Down the Ballot

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Happy Birthday Ted Kennedy (1932-2009)

Today would have been Senator Ted Kennedy's 82nd birthday. I spent a lot of my high school years following his career, even before I started collecting political items. So when I decided to start collecting, my history teacher told me to pick a political figure I admired. I picked Ted Kennedy and off I went to building a collection of items approaching near 400 Ted Kennedy items.

Here are some of the typical EMK pins you can find from 1980. The only 6" pin is featured in the middle, and one of my favorites; the Kennedy '80 California pin. In the upper right hand corner is the pin from the Kennedy announcement in 1979.

The Free the Carter 2,000 is a reference to the OPEN convention fight that would take place at the DNC in New York in 1980. The Kennedy camp felt that if the convention was OPEN (delegates free to vote for whomever) he could win the nomination. There was a big floor fight that the campaign lost and signaled the true end of the last Kennedy for President campaign.

I can't for the life of me, think of three other brothers who have all ran for President of the United States. There have been a husband and wife team both seek the White House (Bob & Elizabeth Dole, Bill & Hillary Clinton), several father/sons (George & Mitt Romney, George HW & George W. Bush). Sometimes, when someone finds out about my Ted Kennedy collection, I'll get asked if another Kennedy will ever run for President. American politics is a grand and absurd process. Who knows. 
1970 Re-Election pin

Like all of us, he was an imperfect person in a world that often expects perfection from public servants. He managed to adapt with the changing times. First elected to the Senate in 1962, he won his last campaign in 2006. One of my first donations to a campaign out of state was to his re-election campaign.

Happy Birthday Senator Kennedy.
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