Monday, January 12, 2009

The Commercialization of The Presidency.

The Inauguration is less than one week away and Washington, DC is all about President Elect Obama….it seems like everyone is trying to make some money….




Greg Craig’s New Mantra: The President Is Not Your Mascot
By Al Kamen
Monday, January 12, 2009; A11

When big-time Washington lawyer Gregory B. Craig picked up the portfolio of White House counsel for President-elect Barack Obama, he rightly expected he’d be on the cutting edge of big issues involving the separation of powers or other lofty legal matters.

It may not have occurred to him that he’d also be charged with stopping the commercial exploitation of his client’s image — the Obama can openers, Obama chocolate chip cookies, Obama chocolate bars and the like now on sale just about everywhere. And Craig is also the keeper of the official presidential seal, making sure it doesn’t get used on T-shirts or beer bottles contrary to White House policy or even federal law.

The counsel’s office for many years has been obliged to complain to businesses about the use of the presidential or White House seals on mugs and such. There’s even a federal criminal statute (18 USC 713) against improper use of the “likeness of the great seal of the United States,” or those of the Senate and House. Violators can be fined or even hit with six months in the slammer. Similar federal laws protect Smokey Bear, Woodsy Owl, the 4-H Club emblem and even the Swiss Confederation coat of arms.

Maybe you’ve been making a killing recently selling “Obama-endorsed” change purses. But as of

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By the way…..other politicians are having the same problem…check out this calendar …..other politicians have their likenesses used, too: