Vermont Teddy Bear now sells a charming “Bernie Bear,” designed to resemble newly minted presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. “A passionate, blunt speaker; he’ll quickly tell you, ‘I am not a circus Bear, I am not a dancing Bear, I am not a toy Bear.’ Arrives wearing a gray suit, white shirt, blue tie, glasses, campaign pin and iconic unruly hair. Handmade in Vermont, USA using the softest fur we can get our paws on and 100% recycled stuffing. Guaranteed for life. Receives free universal Bear Care at our Teddy Bear Hospital.”

Leaving aside the nightmare scenarios for teddy bears denied care because of pre-existing conditions (loose button?), this made me wonder what teddy bears for the other candidates might look like. As a famous Roosevelt once discovered, if you can sell the nation on a themed bear, you have the electorate in the bag.

Teddy Cruz: This lovable bear is the perfect fit for any tea party with your dolls. Teddy Cruz comes with a string you can pull that makes him filibuster. He will not stop until the government does.

Hillary Bear: This is a large opaque box that says on the label that it contains the Best Possible Bear. No reporters have been allowed to see or talk to the bear, but we have been assured that it is “just the bear you want” and “come on, what more do you need?” Reportedly comes accessorized with a BlackBeary, but, again, we haven’t seen the bear.

Rick Santorum Bear: Many people who ordered the Santorum Bear thought they were getting something different. Can accessorize with 2012 Culture Warrior No-Fun Pack or 2016 Economic Ideas That Make Limited Sense and Excite Nobody Super PACkage. Almost as popular as the Mitt Bear, which, er, is really not saying a whole lot.

Rand Paul, the Libeartarian: This adorable bear cub comes attached to Ron Paul Bear, and you cannot decouple them. Unlike the Ron Paul Bear, it comes with a tiny hawk perched on its shoulder to help it discuss foreign policy. Filibuster string also available. Ayn Rand aficionados can accessorize with a tiny train set, but that is on them and it is not officially licensed.

Bear Carson: This bear comes dressed in a renowned neurosurgeon outfit lest you ever forget for a single second that he is a renowned neurosurgeon. Warning: Opinions can be flammable.

Jeb Bear: Jeb Bear wishes that he were not named Jeb Bear. You can only order him as part of a set, but the trouble is that the other items of the set actually decrease the value of Jeb Bear. It’s weird.

Bearly Fiorbearna: Who asked for this bear?

Chris Grizzly: Chris Grizzly is not overweight. He’s plush. He is, however, overbearing and will growl at reporters. Comes with toy traffic cones.

Rick Bearry (Spectacled Bear): This bear is wearing glasses. See? Glasses! It is a totally different bear than the one you have seen before, and I bet it is very good at remembering lists with three items.

Mike Hugabee: This bear has an inexplicable vendetta against Beyoncé.

Teddy Graham: This is a pun on Sen. Lindsey Graham’s name. Did you know he was going to run? He’s running, apparently. Good for him.

Marco Rubeario: He’s young and bearismatic. Comes accessorized with a water bottle.

Bearah Palin: This is a Mama Grizzly. She is not running, but you can position her so it looks as though she is going to.

Pander Bear: This is a generic candidate bear for those as yet undecided. It opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership or has strong, angry feelings about social issues, depending on whether you get the Blue Pander or the Red Pander. The Pander Bear would not thrive in the wild and has difficulty reproducing on its own. It survives only because of our long sufferance. But, you know, it’s cute.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog at www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost.


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