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Retro Campaigns
America's most memorable candidates and campaigns, on high-quality tees.
America's most memorable candidates and campaigns, on high-quality tees.
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In 1964, the moderate wing of the Republican Party tried to dislodge Barry Goldwater as the presumptive GOP nominee going into the Republican National Convention. He was depicted as an extremist, a right-wing fascist bent on plunging the country into war. A potential Hitler, basically. An interview with Der Spiegel was twisted into an attempt to appeal “to right-wing elements in Germany” by CBS correspondent Daniel Schorr, who also casually dropped that Goldwater said he planned to visit former Nazi-stronghold Bavaria.

Lest these subtle clues be lost on delegates and potential voters, Goldwater opponents came up with buttons like the one above. “Hohenzollern Goldwater” refers to the Hohenzollerns, the ruling house of Brandenburg-Prussia and of imperial Germany. So, like, he’s so in love with the right wing and Germany that he’s now German. Or something. It’s not one of the more well-thought out slam buttons.

Read more about the convention in-fighting in 1964 Republican Convention: Revolution From the Right, from Smithsonian Magazine: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/1964-republican-convention.html

(Button from Heritage Auctions)
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"I’d vote for a yellow dog if he ran on the Democratic ticket!"

"Yellow dog Democrats," historically Southerners, would vote for a yellow dog before they’d ever vote Republican. Though the term "yellow dog" in reference to Democrats dates back at least to the Abraham Lincoln era, it was popularized in the 1928 presidential election.

When Democratic Alabama Senator Tom Heflin not only refused to endorse fellow Democrat Al Smith in his run for the white House, but went on to actually support Republican Herbert Hoover, Alabama Democrats were furious. Even if they felt similarly about the brash and liberal (and Catholic) New Yorker, they vowed to remain true to the Party:

"Blue dog" Democrats, by the way, refers to a Congressional caucus of Democrats who are generally more conservative than the Party as a whole.

Button via the Edna Mae Phelps Political Collection, Oklahoma State University: http://dc.library.okstate.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/Phelps/id/1295/rec/4257
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An offhanded remark dogs Taft throughout the 1908 campaign season.

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Was John Kennedy's 1960 run the first modern presidential campaign?

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Listen to Joseph McCarthy talk to kids about “Alger” Stevenson and the “Commiecrat” party

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Why did Nathaniel Hawthorne decide to write a biography of arguably the worst president in our history?

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By July of 1877, then-Ohio Congressman/Future President James Garfield had figured out Congress.
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+BuzzFeed wonders if George W. Bush would have been "the most GIF-able president of all time."

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A little artistic license with a famous Library of Congress image of outgoing President Lyndon Johnson and incoming President Richard Nixon chatting on Nixon’s inauguration day, January 20, 1969.
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