Citizens of the United States wake up this morning to what some has called the most exciting and exhausting election season since Dewy did not beat Truman. It also has to be the longest campaign after having started the day after the 2006 midterm election by our over-active press.
Numismatically, there should be few changes if any. Although there is a lot of passion for the presidential candidates, the only influence the president may have is the appointment of the directors of the US Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Otherwise, congress must past the laws to command the US Mint to do its job. The president can veto any law, but is rarely done with numismatic bills.
Although most of the action is in congress, there is not much to watch from a numismatic perspective. Polls show that the Democrats will maintain control of Congress and possibly increase their lead. It is likely that the leadership will probably remain in place for the 111th Congress including Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, the committee responsible for numismatic laws.
Analysts suggest that Frank will win his 15th election and return to the House as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Numismatically, this means that the run the committee adopted that any commemorative coin bill must have 250 co-sponsors before it would be considered.
In other races, Virgil Goode (R-VA) is in a very tight race. Goode was eventually credited with inserting a measure in an omnibus budget act to move the motto “IN G-D WE TRUST” from the edge to the front of both dollar coins.
For those hoping that the new congress will eliminate the paper dollar, the 111th congress may not be your answer. With the exception of the retiring Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), most of the Washington, DC area representatives in Maryland and Virginia will be returning to their seats the House meaning that there will continue to be local political incentives force the BEP to continue with printing $1 Federal Reserve Note.
Since this election does not matter numismatically, you may want to consider such “minor” issues such as the economy, healthcare, or international policy. But whomever you chose, VOTE!