The Politics1 Auction #20
This Auction CLOSED
May 27, 2003 at 11:00 p.m. (Eastern)
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RENO (D-FL) 2002 - For Governor (Lost Primary) - 2¼" - Celluloid.
her or hate her, Janet Reno is one of the most identifiable
figures from the former Clinton Administration. She's already
made her mark in history as the first female US Attorney General
-- and as the longest ever serving Attorney General. Waco, Elian
-- even the regular spoofs of her on Saturday Night Live
-- all raised her profile higher. When no other big name Dems
were willing to take on incumbent Governor Jeb Bush (R) in 2002,
Reno jumped into the race. She started with a 60-point lead
for the nomination and nearly universal name identification
(although she also polled high negatives). However, her campaign
was hampered by her independence from party leaders (who worked
to sabotage her primary effort) and her half-hearted fundraising
efforts. Much of Reno's campaign focused on the gimmick of Reno
driving her red pickup truck around the state to meet voters.
In the end, Reno narrowly lost the primary in a upset to a wealthy
trial lawyer. This cute official pin was directly sold by Reno
staffers at events early in the primary campaign.
BUSH & DAN QUAYLE (R) 1988 - For President & Vice President
(Won) - 2" - Celluloid.
pin was produced by a NYC vendor and sold at various GOP events
during the fall campaign. After capturing the GOP nomination
over rivals Bob Dole, Jack Kemp and Pat Robertson, Vice President
George Bush selected conservative Indiana Senator Dan Quayle
as his VP runningmate. A strong economy -- and Bush's stature
as President Reagan's designated heir -- help push Bush to a
53% to 46% general election victory over Massachusetts Governor
Mike Dukakis (D). This official button features the main logo
used during the fall campaign. An unusual item for Bush collectors.
McCAIN (R) 2000 - For President (Lost for Nomination) - 2¾"
decorated Naval aviator and Vietnam War P.O.W., McCain first
came to national attention when he was selected to be the first
American POW released from North Vietnamese captivity in the
"Hanoi Hilton." In 1982, McCain was elected to an open seat
in Congress. In 1986, he easily won election to an open US Senate
seat. He breezed to easy re-election wins in 1992 and 1998.
In 1996, he was one of three finalists for the VP nomination
on Bob Dole's ticket. In his 2000 campaign, he emerged from
the crowded GOP pack to become George W. Bush's strongest rival.
McCain won key early upsets the New Hampshire and Michigan primaries
(among others), but his campaign was derailed with a solid defeat
in the bitter South Carolina primary. Since then, McCain has
maintained his outspoken independence on the national stage.
This is one of the few officially issued pins from the 2000
WILLKIE & CHARLES McNARY (R) 1940 - For President & Vice President
(Nominees) - 7/8" - Celluloid.
Indiana farm boy who became a wealthy and powerful Wall Street
attorney, Wendell Willkie had never held any political office
before running for President in 1940 (he only switched from
Democrat to Republican in 1939). Using a brilliant media campaign,
he captured the GOP nomination on the sixth ballot over better
known political figures. As the VP runningmate, the delegates
selected US Senate Minority Leader Charles McNary of Oregon.
Willkie's campaign against President Franklin Roosevelt focused
on the "No Third Term" theme. Willkie lost to FDR by a 55% to
45% vote. When World War II broke out, Willkie joined the Roosevelt
Administration as a US Ambassador-at-Large. Oddly, neither Willkie
nor McNary would have completed the term had they won -- as
both died a few months apart in 1944 (Willkie at age 52, McNary
at age 69).
C. WALLACE (D) 1972 - For President (Lost for Nomination) -
1 3/8" - Litho.
1972, populist Alabama Governor George Wallace was a major national
political figure -- having made his reputation as a fiery opponent
of integration, forced busing, and most liberal causes. After
an impressive third party bid for President in 1968, Wallace
ran for President as a Democrat in 1972. Wallace shocked the
nation, convincingly and unexpectedly winning the Florida primary.
Strong showings in the primaries in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania,
Tennessee and North Carolina made Wallace a frontrunner. While
campaigning in Maryland in early May, Wallace was shot and left
paralyzed in an assassination attempt. After the shooting --
although Wallace later won the Michigan and Maryland primaries
-- he never recovered enough to make a real run at the nomination
at the Democratic Convention. Wallace was re-elected Governor
in 1974, ran for President again in 1976 and -- after a political
hiatus and a series of emotional apologies to the black community
for his former views on racial issues -- was returned to the
Governorship again in 1982-86. He died in 1998. A union bug
is printed on the edge of this official Wallace pin.
CARTER (D) 1976 - For President (Won) - 1 1/8" - Litho.
is the original campaign button used when obscure peanut farmer
and former Georgia Governor Carter -- "Jimmy Who?" -- first
launched his campaign for President. Running a well-planned
campaign with an effective field organization and a post-Watergate
message of "I'll never lie to you," Carter surprised the pundits
and won the Iowa caucus. Primary victories in New Hampshire,
Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania
forced his most serious rivals from the race. A late "Stop Carter"
campaign from California Governor Jerry Brown also fell far
short. In the end, Carter won the nomination and defeated incumbent
President Gerald Ford (R) in the general election by a vote
of 50% to 48%.
B. CONNALLY (R) 1980 - For President (Lost for Nomination) -
2¾" - Celluloid.
Connally rose to prominence in both political parties. He began
his career as an aide to Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson. Later,
as a businessman and attorney, Connally earned a large fortune
from cattle and oil deals. As a Democrat, he served as President
Kennedy's Secretary of the Navy. Elected Texas Governor in 1962,
he was riding in the Presidential limousine in Dallas when JFK
was assassinated -- and was himself also seriously wounded by
one of Oswald's bullets. After recovering, Connally was re-elected
Governor in 1964 and again in 1966 by landslide margins. Striking
up a close friendship with President Nixon, Connally served
as Nixon's Treasury Secretary from 1971-72 -- when he resigned
to chair Democrats for Nixon. Connally switched to the GOP in
1973. When Spiro Agnew resigned as Vice President in 1973, Nixon
originally wanted to pick Connally as the new Vice President
(but ultimately selected House Minority Leader Gerald Ford as
a "safer" choice). Connally was highly touted as a
VP runningmate for President Ford in 1976, but again the call
never came. In 1980, Connally decided to run for President.
He spent a then-record breaking amount of $10 million before
the first primary took place. After a dismal sixth place finish
in New Hampshire and a distant second place finish in South
Carolina, Connally quit the race. He had won just one delegate
from Arkansas. This pin -- featuring the official campaign slogan/logo
-- is a remnant from the $10 million campaign.
RIDGE & MARK SCHWEIKER (R-PA) 1998 - For Governor & Lt. Governor
(Won) - 2¼" - Celluloid.
Governor Tom Ridge used this button in his successful re-election
campaign. A highly decorated Vietnam combat veteran and centrist
Congressman, Ridge was first elected Governor in a competitive
1994 race. By 1998, he was unstoppable -- and won this race
by a landslide margin. A close friend of George W. Bush, Ridge
made the final "short list" of possible Bush VP runningmates
in 2000. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, Bush named
Ridge to be the first Director of Homeland Security (and later
Secretary of Homeland Security). Many believe that move -- which
elevated Ridge's national stature -- also positioned Ridge to
be one of Bush's most likely successors in 2008. With an official
disclaimer printed on the face, this button should now be a
"must have" for GOP collectors. If Ridge becomes President someday,
this could also prove to be a very good investment.
DUKAKIS (D) 1988 - For President (Nominee) - 1¾" - Celluloid.
Governor Mike Dukakis started the 1988 race with low national
name recognition -- but with a strong campaign team with great
organizational strength. Others in the race included Dick Gephardt,
Jesse Jackson, Gary Hart, Al Gore, Bruce Babbitt, Joe Biden
and Paul Simon. This button -- the first official pin issued
by the Dukakis campaign -- was used during the early primary
season. His win in NH, followed by key wins in other primary
states, derailed his rivals one at a time. After the Democratic
Convention, Dukakis held a 16% lead in the polls over Vice President
George Bush (R). For inexplicable reasons, Dukakis ran a general
election campaign substantially less effective than his primary
effort and squandered his solid lead. In the end, he lost by
a 53% to 46% vote.
SHAPP (D) 1976 - For President (Lost for Nomination) - 1 1/8"
there was Joe Lieberman, there was Milt Shapp. Pennsylvania
Governor Milton Shapp made history in 1976 when he became the
first Jewish-American to seriously seek a major party Presidential
nomination. Shapp was a multi-millionaire cable television executive
when he was elected Governor in 1970 (his second try). Re-elected
in a landslide in 1974 over wealthy GOP businessman Drew Lewis,
Shapp decided to run for President. While respected, he was
never viewed as a first-tier frontrunner. Political reporters
openly speculated that Shapp was probably positioning himself
for appointment to a Presidential Cabinet post. Although he
entered the New Hampshire primary (9th place - 3%), he made
his real campaign push in Florida because of the large Jewish
community living there. A distant 4th place (3%) finish in Florida
-- behind Jimmy Carter, George Wallace and Scoop Jackson --
prompted Shapp to quit the race. He didn't win the Presidency
(he won only 88,000 votes) and didn't get selected for the Cabinet
... but Shapp still made his mark as a historical "first." An
official campaign disclaimer is printed on the edge of this
significant Jewish-related item.
PAUL (Libertarian) 1988 - For President (Nominee) - 1 5/8"
- Litho - Condition: slight scratches at edges.
Ron Paul served as a Republican Congressman from Texes from
1979-85, before losing the GOP Primary for US Senate in 1984.
Eventually, Paul left the GOP and joined the Libertarian Party
in 1987 -- not exactly surprising because his views were always
rather close to the LP's platform. Paul wanted to abolish the
IRS and ATF, restore the gold standard, legalize drugs, end
gun control, opposed foreign aid and interventionism, supported
free trade, etc. In 1988, Paul agreed to run as an LP candidate
for President and defeated Native American activist Russell
Means for the nomination. Obviously, Paul knew he would not
win but he waged an energetic campaign and captured 432,000
votes. In 1996, Paul -- though still libertarian in his views
-- returned to the GOP was was again elected to Congress (defeating
an incumbent in the primary). Still serving in Congress these
days, "Dr. No" is once again attacking the federal
government, ATF, etc., and helping the Libertarians ease ballot
KENNEDY (D) 1980 - For President (Lost for Nomination) - 1¾"
in 1979 feared that President Carter was so unpopular he could
not win re-election over likely GOP nominee Ronald Reagan. This
sentiment launched an authentic "Draft Ted Kennedy" movement
-- strongly backed by labor unions and liberal activists --
which eventually convinced Senator Kennedy to enter the race.
In the beginning, Carter won the early battles decisively. Kennedy
only won 37% in New Hampshire -- despite his "favorite son"
neighbor status. Poor showings in Florida and Illinois followed,
before Kennedy finally stated to gain momentum. He handily won
the New York and Connecticut primaries in a major upset. Important
primary victories in Pennsylvania, California and New Jersey
followed. By the end of primary season, Kennedy had won nearly
7 million votes. At the convention, Carter solidly defeated
Kennedy by a delegate vote of 2,123 to 1,150. Kennedy's stirring
concession speech at the convention ("The hope still lives,
and the dream shall never die.") was probably the highlight
of the entire gathering. This button was issued by the liberal
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) group -- one of the first
groups to back Kennedy.
S. LOOMIS (Progressive-WI) 1942 - For Governor (Won) - 7/8"
vintage button is a fantastic "locals" item for two
reasons: it is both a third-party item and a WWII item (note
the red national "V" for Victory symbol). In Wisconsin
politics of this era, the Republican Party and the Progressive
Party were the two stronger parties -- and the Democrats were
often relegated to third-party status. The Progressives -- in
the tradition of Robert LaFollette and Theodore Roosevelt --
were formed in 1934 when the liberal wing of the Republicans
splintered away. As Attorney General, Loomis had narrowly lost
his challenger race against incumbent Governor Julius Heil (R)
in 1940 by a margin of less than 1%. In 1942, Loomis was back
for a rematch. Running an energetic campaign, Loomis defeated
Governor Heil by a vote of 50% to 37% (with the feeble Democrat
capturing just 12%). In a ironic twist of fate, Loomis collapsed
and died on December 7, 1942 -- the first anniversary of the
Pearl Harbor attack -- less than a month before he was to scheduled
to take office. And, in 1946, the Progressives dissolved themselves
and rejoined the Republican Party (only to quickly lose control
of the GOP to the conservative faction). During their lifetime,
the Progressives had reformed election procedures, and established
liberal programs on taxation, welfare, business regulation,
conservation and labor relations. Although historians still
debate the wisdom of their reforms, they unanimously recognize
their enduring impact on the national political scene.
DAVIS (D-CA) 1998 - For Governor (Won) - 2½" - Celluloid.
sharp looking pin from embattled Governor Gray Davis' first
run for Governor was issued by the California Federation of
Teachers (there is a small disclaimer on the lower face). Davis
-- an attorney and Vietnam War veteran -- began his political
career as a top aide to then-Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA), before
himself being elected a State Assemblyman in 1982. In rapid
succession, he was elected State Comptroller in 1986, re-elected
in 1990, lost a US Senate primary in 1992, then elected Lieutenant
Governor in 1994. He won the 1998 gubernatorial contest by a
surprisingly comfortable margin. Then came the financial problems
and energy crisis which wrecked his popularity. Still, despite
his tremendously high disapproval rating, he managed to successfully
face-off in 2002 against a GOP opponent even less popular than
himself. Now, Davis is facing an organized recall drive to remove
him from office. The "No on 8" referred to a state
ballot question opposed by the labor unions. This is a very
uncommon item for locals collectors -- a really great California
McGOVERN & SARGENT SHRIVER (D) 1972 - For President & Vice President
(Nominees) - 1¼" - Celluloid.
button from the 1972 campaign features the Democratic "replacement
ticket" of McGovern & Shriver. Senator McGovern's anti-Vietnam
War campaign -- managed by a young Gary Hart and staffed largely
by lots of peace activist and hippie volunteers -- managed to
defeat the crowded field of early Democratic frontrunners for
the nomination. Then came the fiascos. First he couldn't find
anyone to run with him for VP -- nearly a dozen prominent Democrats
rejected McGovern's VP offer -- before finally settling on US
Senator Tom Eagleton of Missouri. Soon, the media revealed allegations
that Eagleton had previously been hospitalized for depression
and had undergone electro-shock therapy. After initially expressing
public support ("1000%") for his runningmate, McGovern
quickly forced Eagleton from the ticket a few weeks after the
close of the convention. After again being rejected by several
top Democratic names -- including Senator Ted Kennedy -- McGovern
finally selected Kennedy family in-law and former Peace Corps
director Shriver to be the new VP runningmate. In the end, McGovern
was no match for President Nixon -- losing 61%-38%. The McGovern-Shriver
ticket only carried one state: Massachusetts. McGovern went
on to lose his 1980 re-election race. Shriver lost a race for
President himself in the 1976 primaries -- and is probably best
known today as the father of TV morning news anchor Maria Shriver.
GOLDWATER (R-AZ) 1980 - For US Senate (Won) - 1 5/8" - Litho.
US Senator Barry Goldwater is the father of the modern conservative
movement in the Republican Party -- the man who paved the way
for the "Reagan Revolution." An outspoken anti-communist,
Goldwater ran an insurgent campaign that captured the 1964 GOP
nomination for President. When attacked for being "too
conservative," Goldwater responded with his famous convention
speech: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice
... moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."
After losing that race in a landslide to President Lyndon Johnson
(D), Goldwater returned to the Senate in 1968 -- winning re-election
then and in 1974 by comfortable margins. He went on to win one
last term in 1980 in a very competitive race before retiring
in 1996. Note the trademark Goldwater eyeglasses in the design.
Two union bugs are printed on the edge of this official Goldwater
pin from "the last campaign."
JEFFORDS (R-VT) 1994 - For US Senate (Won) - 2¼" - Celluloid.
2001, liberal Vermont US Senator Jim Jeffords was one of the
most obscure GOP members of the Senate. During his decades in
Washington, he had never once appeared on any of the Sunday
morning TV news programs. That obscurity ended when Jeffords
made history in May 2001 by abandoning the GOP to become an
Independent (and caucusing with the Democrats). For the first
time in US history, a party switcher shifted the balance of
power from one party to the other in a Congressional body --
as the Jeffords switch gave Tom Daschle and the Democrats control
of the Senate. To Democrats, Jeffords was now a courageous,
principled independent. To Republicans, he was a disloyal traitor
(who was just re-elected as a Republican in November 2000).
In either case, he earned his place in history -- and so has
this official 1994 button from this Green Mountain State politician.
A nice pin ... as official Jeffords items have always been rather
hard to find!
LOTT (R-MS) 1994 - For US Senate (Won) - 3/4" - Tie Tac Pin.
campaign buttons in general are hard to come by -- and that
certainly holds true for campaign items issued by former Senate
Republican Leader Trent Lott. This scarce tie-tac is one of
only two official "Lott for Senate" campaign pins
printed to date. A conservative former congressional aide, Lott
served 16 years in Congress and rose to power as the House Minority
Whip from 1980-88. Despite his seniority in the House, Lott
gave it up to run for (and win) a vacant Senate seat in a competitive
1988 contest. Through his organizational skills and conservative
networking, he again joined the ranks of the Senate Leadership
-- first as Majority Whip (1994-96) and then by succeeding Bob
Dole as Majority Leader in 1996 (serving until the Dems grabbed
control in mid-2001). When the GOP recaptured Senate in the
2002 elections, Lott was poised to return to the top before
his controversial Strom Thurmond comments appeared to be an
endorsement of the failed past policy of segregation. Despite
repeated apologies, Lott was forced to surrender his leadership
post in December 2001.
FORD & BOB DOLE (R) 1976 - For President & Vice President (Nominees)
- 1½" - Litho.
Ford was America's first entirely "unelected" President. Sure,
Vice Presidents had become President in the past -- but they
had at least each been elected VP. Not Ford. In 1973, President
Nixon selected US House Minority Leader Ford to replace former
Vice President Spiro Agnew (who resigned in a bribery scandal).
When Nixon himself resigned in 1974, Ford then moved into the
Oval Office. Ford's disapproval ratings rose sharply when he
pardoned Nixon for Watergate (an action that ssubsequently earned
Ford a Profile in Courage medal from the JFK Library)
-- and suffered more during a lengthy economic recession. A
GOP centrist, Ford had to overcome a divisive nomination fight
from the conservative wing of the party (he narrowly defeated
Ronald Reagan at the convention). Post convention, Ford trailed
former Governor Jimmy Carter (D) in all the polls by a wide
margin -- but he narrowed the gap considerably in the closing
weeks. Ultimately, the Ford-Dole ticket lost by a surprisingly
close vote of 50% to 48%. Ford has suggested he may have won
if he had just had one more week to campaign against Carter.
This nicely designed Ford-Dole button -- with the official disclaimer
on the curl ("The President Ford Committee - James A Baker III
Chairman") -- was the main button used throughout the general
MAILER & JIMMY BRESLIN (D-NY) 1969 - For New York City Mayor
& City Council President (Lost Primary) - 1 3/8" - Celluloid.
-- a Pulitzer Prize winning author and acclaimed journalist
-- has been a prominent figure on the New York literary scene
for decades. Often, as with Armies of the Night and many
of his non-fiction magazine articles, his writing focused upon
current events and politics. A colorful, beligerent, egotistical
and outspoken figure, Mailer decided to jump into the crowded
Democratic race for New York City Mayor in 1969. Adding more
celebrity power to the ticket, Mailer selected newspaper columnist
Jimmy Breslin as his runningmate for Council President. Liberal
John Lindsay (R) had been elected Mayor in 1965, ending decades
of Democratic control at Gracie Mansion. By 1969, the Democrats
wanted to retake the office and had a field of several major
mayoral candidates. Quickly labeled a joke by the media, Mailer's
campaign responded with a colorful slogan: "The other guys are
the joke!" By primary election day, Mailer was calling for NYC
to become the 51st state and using buttons emblazoned with slogans
like "Power to the neighborhoods!" It didn't work, as Mailer
finished fourth place with 5% of the vote. In the race for Council
President, Breslin finished a few points better than his mayoral
runningmate. Incumbent John Lindsay -- who lost for renomination
to a conservative challenger in an upset in the GOP primary
-- went on to win re-election as the Liberal Party nominee by
a 7-point margin over the conservative Democratic nominee. A
fantastic collector's item -- for both political junkies and
SALTONSTALL & HORACE CAHILL (R-MA) 1944 - For US Senator & Governor
(Won & Nominee) - 1" - Litho.
nice, vintage locals item from the 1940s. This pin featured
the team of Massachusetts Governor Leverett Saltonstall for
US Senate and Lieutenant Governor Horace Cahill for Governor.
While 1944 was generally a Democratic year, GOP Saltonstall
captured 64% to win in a landslide. "Salty" served in the Senate
until his retirement in 1966. Cahill was not as fortunate, losing
the gubernatorial race to Boston Mayor Maurice Tobin (D) by
a vote of 53% to 46%.
REAGAN (R) 1980 - For President (Won) - 3½" - Celluloid.
attractive large button, featuring a nice Reagan picture, would
make a great part of any complete Reagan collection. In the
primaries, Reagan easily dispatched George Bush, Howard Baker,
John Connally, Phil Crane and other GOP notables. Reagan went
on to win the 1980 general election in an electoral vote landslide
over incumbent President Jimmy Carter (D) and ex-GOP Congressman
John Anderson (Independent) -- and generating strong enough
coattails to help the GOP capture control of the US Senate for
the first time since the 1950s. A sharp-looking pin.
CLINTON & AL GORE (D) 1992 - For President & Vice President
(Won) - 1 5/8" - Litho.
'92 Clinton-Gore button bears the official general election
campaign logo. It was distributed by the campaign to supporters
nationwide (along with some special literature and videotaped
instructions) to enable supporters to quickly respond to GOP
attacks with Letters to the Editor, calls to radio talk shows,
etc. This official campaign pin carries a union bug on the edge.
CAL HOLLIS & ERIC CHESTER (SOCIALIST) 1996 - For President &
Vice President (Nominees) - 2¼" - Celluloid.
Cal Hollis -- a special ed teacher -- had a long record of activity
for many years on behalf of various leftist, peace and vegetarian
causes. She was also the National Co-Chair of the Socialist
Party-USA in 1994-98. Hollis' runningmate on the 1996 SP-USA
ticket was college professor Eric Chester, a union and peace
activist from the left-wing faction within the party. The Hollis-Chester
ticket performed terribly -- the worst ever in SP-USA history
-- earning ballot status in just five states and capturing only
4,300 votes. Chester lost for the SP-USA Presidential nomination
in 2000 -- while Hollis was the party's VP nominee in 2000.
Now, in an interesting twist on this button, Hollis and Chester
are currently the two leading rival candidates each seeking
the SP-USA Presidential nomination for 2004. The red carnation
on the button is the symbol of the SP-USA. This official pin
is a really nice third party collectible.
MOSELEY BRAUN (D-IL) 1992 - For US Senator (Won) - 2" -
have lost her re-election race in 1998, but Carol Moseley Braun
already guaranteed her place in history as the first (and only)
black woman to ever serve in the US Senate. Before running for
the Senate, Braun was an attorney, a state representative and
the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. In the '92 Democratic primary,
she defeated incumbent Senator Al Dixon in a shocking 38% to
35% upset (a wealthy, third candidate -- who ran lots of TV
spots attacking Dixon -- captured 27%). She went on to defeat
a former Reagan aide by a wide 53% to 43% margin. In the Senate,
Braun quickly compiled a liberal record and committed many political/ethical
gaffes -- helping to ensure her narrow 1998 defeat. This official
button, however, is from the 1992 high point of her landmark
political career. Braun is back in 2004 as a candidate for President.
J. BUCHANAN (R) 1992 - For President (Lost for Nomination) -
2¼" - Celluloid.
bolting to the Reform Party in 2000, TV commentator Pat Buchanan
had been a lifelong Republican. A pro-life social conservative,
this controversial former Nixon speech writer and Reagan communications
director made his first run for President in 1992. Arguing that
President Bush had backed tax hikes and abandoned conservative
values, Buchanan challenged Bush in the GOP primaries. Advocating
an "America First" trade policy, Buchanan repeated bashed Bush
for the nation's economic recession. An aloof Bush complacently
ignored the seriousness of the Buchanan challenge for far too
long. Caught off guard in the New Hampshire primary by Buchanan's
"Pitchfork Brigade," Bush defeated Buchanan by a surprisingly
close 53% to 37% vote (with 10% going to other minor candidates).
The underfinanced Buchanan claimed victory -- gleefully noting
that nearly half of the GOP primary voters in the Granite State
voted against Bush. Buchanan stayed in the race throughout the
primary season -- even though Bush easily won every subsequent
contest -- and went on to gave his famous "America is in a cultural
war" speech at the 1992 national convention. This official button
displays the main logo of the Buchanan '92 campaign.
UDALL (D) 1976 - For President (Lost for Nomination) - 1¼"
Congressman Morris K. "Mo" Udall joked towards the end of his
1976 Presidential bid that he should be known as "Second-Place
Mo." Bright, respected, good-natured and funny, Udall tried
to parlay his liberal views and close ties to labor unions into
a successful race for the White House. When fellow liberal candidates
Bayh, Harris and Shriver faded very quickly, Udall hoped to
unite liberal voters behind his effort to win the nomination.
Udall finished second in New Hampshire (23% -- only 5 points
behind Carter), second in Massachusetts (18%), 5th in Florida
(2%), second in Wisconsin (36% -- one point behind Carter),
second in Michigan (43% -- 0.3% behind Carter), second in Ohio
(21%) ... for a total of over 1.6 million votes. At the convention,
Udall finished a distant second with 329 delegate votes to Carter's
2,238. Stricken with Parkinson's Disease, Udall retired from
Congress in 1992 and died in December 1998. Official campaign
disclaimer on the button's edge. FYI: Udall's son Tom was elected
to Congress from New Mexico in 1998.
H.W. BUSH (R) 1980 - For President (Lost for Nomination) - 1
3/8" - Celluloid.
pin comes from George H.W. Bush's failed 1980 primary campaign
for President. Back in 1980, Bush was pro-choice and attacked
opponent Ronald Reagan's economic plans as "voodoo economics."
Despite being a former Congressman, Ambassador to China, Ambassador
to the United Nations, CIA Director and Republican National
Chairman -- thus prompting his slogan of "A President We Won't
Have to Train" -- Bush was not seen as an early frontrunner
in 1980. He surprised the experts, defeating Reagan, John Connally,
Howard Baker and the others in an major upset in the Iowa Caucuses.
Reagan came back strong and defeated Bush in New Hampshire a
few weeks later. Within a month, Bush's campaign folded. Despite
the mutual hard feelings remaining from the primary campaign,
Reagan picked Bush to be his VP runningmate -- saving Bush from
obscurity and placing him on the road to the Oval Office as
ROBINSON (Green-IA) 2002 - For Governor (Nominee) - 2¼" - Celluloid.
is a great third party item from the most recent election cycle.
Robinson -- a librarian and organic farmer -- headed the Green
Party ticket in Iowa. And -- in case you're trying to figure
out what the graphics represent -- the answer: grassroots. Robinson
placed third with just under 15,000 votes (1.4%). This rare
button was manufactured by the campaign and sold directly from
the party headquarters.
D. "IKE" EISENHOWER (R) 1952 - For President (Won) - 7/8" -
1952, both parties tried to draft retired 5-star Army General
"Ike" Eisenhower for President. Ultimately, Ike decided to run
as a Republican -- and defeated conservative Senate GOP leader
Bob Taft for the nomination. The slogan on this button seems
an early variant of what eventually became the "I LIke Ike"
pins. Americans clearly liked Ike, as Eisenhower was easily
elected President over Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson (D)
in a 55%-44% vote.
HART (D) 1984 - For President (Lost for Nomination) - 1½" -
Senator Gary Hart's "new ideas" campaign catapulted him from
the back of the pack to first tier status early in the 1984
race. He scored a major upset, winning the New Hampshire primary
over frontrunner and former Vice President Walter Mondale. Although
Hart went on to win numerous other primaries (including many
of the "Super Tuesday" states), arcane party delegate selection
rules strongly favored Mondale -- as Hart finished in second
place at the Democratic National Convention (1,200 delegates
- 31%). Hart retired from the Senate in 1986 in order to concentrate
on the 1988 Presidential race -- although womanizing problems
in 1987 quickly derailed frontrunner Hart's second run. After
a lengthy hiatus from electoral politics, he was back again
making a third White House run in 2004 (but dropped out in May
2003). A sharp-looking button with an official campaign disclaimer
printed on the edge.
NIXON & SPIRO AGNEW (R) - 1973 Inauguration - 3½" - Celluloid
- Condition: Slight edge scuffs (as shown).
1973 Inauguration -- coming on the heels of the biggest Presidential
election landslide win in US history -- was clearly the Nixon
Administration's high point of the next two years. Just ten
months later, Vice President Agnew -- pictured on the right
-- would resign and plea no contest to a felony criminal tax
evasion charge related to bribes and kickbacks he accepted as
Maryland Governor. Ten months after Agnew resigned, the Watergate
scandal would force Richard Nixon to become the first President
to ever resign. This historic button is a nice symbol of the
tragically doomed second Nixon Administration.
REAGAN (R) 1976 - For President (Lost for Nomination) - 1¼"
retiring as California Governor in 1974, GOP conservative Ronald
Reagan made a second run for President in 1976 (his first run
was in 1968). Challenging incumbent President Gerald Ford --
a moderate -- for the GOP nomination, Reagan called for a Republican
return to the conservative values emphasized by his political
mentor, Senator Barry Goldwater. In the beginning, few thought
Reagan had any serious chance of derailing Ford's renomination.
The pundits received a serious shock in the New Hampshire primary,
as Reagan came within 2% of defeating Ford. Reagan made another
major push in Florida, finishing second again with 47%. After
a poor finish in Illinois, Reagan finally won an upset primary
victory in North Carolina. Reagan went on to win primaries in
Georgia, Indiana, California and six other states. Reagan battled
Ford all the way through the convention, ultimately losing the
nomination to Ford by a close floor vote of 1,187 to 1,070 --
but paving the way for Reagan's 1980 victory. A nice vintage
MINETA (D-CA) 1988 - For Congress (Won) - 2" - Flexible Magnet.
elected to Congress in 1974, Norm Mineta represented the wealthy
Silicon Valley area. He rose in seniority over the years, ultimately
chairing the influential House Public Works & Transportation
Committee during his final two year in the House. He resigned
in 1995 to become VP of a large defense contractor. In 1997,
he joined the Clinton Administration as Secretary of Commerce.
When President Bush took office in 2001, he invited Mineta to
serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Transporation. It was in
that capacity that Mineta ordered the grounding of all aircraft
on September 11, 2001 in the the minutes after the terrorist
attacks. Mineta remains the only Democrat serving in the Bush
Cabinet. This magnet -- an official campaign giveaway -- is
a hard-to-find item for this two-time Cabinet Secretary.
MACK (R-FL) 1994 - For US Senate (Won) - 3" - Celluloid.
III -- grandson of the legendary Philadelphia Athletics baseball
team manager/owner Connie Mack -- started his career as a banker
before turning to politics. In 1982, he was elected to Congress
at age 40. In the House, Mack was an early Newt Gingrich ally
and a strong advocate of supply-side economics. Mack ran for
US Senate in 1988 on the slogan of "Less Taxes, Less Spending,
Less Government, More Freedom" -- and defeated Congressman
Buddy MacKay (D) by a narrow 0.8% margin (provided almost entirely
by absentee ballots). In 1994, he easily won re-election by
a 71%-29% margin over attorney Hugh Rodham (Hillary Rodham Clinton's
brother). Mack's political star seems to still be on the rise,
as he was one of two finalists on Bob Dole's short-list for
the VP nomination in 1996. The telegenic Mack surprised many
with his 2000 retirement -- but his son Connie Mack IV was elected
to the Florida House the same year (and is positioning himself
to soon run for Congress).
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[ Return to Top of Page ]
"celluloid" button is a campaign button assembled
from a metal shell and pin, containing a printed paper or
image, and covered in a transparent, thin celluloid
(plastic-like) coating. A "litho" (or lithograph)
is a metal pin where the design is printed directly onto the
metal (without any plastic-like coating) and the button is
then stamped and shaped (cut) by a die. A "tab" is a flat metal button wherby the thin upper arm portion is intended to be bent backwards in order for the pin to be worn. A "vendor"
button is one produced by a private vendor independently of
the campaign and, typically, was sold contemporaneously at
various campaign events. A "reserve bid" is one whereby the bidder states (for example) "My bid on item 10-6 is $5 but if someone tops it, then make my bid $9" or "My bid on item 10-6 is $5 but if someone tops it, then keep raising my bid by the minimum amount until you reach $20."
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