Wearing politics on your face: It's cheaper if your candidate is losing

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Halloween costumes are always a difficult decision; while the right choice can make you the hit of the party, the wrong choice could lead neighborhood children to avoid your house, cause you endless embarrassment at parties, and could even lead to arrest.

One solution is to go with a political-themed costume. After all, the combination of a business suit and a latex mask makes it possible to navigate almost any social situation: if people like your candidate, you're completely golden. If they don't, you can always claim that your costume is actually a parody, which should be able to smooth things over.

As the election gets closer and closer, some political masks have become hot items and others have lingered on the shelves. As various pundits have noted, the popularity (and thus price) of Halloween masks is hardly a scientific measure of the popularity of a candidate, but it does seem to give a glimpse into the public's political interests at the moment.

For example, while John McCain and Barack Obama masks are both holding steady at $14.99, Hilary Clinton has dropped to $7.99, and Rudy Giuliani is going for $8.99. To be honest, however, it's possible that some consumers have confused his visage with that of Gollum, or are working on assembling a vintage Adlai Stevenson costume.

Ironically, George Bush masks are going for an impressive $17.99, while George Bush wigs are a dollar more. Bill Clinton masks are $14.99, although the most popular former President remains John F. Kennedy, whose mask fetches a princely $18.99.

Interestingly, the most popular politico is Sarah Palin, whose mask is going for $29.99. To be honest, however, many purchasers expressed wonder that they managed to find a mask of "that chick from 30 Rock."

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. Last year, he went as Lenin, mostly because he didn't have to wear a mask.

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