Political Button of the Day: Obama Prays for Victory

Gearing up for Election Day, I will occasionally share a favorite button from my modest-but-quirky political memorabilia collection.

Imagine a fortune cookie made with 2,000 pound slabs of Jerusalem stone and crumbling on one of the holiest sites in both Judaism and Islam. It’s a tradition to cram a note to God in the Western Wall (also referred to as the Wailing Wall) to the point that the crevices look like they are jammed with centuries of spitballs.

This button surfaced on a souvenir table at the Democratic National Convention, perhaps an effort to sway Jewish Americans on the fence to go for Obama.

The backstory is quite bizarre. A young rabbinical student swiped Obama’s prayer note after he stuffed it in the wall, causing a national uproar when it was published by a major Israeli newspaper.

Here’s what Obama’s scribbled note said:

“Lord — Protect my family and me,” reads the note, first published in the Israeli newspaper Maariv daily. “Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will.”

Pretty standard stuff, although where’s the traditional Miss America contestant call for world peace?

If you like offbeat political and pop culture memorabilia like this, then please check out my new Slate magazine slideshow devoted to the fake presidential bids of Archie Bunker, Fred Flintstone, Snoopy, Charile Brown, Lucy Van Pelt, Linus Van Pelt, Barbie, Ken Griffey, Jr., Mr. Clean, Captain Morgan the Rum Pirate, Fonzie, Yogi Bear, Boo Boo, Huckleberry Hound, Magilla Gorilla, and MAD magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman!

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Filed under Election 2008, politics

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