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2008 Presidential Campaign (1908)

It seems that American political campaigns start earlier and earlier with each political cycle.

However, if you thought the 2008 presidential race started early, check out this article from the April 16, 1908 Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA) titled, "'Count' Opens Campaign for Presidency in Year 2008." An excerpt along with the piece in its entirety appear below.

Charles Vaden Barton, "the count," one of the choicest cranks that ever infested the capital, has arrived from Seattle to open his campaign to elect himself president in 2008. He announces that he is the John the Baptist of the millennium, and as he has special arrangements by which he beats the undertakers and cannot die, he can start his presidential campaign a long time ahead and work up sentiment gradually. So he is starting 100 years ahead, and expects that by the time he is elected the millennium will begin coincident with his inauguration.


See also:
Lyndon B. Johnson on 2063 A.D. (1963)
Hubert H. Humphrey's Future (1967)
Hubert H. Humphrey's Year 2000 (1967)
Governor Knight and the Videophone (Oakland Tribune, 1955)
Edmund G. Brown's Californifuture (1963)
Television: Medium of the Future (1949)
Fruition of Ideals of Democracy (1923)

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Reader Comments (9)

Shame there's no photo.
It could be John McCain.

January 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Er, I think that should have said "2000 Presidential Campaign", given the quote:

"So he is starting 100 years ahead, and expects that by the time he is elected the millennium will begin coincident with his inauguration." (my emphasis)

January 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Given his weird ecconomic stance (and his self-proclomation of ecconomic super-knowledge) he seems like an early Lyndon LaRouche.

Same egomania, same quixotic political pretentions.


January 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWill Cubbedge

I think they meant "millenium" in the religious sense, not a strick calendar sense.

January 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWutzke

A man in 1908 saying he's John the Baptist says God granted him immortality to run for president in 2008? I think we just figured out Huckabee.

January 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

It seems he even published a book called "Romance And Reality In The Life Of Earl Count Courtney".

January 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I thought that this was fantastic, and wanted to believe it, so I downloaded the Evening Gazette for Thursday, April 16, 1908. It wasn't there. I was disappointed, until my wife found the article in the April 16, 1909 (Friday) edition of the Evening Gazette.
I'm sorry for doubting you! The only correction is that it was 1909.

January 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

I voted for him

January 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Same guy, different city, in 1918?

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephen A.

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