Monday, October 4, 2010

Welcome to Dem Buttons

Dem Buttons is a blog dedicated to the collecting of modern Democratic buttons, but the topics covered will go beyond that to include practical advice on the hobby in general and sarcastic commentary wherever necessary. I am focusing on modern Democratic buttons, because that is my main area of collecting. It has been obvious for decades that the Democrats put out the best buttons. Ronald Reagan, the one great modern Republican for buttons, trounced Walter Mondale in the 1984 election, but he didn't really outdo him on buttons. And with this last presidential election the quantity and quality soared with Barack Obama, while it sunk into the abyss with John McCain. It's safe to say Obama has become the most merchandised politician in history. It is also no secret that this happens to be my party affiliation. As for choosing modern over old, I prefer to collect the campaigns I've lived through rather than the ones that are just footnotes in history books.

I have been collecting for 30 years, and I have written more on modern campaign buttons than anyone. I covered the elections starting with 1984 in monthly columns for both The Political Bandwagon and The Political Collector, and I wrote the only comprehensive how-to guide, Collecting Political Buttons, which was published by Chicago Review Press in 1988. The book has been out-of-print for years, and my updated edition is in need of a new publisher. I also currently publish a newsletter called The Obama Guardian, which is the most detailed publication devoted to the campaign buttons of any candidate. You may have seen some eBay sellers brag that they are members of the American Political items Collectors (APIC) as if that has any meaning. It doesn't, and I am not currently a member. I did belong for many years, and I was on the Board of Directors back in the 1980s. I have some issues with the organization, and I choose not to rejoin. The main advantage for joining the APIC is making contact with collectors of similar interests. I already have those contacts, so I'm okay on my own.

One of the main reasons I am starting this blog is hopefully it will lead to items for collection. The internet has become my main search tool, and this seemed like the logical next step. My primary collecting interests are Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama, but I most definitely collect beyond that short list. I still sort of collect Jimmy Carter, but I'm not overly enthused about green buttons. I buy, sell and trade so if you have anything interesting please contact me at


  1. Thanks for putting this site up Marc. You have given this novice great insight into the world of button collecting. The Guardian is a very helpful publication, since my collection mainly consists of Obama campaign stuff. You have been very helpful and are extremely knowledgeable about the hobby. The most notable thing about you is your enthusiasm and willingness to share your experience and wealth of knowledge with beginners like me. It is infectious!

    Larry Busby

  2. I hope a lot of others find the blog. It may be the best way to reach new collectors. The APIC has failed in this regard.