Jeb Bush has been bearing the brunt of internet scorn for selling a product on his web store called the “Guaca Bowle”, a $75 guacamole bowl with a 3-week delivery time, pitched with the following enticing copy:
Jeb and Columba love whipping up guacamole on Sunday Funday. Now, you can get in on the act with this ‘Guaca Bowle.’
Who would not want to get in on that act?
I was curious to find out what other presidential candidates had up for offer, so I wrote a program that scrapes every product on all the candidates’ web stores. Sorting those products by price immediately reveals some interesting items. For example, Rand Paul has the most expensive product across all of the stores: a $1000 autographed U.S. constitution (he has a whole section devoted to things he’s autographed).
At a basic level, all political campaign websites (even the ones without physical items for sale) are e-commerce sites: their entire purpose is to get you into a financial transaction. And like any website that tries to sell you something, the written content can be seen as extraneous filler text, largely serving to decorate the products on offer.
The “Guaca Bowle” might be overpriced and mostly useless, but at least you’ll get a dumb guacamole bowl out of the transaction. Contrast this with a regular cash donation, for which you’ll receive exactly zero dumb bowls.