For some Americans, every four years something remarkable happens: US presidential campaigns create tons of political memorabilia. For collectors like Carl Toepel, it’s a busy time. He also sends letters, along with a $2 to every candidate running for senate, asking for campaign promos. And he’s not alone. According to a recent New York Times feature, about 300 collectors attended the 2008 American Political Items Collectors National Convention at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas.
According to the article, this year’s conference is especially energized by trinkets from the Obama campaign. A promo button from his campaign kickoff in 2007 even sold for $150. But overall, collectors are hoping the campaign gets more young folks excited about collecting, and antique dealers are hoping $2 Obama buttons act as gateway memorabilia that eventually gets folks interested in the expensive stuff.