Entries in Debate (4)


Big Bird Costumes Fly Off Shelves After First Presidential Debate

Theo Wargo/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Last year’s hottest Halloween costume trend was the black swan, a dark feathery ballet costume intended to mimic Natalie Portman’s hit movie character.  This year, the hottest Halloween trend is a bird of a different color.

After Big Bird became part of last week’s presidential debate, Big Bird costumes are flying off the shelves.

When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke about cutting funds for PBS during last Wednesday’s debate, he said, “I love Big Bird."  (PBS airs and partially funds Sesame Street, which is Big Bird’s home.)

Since that moment, the 7-foot bird has been a hot topic of discussion, inspiring memes, parodies and even presidential campaign videos.  It has also apparently spurred a new Halloween costume craze.

A representative from told ABC News that although its original Big Bird costume sold out before the first presidential debate, it saw a 500 percent increase in sales for the women’s “sassy Big Bird adult costume” post-debate.  The “sassy” rendition of the beloved Sesame Street character is a short, yellow-ruffled dress with orange knee-highs and pink accents.  The costume comes complete with a bird headband.

According to Costume Craze, the Big Bird costume’s counterparts -- the sassy Cookie Monster and the sassy Elmo costume -- were selling at the same rate as Big Bird pre-debate but saw no significant sales increase since Romney’s avian name drop.  The store’s representative theorized to ABC News that “the 500 percent increase must be due to Big Bird’s increased popularity post-debate.”

Brad Butler, COO of Halloween Express, has also seen a surge in Big Bird interest in the past week.  Although it has not had a notable increase in sales (it is not licensed to sell the trademarked Big Bird costume), Butler told ABC News that since the debates, it has had more than 400 searches for a Big Bird costume on its site.  The company has also seen an increase in sales of its chicken costume, which resembles the Big Bird suit, and includes the feet and yellow pants.

Costume World's CEO and founder Marilynn Wick told ABC News that Big Bird was a hit.

“We have four store locations, and all of them are selling out of the Big Bird costumes,” Wick said.

The Austin, Texas, store is doing particularly well with the costume, probably because that area is primarily Democratic, mused a company rep.

Wick said that this year’s couples costume winners were Big Bird and Obama, as a pair, and its counterpart, Big Bird and Romney “with a machine gun doing Big Bird in.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Presidential Prize: Town Hall Attendees Could Win Free Pizza for Life

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With rising fuel prices driving up the cost of food -- and likely people to the polls this November -- Pizza Hut has announced a new contest that somehow encompasses both the economy and politics.

The company says any person attending the Oct. 16 televised town hall debate between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney who asks either candidate "pepperoni or sausage?" will score free pizza for life.

In a press release, Pizza Hut, which is backing its own electoral entity, The Pizza Party, says the question must be asked, "To assure America that the real issues being debated in households across the country every night aren't sidestepped by the candidates any longer."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Newt Gingrich In For Trump Debate – ‘Apprentice: The Presidency’

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is ready to participate in what he calls, “Apprentice: The Presidency” with Donald Trump.

Donald Trump will moderate a debate hosted by conservative magazine Newsmax in Des Moines, Iowa on Dec. 27. Gingrich is the only candidate to officially announce his participation so far. Both Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman declined.

“How could you turn down the Donald?” Gingrich said.

Gingrich said that while he enjoys debating, for him it’s about the entertainment.

“I would want to go just for the entertainment value. I can’t imagine [what] a debate hosted by Donald Trump will be like,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich plans to meet with Trump on Monday as several other candidates have already done. Gingrich said the meeting with Trump was already planned before the announcement of the debate last week.

Gingrich said he is “perfectly happy” to go to the debate since he will already be in town.

“It’s going to be in Iowa so it makes a lot of sense because we’re going to be in Iowa by that point,” Gingrich said. “In all seriousness, Trump is a unique American character. It would be like if Bill Gates called and said I’d like to host a debate.”

Gingrich will meet with Trump on Monday in New York City.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Politics at the Office: Passion or Foolishness?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Real estate agent Kristan Malin isn't shy about expressing her political views, especially at the office. The 47-year-old Tea Party supporter leads a team of four employees and, among them, she said conversations about subjects like taxes come up naturally. With midterm elections inciting political fervor across the country, attitudes like Malin's seem more common.

Deborah Weinstein, an employment lawyer and adjunct professor at Wharton Business School, said that, like it or not, workplaces now are often a venue for airing opinions on candidates and public policy. It's symptomatic, she said, of the increasingly casual nature of American workplaces.

But just because you can debate politics in the office, should you?

Employee-side labor attorney Donna Ballman says no. With the exception of government employees, she said, the law doesn't protect workers from being fired over political speech. Ballman said she's worked with at least three clients who suspected they were dismissed from their jobs for either supporting or opposing President Obama in the 2008 election.

"People are absolutely shocked that they have no First Amendment rights at work," she said.

Weinstein advises supervisors to diffuse political tensions by stressing that while everyone has their own ideas, they all have to work together.

"You're not going to get people to agree but you can lower the temperature," she said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio