Campaign Button (top left)
Metal. DIAM 9.0, D 0.4 cm
Eisenhower National Historic Site, EISE 15818.
Campaign Button (top right)
Metal. D 7.5 cm
Eisenhower National Historic Site, EISE 7585.
Campaign Button (bottom right)
Metal, plastic, paper. D 8.8 cm
Eisenhower National Historic Site, EISE 7581.
Campaign Button (bottom left)
Metal. Dia 7.5 cm
Eisenhower National Historic Site, EISE 7580.
Ike and Dick
Senator Richard Nixon of California was chosen as Eisenhower’s running mate to placate the conservative wing of the Republican Party (he was doggedly anti-communist), to bring youth to the ticket (he was 39), and to attract western voters. He was a tough campaigner and a lightning rod for criticism.
Eisenhower was advised by many to dump Nixon from the ticket in 1956. With Senator McCarthy discredited, Nixon’s reputation as an anti-communist was now seen as a political liability. But the resilient Vice President fought to stay on and in the end was re-nominated.
When Nixon began his own run for the presidency in 1960, Eisenhower was slow to assist Nixon with campaigning. In fact, after being hounded by reporters to provide an example of his Vice President making an important contribution to the Administration, Eisenhower inadvertently blurted out, “Give me a week and I’ll think of one!” The comment did little to enhance Nixon’s prospects for winning the election. Nixon lost to Kennedy in one of the tightest races in American history. Eisenhower would live long enough to finally see Nixon elected president in 1968, just five months before he passed away.