It’s still absurdly early in the 2020 election cycle, and most campaigns are still barely off the ground. But Elizabeth Warren might have already won the Corny Campaign Merchandise championship with this gem.
The inscription, of course, harkens back to the phrase “nevertheless, she persisted,” uttered by Mitch McConnell after he tried to silence Warren during former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearings. The quote was quickly co-opted as a feminist rallying cry. It became the subject of tattoos and Women’s March signs as the verbal embodiment of an empowered woman standing up to racist patriarchal power.
And now it’s on a cat collar.
Of all the items in her shop, Warren’s “purr-sist” collar represents her perfectly. It’s dorky and a little shameless, capitalizing on one of her most memorable moments in national politics. It’s also just clever and sweet enough to remind you that Warren means well.
The cat collar is sold alongside a “Consumer Watchdog” dog collar, an equally silly pet accessory. No one should reasonably pay $23 for a pet collar. The value is in the novelty. Warren, like any social media user, understands the power of dogs and the internet. Her golden retriever Bailey has been a regular throughout her early campaign—and he’s got his own merch, too.
Candidates sell merchandise that reflect who they are, for better or worse. It’s designed to raise money, but it winds up serving as a visual rendering of the candidate themselves. Next to Warren’s pet accessories, she offers an apron with a fairly dark message: “If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu.” Like Warren, it’s a little wordy and somewhat contrived. And it’s so corny people just might buy it.