Political campaigning before Twitter and Facebook

Many of today’s political candidates harness social media to rally the electorate. But what did politicians do before the advent of Twitter and Facebook? Check out these behind-the-scenes photos of objects from past campaigns in the museum’s Political History collection:

Obama and Roosevelt Dolls
Barack Obama and Teddy Roosevelt dolls

Jackson and Dukakis
Michael Dukakis and Jesse Jackson pencil-top souvenirs

Campaign Souvenirs
Assortment of campaign souvenirs

Ike Buttons
Dwight Eisenhower campaign buttons

New technology may allow candidates to efficiently reach more potential voters, but can a Tweet create the same kind of personal connection as a tangible object, like a button or pen? Tell us what you think.

To learn more about voting in America, check out our online exhibition Vote: The Machinery of Democracy.

Ben Miller is an intern in the New Media program at the the National Museum of American History.