The presidential candidates have spent plenty of time introducing and debating their economic polices. For a short-term boost, they should look no further than their own names for help. They are being used to sell products that have nothing to do with the campaigns. And I suspect, in most cases, the gimmicks work quite well.

For the past few days, Medaterra in Woodley Park has been serving the Obama Rama Martini and the Sugar McCain, and advertising the drinks on a sidewalk sign. Both are on the normal menu. The Obama drink is a Banana Rum Martini, with banana liquor, vodka, and cranberry juice, and the McCain drink is fresh lemonade, Stoli and Cointreau.

I called up Medaterra to see how the drinks were selling. In short: good. Martini sales are up overall, estimates waitress Andrea Tehan. “Everyone keeps asking who’s winning,” she says, adding that staff have been monitoring the drinks sales and have noted that the Obama Rama Martini has outsold its Republican counterpart by a 4-1 ratio, despite the McCain drink being more popular under its normal name. Which is to say this entire thing is pretty dumb, and pretty smart from a business perspective.

This got me thinking. Who else has recently jumped on the campaign commerce bandwagon?

Jones Soda—-which created “Yes We Can Cola,” “Pure McCain Cola,” and “Capitol Hillary Cola”—- has a rousing introduction on its Campaign Cola 2008 webpage: “Welcome to Campaign Cola, the one and only website where you can vote for your candidate by purchasing their bottle of cola, regardless of age or residency.”

And Dave’s Gourmet, creator of dressings and snack foods, developed a line of spicy presidential sauces.

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