Both ran for president according to Roger Muir’s obituary in today’s Times:
Mr. Muir had the idea of having Howdy Doody run for president of the boys and girls in the election year of 1948 and received thousands of requests for campaign buttons. Mr. Simon, the curator at the Paley Center, said the show taught children about politics, “and the very American idea that anyone can grow up to be president, even a marionette.”
Howdy, meet John McCain. He’s a marionette too.