The Obama merchandise sits prominently near the cash register of the store where whimsy (wind-up toys, unusual greeting cards) and craftwork (Japanese ceramics, an occasional small sculpture of Buddha) meet. In two months, Lopez figures she's sold almost all of the 100 Obama/Democrat buttons she was given. Lopez says customers annoyed by her partisanship seem "less hostile" this time around. When she first sold Obama promotional items four years ago, there was some "real nastiness," she says. She's since honed her response. Recently, when someone asked where the Romney buttons were, she deadpanned, "They sold out. They go fast. Ann Arbor is a bastion of Republicanism."
[Originally published in July, 2012.]