August 14 , 2022 - People often ask me what is your favorite campaign button. For me what makes a campaign button most special is the experience of finding it at a flea market , campaign headquarters , political rally , antique store and in this instance a casino in Atlantic City , New Jersey.
In the summer of 2002 , the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City hosted an exhibit of John F. Kennedy memorabilia. While a casino might seem a strange location for a display of JFK artifacts its not that unusual. In addition to hosting top music acts to attract customers to the gaming tables , casinos sometimes have added attractions such as classic cars , movie costumes and props and in this case a display of items from the 35th President of The United States John F. Kennedy.
Upon arrival at the Tropicana I walked through the casino on my way to the Kennedy exhibit. To advertise upcoming events to be held in the casino , employees often wear promotional pinback buttons for sporting events , concerts and in this instance one for the Kennedy exhibit. I was hoping that perhaps the JFK exhibit would have a gift store selling the button , but no luck. This was a button that was not far sale and was available to only the casino employees.
Once I left the exhibit , I went back to the casino floor hoping maybe one of the employees would be willing to sell the button. I positioned myself in the center of the casino by a bar where there was plenty of foot traffic hoping to spot the Kennedy button.
Eventually a casino employee came by and after a brief negotiation I was able to acquire this very unusual John F. Kennedy campaign button. Now that I had the JFK button in my hands it was time for a closer examination.
The button , which measures two and a quarter inches in diameter , features a photo President Kennedy along with First Lady Jackie Kennedy on the White House balcony that was taken in 1961. The button also has quite a bit of information beginning around the red and blue curl with the words "The John F. Kennedy Presidential Exhibition." Then on the photo itself is printed "Over 400 Personal Items" and finally the location and name of the casino "Atlantic City Tropicana."
What a great find and what a great John F. Kennedy campaign button. The John F. Kennedy Atlantic City Tropicana Casino is now one my favorite buttons.
To see the JFK casino pinback and other Kennedy campaign buttons click on the following link: President John F. Kennedy Campaign Buttons
July 28 , 2022 - When your the Governor of California , the most populous state with 38 million people , any discussion of potential presidential candidates would have to include that person in the conversation. California Governor Gavin Newsom is often mentioned as potential White House aspirant.
Newsom won his first political office when in 1996 he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. In 2003 , he moved up the ladder of municipal politics when he was elected the Mayor of San Francisco. In 2010 , Newsom successfully ran state wide and was elected California Lt. Governor. Following 8 years as Lt. Governor , Newsom in a landslide was elected the 40th Governor of California in November 2018.
On September 14 , 2021 , Newsom faced a recall vote election. With 61% percent of voters voting NO on the recall , Newsom was easily able to defeat the attempted removal from office.
While President Joe Biden has stated that he plans to run for re-election in 2024 , should he not the list of candidates to replace him could be extensive with Newsom probably being one of them.
July 27 , 2024 - The runner up for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination , US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is a likely contender for 2024 given his strong name recognition. Cruz was first elected to the United States Senate in 2012.
On March 23 , 2015 , Cruz became the first candidate to enter the 2016 race for the GOP presidential nomination. He would go on to win the Iowa Caucuses on February 1 , 2016 with 28% of the vote compared with 24% for Donald Trump and 23% for Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. While Cruz would go on to win 10 more contests in wouldn't be enough to catch Trump who was victorious in 41 primaries and caucuses and finally captured the Republican Party presidential nomination.
In 2018 , Cruz successfully won re-election as US Senator from Texas. With 2024 looming it will be interesting to see if Cruz launches another White House bid.
July 25 , 2022 - While President Joe Biden has said that he plans to run for a second term , if he doesn't there are various Democrats who would explore a White House run including New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. First elected Governor in 2017 and re-elected in 2021 , Murphy brings a impressive resume to any potential presidential bid.
From 1982 to 2006 , Murphy worked at Goldman Sachs where he quickly rose to upper management positions before retiring as Senior Director. Murphy then became interested in politics and served as National Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2006 to 2009.
From 2009 to 2013 , Murphy acquired foreign policy experience when he served as the United States Ambassador to Germany under President Barack Obama. Following his term as Ambassador , Murphy returned to New Jersey to begin exploring an entry into electoral politics. In March of 2016 Murphy became the first candidate to enter the race for the Democratic Party nomination for New Jersey Governor which he would win in June of 2017. In November of 2021 , Murphy became the first Democratic New Jersey Governor re-elected in 44 years.
Should Biden not run in 2024 , Murphy certainly could be one of the potential candidates.
July 14 , 2022 - Today marks what would have been the 107th birthday of the 38th President of The United States , Gerald Ford. Typically on this page a series of historical events in the life of the subject in this instance , Gerald Ford , would be listed. Since your reporter once actually saw Ford in person , I thought it would be fun to share that memory.
The date was October 13 , 1976 and I was headed to my weekly 6:30 pm guitar lesson at a local music store on Route 22 in Union , New Jersey. Ford had spent the bulk of his day campaigning in New Jersey in the final stretch of his 1976 presidential campaign. Also in Union , New Jersey was a catering hall ,the Town and Campus , where Ford would end his day in the Garden State with a speech. Following this campaign event , Ford was on his way to Newark Airport , about 6 miles away.
As I arrived at the music store I saw that there was no traffic at all on the east bound side of Route 22 , which usually is quite busy at rush hour. Myself and other people in the parking lot went to look at the highway to see what was going on. With that probably about 500 yards away a police car with flashing lights began to lead President Ford's motorcade down the ramp onto the highway. Fortunately , drivers in the west bound lane slowly came to a stop to get a look at the unfolding scene.
With the traffic stopped , this allowed for myself and other lookers to cross into the highway up to the three-foot wall separating the east and west bound lanes. To greet as many potential voters as possible , Ford along with US Senator Clifford Case of New Jersey were visible to all as they were standing through the open moon roof of the presidential limo. Ford along with Case waved to the surprised people as the motorcade passed.
On a night when I thought I was on my way to just another Wednesday night guitar lesson , I got to see President Gerald Ford!
Now lets continue our birthday salute with some campaign buttons from Ford's 1976 race for The White House.