Campaign Briefing

Campaign Insider.

Business is booming for Tony Baltes, Obama's king of swag

It was supposed to be a small project. When Tony Baltes won the contract to manufacture Barack Obama's campaign merchandise in January, he imagined a few T shirts, maybe some buttons. While driving to his company's headquarters in Greenville, Ohio, hours after Obama announced his presidential run, Baltes checked in with the operators of his website. "Any orders yet?" he asked, expecting maybe a dozen. The answer shocked him: "Four thousand."

And they kept coming, at a rate of 1,000 an hour through the weekend. Baltes, 58, who owns...

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