Leading the Drudge report Tuesday afternoon is a story from a Cleveland radio station’s website that questions the “coincidence” of the Barack Obama campaign’s hooded-sweatshirt sale with the timing of the fury over the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
An Obama campaign official told Business Insider in an email that the sale had absolutely nothing to do with Trayvon Martin, and that the campaign sold hoodies as far back as Obama’s original campaign in 2008.
“We did sell some version of a sweatshirt with a hood in 2008,” the official said.
Late Tuesday morning, the Obama campaign Twitter handle @Obama2012 tweeted out a message advertising a hoodie sale. “Let everyone know whose team you’re on for 2012 with today’s merchandise steal: the college-style hooded sweatshirt,” the tweet read.
Martin, of course, was wearing a hoodie when he was shot and killed by neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera blamed the hoodie for being as much responsible for Martin’s death as Zimmerman.
Even before Rivera’s comments, many prominent lawmakers and celebrities started wearing hoodies as a rallying cry for Martin. Everyone from six New York State lawmakers to the entire Miami Heat team has used the sweatshirt as a symbol of support following the uproar over the circumstances surrounding Martin’s death.
So when the Obama campaign tweeted its “merchandise steal,” the conspiracy train naturally started up. Twitchy, the site owned and run by conservative pundit Michelle Malkin, was probably the first, putting up a post not 10 minutes after the Obama campaign’s tweet that asked whether the campaign was attempting to capitalise off Martin’s death.
“@Obama2012 is pushing hoodies today. Hmmm. You have to wonder about the timing … subtlety is not exactly Obama’s strong suit,” the Twitchy post read.
Another conservative website, The Gateway Pundit, wrote that the Obama campaign “just started selling hoodies on their website.” Then again, the sale from the regular price would probably suggest that they had probably been around before.
Photo: Romney for President Store/Screencap
For what it’s worth, Obama is not the only presidential candidate selling a hooded sweatshirt. Here, Mitt Romney’s campaign advertises the “Believe in America” zip-up hoodie.
Let’s hope this becomes a debate topic in the fall.
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