Politics, politicians and their custom lapel pins.

During the coverage of the sudden death of Tim Russert, the popular moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, on June 13, one comment stood out among the rest. Friends had said that Russert was nearly giddy about covering this year s presidential race and its historic dimensions. For the first time in history, a black man and a woman were vying for the Democratic nomination. Now, Obama will go against McCain for the highest office in the country. Weeks ago, a customer of The Monterey Company, a leading lapel pin manufacturer, created two political lapel pins: one for Clinton and the other for Obama. One might think that she d select one after the Democratic primary was over. Yet, she decided to print them both. I didn’t have time to wait until the primary was over, she said. Generally, it takes 12-15 days to create a custom-made lapel pin. When the winner was announced, I wanted to seize the moment and start selling my lapel pins. Now that Obama has won, you’d think that the Hillary pins wouldn’t sell at all. However, the Hillary pins are selling more than the Obama ones. Most of them are buying the Hillary pins for their historical significance, she said. This customer is demonstrating what some previous customers already know, said Paul Stark, president of The Monterey Company. Selling lapel pins for a cause is a great fundraiser. The money raised easily covers the costs of producing the pin and then the rest is pure profits. The Obama and Clinton pins are patriotic red, white and blue. The images in the center depict the donkey, the obvious symbol of the Democratic Party, with crowds of people standing behind it. I wanted to show that, in this year s political race, there was strength in numbers, she said. The text around the 1-inch die struck silver pins for Hillary reads: Hillary 2008. Yes. We Will. The customer replicated that phrase from the candidate. On the Obama pin, the phrase was: Change. The customer has discovered that these pins mean something different to everyone. It’s the starting point of a lot of interesting conversations, she said. To create your own custom made lapel pin to help raise awareness and/or funds for your organization, contact The Monterey Companytoll-freee at 800-259-6496.

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