Rep. Cohen says he doesn’t have ‘pin envy’

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) created a new campaign T-shirt this week, and it’s definitely not another run-of-the-mill slogan. It’s more like 80 slogans.

That’s because Cohen is an avid pin collector, and has been for over 40 years. And now he’s finally put all his favorite buttons together. On one shirt.

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“I’ve got thousands of pins,” he told ITK in a recent interview. “So many, in fact, that they need their own room in my house, which is sort of a dressing room, but the walls are covered with displays of pins.”

Of the shirt, which will be available soon on his campaign website, he said, “What better way to put the pin collection to good use?”

On this day, Cohen happened to be sporting his most recent acquisition, a bobble-head pin of NBA star Kobe Bryant, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. But the majority of his pins are political, just like his very first one.

“My first pin was a John F. Kennedy campaign button in 1960,” he said, “and ever since then I’ve just been collecting the ones that come along.”

The shirt celebrates some of his favorite political figures, including President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). But it’s not all politics. “I love this Muhammad Ali pin,” he said, “and here’s a Colbert Nation one,” referring to Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert’s fan club.

So is there a pin that Cohen wishes he had but doesn’t yet?

“Nah,” he said, “I don’t suffer from pin envy.”