Monday, October 24, 2016

Campaign collectibles from a calmer time: 'Just one life between that madman and the presidency'

I collect campaign memorabilia and have some fun pieces. To help distract from the dumpster fire we're dealing with this year, I thought I'd share a different item each day through the election and talk about nicer times.

One of my favorite pieces is this 1900 pin with President William McKinley and his running mate, Theodore Roosevelt.

TR had been governor of New York and already a national hero -- and the state's political machine had no use for his reforming and energetic, independent ways. The only solution was to bury him in an office where they believed he'd be unable to do anything -- the vice presidency of the United States.

The president reluctantly accepted him on the ticket, prompting McKinley mentor Mark Hanna to famously exclaim, "Don't you realize there's just one life between that madman and the presidency?"

Six months after his inauguration, McKinley was assassinated and Roosevelt, at 42, because the nation's youngest chief executive. 

The presidency has never been the same.

It's also worth noting that even 116 years ago, we were dismissing candidates as madmen, so I guess we haven't really changed all that much

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