As the Republican and Democratic nominees sprint toward Election Day on Nov. 4, both will be scrutinized nationally by a cadre of reporters. Numismatic hobbyists will be looking at them, too.
Here’s the skinny on each of them from a purely numismatic perspective:
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the Democratic nominee, has been a member of the U.S. Senate for four years and is serving a six-year term. This covers the 109th and 110th Congress; earlier, he was a state senator in Illinois, where numismatic issues were even more minor than in Congress.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the Republican nominee, has a longer record of service, dating to two terms in the House of Representatives in the 98th and 99th Congress (1983-1986) and 22 years in the Senate, 1987 to date, in the 100th and succeeding Congresses.
During the period that they both served, neither was a primary sponsor of any numismatic bill that succeeded in becoming public law. Each was cosponsor of several pieces of legislation that were signed into law that had numismatic overtones, implications or at least general inclinations.
In the 110th Congress that began in January 2007, McCain sponsored 38 bills or amendments, none of which became law, and none of which relate to numismatics, the Mint, gold, silver, platinum, any of the base metals, medals, or other similar numismatic terms.
Obama’s record in the 110th Congress is 129 bills or amendments as sponsor. He did propose S.CON.RES.44, a concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress that a commemorative postage stamp should be issued honoring civil rights pioneer Rosa Louise McCauley Parks introduced Sept. 12, 2007, and currently with 22 cosponsors. Also there is S.1713: A bill to provide for the issuance of a commemorative postage stamp in honor of Rosa Parks.