Throughout the recent presidential campaign and in the lead-up to Barack Obama’s inauguration, we have seen the rapid growth and eventual ubiquity of Obama kitsch.

Buttons for Obama
Buttons for Obama

From buttons to bunting, parade signs to panties, you can get pretty much anything these days with Obama’s face on it.

Though the people manufacturing Obama goodies are obviously in it to make money, many are wondering if their memorabilia might be worth something one day. It’s true, for example, that a Inauguration program booklet belonging to an aide of John F. Kennedy was recently sold for $300. Is your DC metro ticket with Obama’s face on it going to make you rich 40 years from now?

Well, it depends.

It mainly depends on the number of the items that exist. Since there are so many buttons, shirts and campaign posters, it’s unlikely that those kinds of things will fetch very much money if you try to sell them in 2058. With Obama kitsch, as with most everything, the laws of supply and demand do indeed set the price.

That’s why you could probably get quite a bit more money if you are selling something more rare. How about the Obama poster that hung in O-Force One? That’s not your average Obama poster, and is likely worth quite a bit more. Indeed the closer the kitsch was to Obama himself, the more it is probably worth.

The Inauguration program from JFK’s aide is worth $300 not because it was from the event, but because it was presumably right there on the platform and handled by people who intimately knew the president.