Wednesday, November 09, 2016

What do we save to remember a campaign season that many would like to forget?

So, what do we save to remember an campaign season that many of us would just as soon forget?

Our final spin through campaign collectibles of the past will focus on this year's contest.

Honestly, it was a bit of a struggle. It might be saying something when the best campaign collectibles were found at Chow Hound, Meijer and Hallmark.

It was especially difficult to find the traditionally fun things.

Campaign pins have been largely phased out in favor of stickers, but I struggled to even find those in Michigan for Secretary Clinton.

But the things I did find were pretty cool, and I'm sure will appear cooler once some time has passed. A lot of time.

First, the giant masks were in the Halloween section at Meijer, along with giant baby faces, cats and chimps. Note: The stores had the traditional rubber masks. I've never bought those. I think they're kind of creepy.

The cat toys are pretty fun. At least Tug thinks so. He's found them twice. He seems to have chewed on each of them equally.

The pen is a hoot. Tap on President-elect Trump's head and the pen plays eight examples of the candidate's hyperbole. I've heard there is a Clinton version, but I've not been able to find one.

Finally, I have a small collection of stickers and pins. I always like to find pins with the official logo and with photos of both candidates, so I was mostly successful. But I had to resort to eBay, which isn't as much fun as finding them at rallies or campaign offices.

It's been a lot of fun looking through the collection, researching campaigns and recalling some experiences. I have great respect for the presidency, and each of our chief executives is a fascinating story.

If you get some time, the Washington Post this year offered a podcast -- "Presidential" -- that looked at each of our leaders.

Reporter Lilian Cunningham did a good job, talking to historians and experts. I saw some presidents in a new light, and there are many triumphs and heartbreak along the way. It's made my Monday morning commutes more enjoyable and I encourage you to binge listen now that they're all available.

And, if you are passing through Mount Pleasant before January, check out the Clarke Historical Library's exhibit in the Central Michigan University library dedicated to campaigns, focusing on the folks who fell just short. Trust me, it's awesome.

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