After Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia gubernatorial campaign released a social media campaign pointing out Glenn Youngkin’s role in purchasing Taylor Swift’s master recordings back in 2019, the Democratic Party of Virginia recently started selling a line of “Swifties Against Youngkin” merchandise, which included hoodies, mugs, and buttons emblazoned with the phrase in bright pink. This morning, the Twitter account belonging to the Democratic Party of Virginia pointed followers to the new items: “tis the damn season to get your swifties against youngkin merchandise,” the tweet read, with a link to its online store.
But then the merchandise was yanked from the website with no explanation. At first, the products disappeared but there was still a category listed for “Swifties Against Youngkin” items. Later, that too was scrubbed from the site. The Democratic Party of Virginia’s tweet about the products was also deleted.
So what happened? At the moment, it’s a mystery. A spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Virginia declined to comment, and Taylor Swift’s publicist has not yet responded to our queries.
Youngkin was previously the co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, which funded the purchase of Swift’s master recordings, though a Youngkin rep says that he was not personally involved in the deal. Swift has been very public about her dissatisfaction with the situation, to the point where she has been re-recording her first six studio albums so fans can listen to versions that belong to her. She released “Taylor’s Version” of the 2008 album Fearless this past April, and is putting out her version of the 2012 album Red next month. McAuliffe’s campaign has been trying to use Swift-fan ire against Youngkin through its digital campaign, as well as tweeting out references to Swift songs and coopting the hashtag #WeStandWithTaylor.