Republican National Convention after all, on Sept. 1.
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