Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2008 Issue

The Presidential Primaries

Wendell.w

Who is this?


By Bruce McKinney

A hundred and fifty years ago candidates stayed home. Today the voters do and who can blame them. The debates in 2007 confirm that the run for President is nothing more than running a gauntlet of special interest groups of which television stations and their commentators, while parading their neutrality, are simply another one. Their angle is ratings, the better to sell Viagra, Cheetos and Coors while trashing to oblivion both the next President and the nineteen bridesmaids.

Republican candidates must appeal to Evangelicals, tax cutters, fence builders, fence sitters, cold and hot warriors. In the process, these candidates become a made-up thing -- a web of promises that cage these lions even before they get to the zoo.

The Democrats have it no easier. If the Republicans' boundries are chiseled in granite the Democratics' confusion of promises seethes like spaghetti coming to boil. Both parties fail miserably to deliver on the promise of a better America because their commitments are to constituencies that support them, not the country they will serve. This is a system undermined by special interests to ensure their continuing prosperity, not yours.

Over the next few months many of you will have an opportunity to vote in a caucus or primary. Exercise this right. There is hope while there is involvement.

To familiarize yourself with the names of those who entered at least some of the primaries I include a crossword puzzle to test yourself. Some have already come and gone but two will dominate and one will win in the year ahead.

If you clicked on the picture - the answer is Wendell Willkie. The year? 1940.

Click the Puzzle to play.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

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