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On the campaign button trail in Manchester, New Hampshire

Updated on September 19, 2015

I am a trophy hunter. Not for the Cecil the lions of the world but for political memorabilia. I know and talk politics the way most "normal" guys my age know and talk football.

So it was that today I left for what's likely to be the first of many excursions to Manchester, NH before the New Hampshire primary - Ground Zero for politics. It's always a crap shoot because not all headquarters have buttons all the time. It's easy enough to get buttons off the Internet, but for us political buffs not as fun as going to headquarters and various candidate events. In fact, most buttons these days are commercially mass produced independently of campaigns. such "vendor" buttons were once frowned on by purists, but they've become more accepted as part of the mix. sometimes they're the only game in town.

Stop One was the surprise of the day. Not only does the barely registering Martin O'Malley have a headquarters, there was much activity within- AND I got a button.

Next, an unexpected stop. Much activity around the Verizon Center. Concert? Basketball game? No- I had unwittingly stumbled on the New Hampshire Democratic Convention. Scored three buttons including two mentioning the event- valuable among collectors as "localized" buttons are by nature released in smaller quantities.

On to the Bernie Sanders HQ- where I collected two campaign issued buttons and got the added bonus of seeing the candidate in person speaking to a crowd.

The day ended up being a Democratic sweep, with 6 Democrat oriented items- not that I didn't try for Republicans. Some candidates have no headquarters, some are not at their Internet suggested locations and many were actually locked and closed. To be fair, it is early and the state convention generated activity among the Democrats - although Hillary's was one I could not locate either.

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