Farewell To Button ... And Hello To Buttons!

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We usually don't endorse candidates here at Political Junkie — strike that, we never endorse candidates.

But if there was ever one we would have considered backing, it was — for obvious reasons — Daniel Button. The deliciously named Button was an editor for the Albany Times-Union who challenged the long-impenetrable Democratic machine in Albany led by Mayor Erastus Corning and party boss Dan O'Connell. In 1966, when Democratic Rep. Leo O'Brien was retiring, Button jumped into the race, as a Republican, and won. He was re-elected in 1968.

But in 1970, Albany mapmakers redrew congressional districts, merging his with that of conservative Democrat Sam Stratton. With the demographics clearly favoring the Democrat, Stratton won a landslide victory.

Button was a liberal Republican, when they used to have such things, and strongly opposed the war in Vietnam.

Dan Button died earlier this month at the age of 91. Click here for a nice obit by David Filkins in the Times-Union.

I always liked the idea of a congressman named Button. And, speaking of buttons ...

If you want to see how warped Ken Rudin and other collectors of political memorabilia are, in person no less, then you'll come out tomorrow, Saturday, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., to the 10th annual meeting of (gulp) the National Capital Chapter of the American Political Items Collectors (APIC). The show will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Tysons Corner in McLean, Va.
Address: 1960 Chain Bridge Road
Hotel phone number: (703) 893-2100

Admission is $4; $1 off with student or congressional ID.

This year there will be a special display: "The Road to 2008 — Racial Politics in America," featuring a display of items from 1776 to today, with themes of slavery, Uncle Tom's Cabin, civil rights, and the Freedom Train, up to Barack Obama's victory in 2008, and everything in between.

Hope to see you there.

Note: NPR and its member stations are not legally responsible or for anything I might say or do at APIC meetings.

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