The 2016 United States Presidential election is only one year away. Have you decided which candidate will get your vote?
Consider Elvis Presley, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
As you’ll find at the Elvis for President campaign website, Graceland.com/President, Elvis for President isn’t a new idea. Elvis’ manager, Col. Tom Parker, often handed out “Elvis for President” buttons, and fans often made “Elvis for President” signs. They were all on to something: Elvis for President is a great idea.
Elvis was the ideal presidential candidate: He was a proud American who served in the United States Army; he gave back to his community; and he actually had the backing of, and connections with, a few U.S. Presidents.
In 1961, President Lyndon Johnson wrote Elvis a letter to thank him for his fundraising efforts for the USS Arizona memorial. When Elvis learned Johnson kept three TVs in the White House, he was inspired – he immediately purchased three TVs for Graceland, too. Those three TVs are in the TV Room at Graceland.
Elvis starred alongside President Ronald Reagan’s daughter Maureen in the 1964 comedy “Kissin’ Cousins.”
On December 21, 1970, Elvis famously met President Richard Nixon at the White House. The historic meeting is one of the most famous moments in both presidential and pop culture history.
Also in attendance were Elvis’ friend Jerry Schilling and Egil “Bud” Krogh, a White House official and FBI liaison. The pair recalled the historic meeting at Elvis Week 2012. Watch below.
In January 1971, Elvis was honored by the United States Jaycees as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in the Nation. It was the only award Elvis ever accepted in person, and it was at the awards luncheon that he met U.N. Ambassador George Bush (who would later become President). Bush warned politicians to “watch out” if Elvis ever decided to enter politics. “They would have to regroup their forces,” he said.
When the world mourned Elvis’ death in 1977, President Jimmy Carter eloquently summed up Americans’ feelings. “Elvis Presley’s death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique and irreplaceable,” he said. Elvis “permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense, and he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness and good humor of his country.”
Presidents continue to pay respect to the king.
President Bill Clinton admires Elvis so much he’s adopted the nickname “Elvis.” He cemented his 1992 presidential victory by playing “Heartbreak Hotel” on the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall Show.
In 2006, President George W. Bush visited Graceland with the Prime Minister of Japan.
Tell your friends about Elvis Presley for President!
Sign up to win an Elvis for President Campaign Kit at Graceland.com/President, and don’t forget to tell your friends to cast their ballot for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in 2016.