Pinback button promoting William Jennings Bryan for president and John W. Kern for vice president, 1908. The Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, New Jersey.
Having suffered a massive defeat with a conservative standard-bearer in 1904, Democrats brought back two-time nominee William Jennings Bryan, hoping that he could do in 1908 what he failed to do in 1896 and 1900. Despite his two previous defeats, Bryan remained extremely popular among the populist wing of the party, and ran a vigorous campaign against the nation's business elite. The choice of a conservative, Senator John W. Kern of Indiana, as a running mate, did not rally the base, however, and Bryan suffered the worst rejection of his three crusades for the presidency.
We offer an original pinback from the 1908 campaign featuring portraits of the disappointed Democrats.