Steven Waldman

I’ve spent the last few days scrutinizing the political buttons being sold on the streets of Denver and have noticed something very odd: there are almost no anti-McCain buttons. It’s almost all pro-Obama and pro-Clinton buttons. Today, I finally found one with a picture of McCain and the word, “NOPE.” Not exactly scathing.
The 2004 Republican convention set records for nastiness in button-ware. There was:
Beauty and the Beast” featuring a picture of Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton.
“If They Take Our Guns How Can We Shoot Liberals?”
“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” with photos of Bush, Kerry and Hillary.
“Hollywood Acts…Like They’re Un-American.”
It’ll be interesting to see the button gestalt next week at the Republican convention.
The most interesting theme of the unofficial Democratic buttons this year: the comparison of Obama to JFK and MLK. Though not featured in the official party buttons, the street peddlars seem to be banking on Americans wanting a new Camelot combined with a fulfillment of Martin Luther King’s dreams. On the one hand, it seems more than a tad presumptuous; on the other hand, I’m touched by the paucity of attack buttons.

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