Online Collection

Al Gore campaign pin from 2000 featuring a picture of John F. Kennedy

Object Number: 2015.069.0001
Category: Artifacts
Type of Object: Pin
Date: 2000
Dimensions: 9 × 4 in. (22.9 × 10.2 cm)
Medium: Metal, Cloth
Metal pin with cloth ribbon attached, made for the 2000 Democratic National Convention supporting Al Gore as the presidential nominee.

The pin has two images: a color portrait of Al Gore, and a black and white image of John F. Kennedy. Around the border is white text which at the top reads: "* 40 years ago in Los Angeles, the Democrats chose a Great Leader. *" At the bottom it reads: "HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF."

The ribbon attached at the bottom of the button is blue, and has gold text: "2000 Democratic National Convention ***** Staples Center / Los Angeles / August 14-17" with a union logo at the bottom.

The back of the pin is silver-colored metal with a clasp pin at the center.
Curator's Notes

The candidate's choice of slogan - "History Repeats Itself" - may have been an unfortunate choice of words.  John F. Kennedy won the 1960 election with a narrow margin of less than .1% of the popular vote.  There were allegations of voter fraud in 1960 but Kennedy's opponent, Richard M. Nixon, chose not to contest the first outcome of the election tallies.  Gore's standing in the 2000 election came down to a few thousand votes recounted in Florida.  The election was so close it eventually had to be decided by a Supreme Court decision.  Gore lost to George W. Bush.  - Lindsey Richardson, Curator of Collections

President Lyndon Johnson recognized the power of the Kennedy legacy in the immediate aftermath of the assassination, and he used it to great political effect during the 1964 election. Virtually every Democratic presidential candidate since that time has included the image or the words of John F. Kennedy in their campaign materials, holding up the late president as a shining example of party leadership -- and also tapping into the unfulfilled hope and promise that Kennedy represents.  Some candidates, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, have been specifically compared to John F. Kennedy in terms of their optimism and soaring rhetoric. - Stephen Fagin, Curator 

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