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What Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Can Learn from Etsy

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”> Hillary Clinton’s unofficial campaign slogan is already here, and it’s on needlepoint. For $25, you can buy a full-color needlepoint of the phrase “Bitches Get Stuff Done” on Etsy, a website where crafters sell their wares. Or, if you prefer, you can buy a more subdued blue-and-white needlepoint with the same phrase. Or you can get it on a hand-painted wine glass, handmade coffee mug, letterpress print, notecard, hand-drawn pin or even a large block of wood. The phrase is just one of many associated with Clinton among the handmade feminist and political paraphernalia for sale on Etsy. There’s also: “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world.” And: “If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle.” And: “Hillary 2016: Good things come to those who wait.” And even: “Sì Sì Hillary.” None are as popular, though, as “Bitches Get Stuff Done,” a phrase that has broken free of its origins in a pro-Hillary sketch on “Saturday Night Live.” But while it’s become an all-purpose feminist slogan, many of the Etsy sellers told TIME that they were well aware of its links to Clinton, whose likely candidacy in 2016 they support with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Lia LaneA Hillary Clinton pin for sale on Etsy, made by Lia Lane. You may not remember where the phrase originated, so here’s a refresher. It was February of 2008, Clinton was battling with Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. “Saturday Night Live,” which had been off the air due to a writer’s strike, returned to the air with a vengeance. In an episode packed with political sketches, former SNL writer Tina Fey stole the show with a riff about why feminists should support Clinton’s candidacy: “Maybe what bothers me the most is that people say that Hillary is a bitch. Let me say something about that: Yeah, she is. … You know what? Bitches get stuff done. That’s why Catholic schools use nuns as teachers and not priests.” San Diego resident Renee Rominger was watching that night and she was struck by the phrase. “It always stuck with me,” she said in an email to TIME. “I’ve always loved and admired Amy (Poehler) and Tina as strong and intelligent women so to see them put it out straight like that was great. Especially because they used the term ‘bitch’ since it’s used to put down strong women.” Rominger, who runs a shop on Etsy called MoonriseWhims that’s heavy on Lisa Simpson, Liz Lemon and girl power slogans like “Ovaries Before Brovaries,” soon added the phrase to her stable of feminist slogans. Though it’s not as popular as, say, her “Cats Against Cat Calls” patch, she expects to sell more as 2016 approaches and excitement builds for Clinton’s as-yet-unannounced campaign. She and other Etsy sellers of Clinton-related paraphernalia generally say they aren’t unreserved fans, but they all said they admired her tenacity and were excited by the prospect of a female presidential candidate. Kristen MyersA Hillary Clinton greeting card for sale on Etsy, made by Kristen Myers. Kristen Myers, a fine arts student in New York, sells a matte finish greeting card with her own phrase: “I love you almost as much as I love Hillary Clinton” for $4 on her Etsy shop, alongside cards with sayings such as “That took ovaries!!!!!” “Congrats on your student loan debt” and “You’re really good at making pancakes.” She said the Clinton card is the best-selling of a rather small shop, having sold 54 notecards and one print. “I am in many ways a fan of Hillary Clinton, though I wouldn’t say I support her without a degree of skepticism,” she said in an email. “Some of her policies I like, some I don’t like, but I definitely admire her tenacity in the face of all that she has to put up with as such a visible, high-profile woman politician.” For now, Clinton paraphernalia on Etsy remains a small but noticeable trend. Because of her name recognition, her impending campaign and the website’s demographics (80 percent of shop owners are women and they tend to be college-educated), Clinton is easily outpacing her likely 2016 rivals in unofficial merchandise. Justin RothshankHillary Clinton mug for sale on Etsy, made by ceramic artist Justin Rothshank. But Justin Rothshank, an Indiana resident who sells handmade coffee mugs on his Etsy shop featuring custom ceramic decals of various presidents and a handful of first ladies, senators and Supreme Court justices, says it’s probably too soon to tell how well Hillary Clinton merchandise will do. “I wouldn’t say that Hillary is a big seller, but … I’ve found that all political figures sell well during election seasons, and not that well the rest of the time,” he said in an email. “Except Abe Lincoln. He’s popular all the time.” […]

Witness This British Politician Crash and Burn in a Live Interview

A warning for anyone with a crippling fear of freezing up while public speaking or being interviewed: This gets awkward. U.K. Green Party leader Natalie Bennett appeared on a London radio station Tuesday to unveil her party’s manifesto ahead of the country’s general election in May. Although the Green Party currently exists on the margins of national politics in the U.K., with just one elected member of parliament, it has big proposals to introduce a universal welfare payment or “citizen’s income” of 72 pounds ($111) a week, and to build 500,000 housing units. The problem came when the interviewer, Nick Ferrari of London broadcaster LBC, asked how her party proposed to pay for all those new homes. Her answer—that it would remove tax breaks for private landlords—did not satisfy her interlocutor, who pressed the question as British interviewers tend to do. And that’s when things began to get excruciating: Ferrari: The cost of 500,000 homes, let’s start with that. How much would that be? Bennett: “Right, well, that’s, erm… you’ve got a total cost… erm… that we’re… that will be spelt out in our manifesto. Ferrari: So you don’t know? Bennett: No, well, err. Ferrari: You don’t, ok. So you don’t know how much those homes are going to cost, but the way it’s going to be funded is mortgage relief from private landlords. How much is that worth? Bennett: Right, well what we’re looking at with the figures here. Erm, what we need to do is actually… uh……… we’re looking at a total spend of £2.7… billion. Ferrari: 500,000 homes, £2.7billion? What are they made of, plywood? Bennett later apologized for suffering a “mind blank” during the LBC interview. “I am very happy to confess that and I am very sorry to the Green Party members who I did not do a very good job representing our policies on,” she said. “That happens, I am human.” The entire interview can be heard on LBC, if you dare. […]