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Roger Kaputnik
post Oct 17 2007, 10:15 AM
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2008 election: Main contenders In US politics, there is usually an incumbent running for the White House - if not the president himself (and so far it has always been a "himself"), then his vice-president.
Mr Bush will leave the White House after the two-term limit But with George W Bush constitutionally limited to two terms and Vice-President Dick Cheney making clear he will not run, the race for the White House is wide open for the first time since 1928.


Election Day - 4 November 2008 - may feel to outsiders like it is a long way off, but several debates have been held already and campaigning is well under way.

And with experts predicting it will be the first $1bn election, the candidates - in what is an unusually crowded field - are focused on raising money and winning support in key states.

Here are the people presently considered the most capable of making a serious run.

DEMOCRATS
Hillary Clinton Chris Dodd John Edwards Al Gore Barack Obama Bill Richardson IPB Image REPUBLICANS Rudolph Giuliani Mike Huckabee John McCain Mitt Romney Fred Thompson



Other official candidates



HILLARY CLINTON Who is she? The first former First Lady to go on to hold elected office, she is now serving as senator for New York. Declared her intention to stand with a video saying "I'm in to win" on her website on 20 January 2007 - two years to the day before the next president is inaugurated.




Hillary Clinton: Leader of the pack Why take her seriously? Unbeatable name recognition and serious fundraising ability make Hillary - no surname necessary - a clear front-runner for the Democrats. She has tried to stake out a position as a centrist in her six years in the Senate. She reported $26m in fundraising from the first quarter of 2007, plus $10m from her 2006 Senate campaign fund, and netted a further $27m in the second quarter. She continues to dominate national and most state polls.


What is going to stand in her way? If Bill Clinton remains a divisive figure in American politics, that goes at least double for Hillary - some estimates say one in three Americans would never vote for her. And the US has never yet elected a woman president. Her fundraising efforts have not been enough to shake off close rivals, notably Barack Obama.

Did you know? Is there anything we do not already know about Hillary Clinton?



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CHRIS DODD Who is he? Senior senator from the north-eastern state of Connecticut. He declared in January 2007 he was running for president.

IPB Image Chris Dodd: Iraq apology Why take him seriously? Senator Dodd is chairman of the Senate banking committee, which could prove valuable when it comes to fundraising. He is well liked in the party, and has come out as a clear opponent of the Iraq war, apologising for his 2002 vote in favour of it.

What is going to stand in his way? Chris Dodd has been drawing much smaller crowds than his rivals in key early-primary states such as Iowa - and after the defeat of John Kerry in 2004, the Democratic party may be very reluctant to nominate another senator from a small, liberal New England state.

Did you know? Mr Dodd, 62, has two young children, prompting him to joke that he is the only candidate on mailing lists both for pensioners and nappy buyers.



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JOHN EDWARDS Who is he? Former lawyer and one-term North Carolina senator who ran for vice-president with John Kerry in 2004. He now runs an anti-poverty centre, and declared his White House ambition at the end of 2006.

IPB Image John Edwards: Southern charmer Why take him seriously? Supporters and detractors alike agree that Mr Edwards is an excellent speaker, a man the Washington Post's politics blogger Chris Cillizza dubbed "the most naturally talented politician in the field". He has been campaigning hard on an anti-poverty platform and has won the backing of several labour organisations.

What is going to stand in his way? Audiences - even sympathetic ones - tend to find Mr Edwards too slick. His poor-boy-made-good routine can also come across as patronising. The news that wife Elizabeth's cancer had returned prompted a media row over whether he should still be running. She has in fact become a forceful voice in his campaign. He reported raising $14m in funds in the first quarter of 2007 and $9m in the second - some way short of his chief Democratic rivals.

Did you know? Mr Edwards helped to depose key witnesses during the Senate's impeachment trial of Bill Clinton in 1999.





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AL GORE Who is he? Vice-president for eight years under Bill Clinton and the loser of the most controversial presidential election in more than a century, against George W Bush in 2000.


Al Gore: Back in the limelight Why take him seriously? Gore backers never fail to point out that more Americans voted for Mr Gore than for Mr Bush in 2000. He has kept largely out of politics since then - but with his film about the environment winning an Academy Award for best documentary, he has been back in the spotlight.


What is going to stand in his way? Mr Gore has said repeatedly that he is not going to run for president in 2008.... although many believe he could be persuaded to change his mind. He made a joke about the speculation at the Oscars ceremony, pretending he was about to announce his candidacy, then being drowned out by the orchestra.

Did you know? Al Gore shared a room with the actor Tommy Lee Jones when the two were students at Harvard, and Jones gave one of the speeches officially nominating him for the presidency in 2000.



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BARACK OBAMA Who is he? Mixed-race junior senator from Illinois who shot to prominence at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He began his official campaign on 10 February 2007 with a call for the Iraq war to end, saying US troops must withdraw by March 2008.


Barack Obama: "Rock-star" reception Why take him seriously? Time magazine dubbed Senator Obama "America's hottest political phenomenon", while television's own phenomenon, Oprah Winfrey, urged him to announce his candidacy on her show. A book tour just a month before the 2006 mid-term elections saw him greeted like a rock star. He impressed observers by raising $25m in funds in the first quarter of 2007 - only $1m short of Hillary Clinton's total - and overtook her in the second quarter with a record $32.8m.


What is going to stand in his way? Barack Obama will have served only four years in the Senate when the 2008 election rolls around - even less than John F Kennedy did before he was elected in 1960. And while his supporters praise him as thoughtful, deliberative and liberal, some experts doubt those are the characteristics that get a politician to the White House.

Did you know? Barack Obama's mother was from Kansas and his father was from Kenya - leading observers to suggest he is an African and an American, but not an African-American.



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BILL RICHARDSON Who is he? Governor of the south-western state of New Mexico who was US ambassador to the United Nations under Bill Clinton before becoming his secretary of energy.

IPB Image Bill Richardson: Relevant experience Why take him seriously? Gov Richardson hopes his CV will make him the ideal candidate in an age when voters are concerned about high gas prices and possible conflicts with Iran and North Korea. His Latino heritage may also win him votes with the country's largest minority population - one which both Republicans and Democrats need to compete for.

What is going to stand in his way? Gov Richardson is reportedly larger than life in small groups, easily able to connect with many different types of people - but in front of crowds he does not always demonstrate much charisma. And the small, out-of-the-way state of New Mexico is not a natural launching pad for a national campaign.

Did you know? Gov Richardson has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times.



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RUDOLPH GIULIANI Who is he? Former mayor of New York City who shot to international prominence for his firm leadership on 11 September 2001. He set up a committee to explore a White House bid shortly after the mid-terms in Nov 2006.


Rudolph Giuliani: "America's mayor" Why take him seriously? Mr Giuliani emerged as a hero of 9/11, prompting Time magazine to name him Man of the Year for 2001. Even before then, he was credited with bringing down New York's crime rate - and since leaving office he has been an active fundraiser and campaigner for other Republican candidates, keeping his stock high. He consistently leads national polls of likely Republican voters. He pulled in $15m in the first quarter of 2007, despite making a late start on fundraising, and $17.5m in the second.


What is going to stand in his way? "America's mayor" may be a law-and-order conservative, but his positions on gay rights, abortion and gun control are comparatively liberal, which does not endear him to the party's right wing. He has tried to make allies among the Christian right, but has not reversed his stance on the issues.

Did you know? Mr Giuliani was preparing to run against Hillary Clinton for a Senate seat in 2000 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and quit the race.



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MIKE HUCKABEE Who is he? Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2006, best known nationally for his dramatic weight loss in response to a diagnosis of diabetes. Also named to Time magazine's 2006 list of the nation's best governors.

IPB Image Mike Huckabee: Dramatic change Why take him seriously? Gov Huckabee has carved out a place for himself as a health advocate following his own turnaround from fat to fit. As an ordained Baptist minister who says his faith is inseparable from his politics, he may be a magnet for conservative Christian votes - especially if competing against a social liberal such as Rudolph Giuliani.

What is going to stand in his way? His Evangelical faith has led him to take positions that do not appeal to all Republicans, such as an increase in the state's minimum wage - which drew fire from fiscal conservatives. He is also lagging far behind better-known names when it comes to fundraising.

Did you know? Gov Huckabee plays bass guitar in a band called Capitol Offense.



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JOHN McCAIN Who is he? Maverick senator from Arizona who ran against George W Bush for the Republican nomination in 2000 and has had complex relations with the president ever since. In Nov 2006, he took the first step towards declaring his intention to run in 2008, and officially launched his candidacy in April 2007.


John McCain: Straight talker Why take him seriously? John McCain is one of the highest-profile figures in Washington, known for sponsoring key measures against torture and in favour of campaign finance reform. He continues to command respect despite falling behind the front-runners in many polls.


What is going to stand in his way? Although Sen McCain says unequivocally that he is a social conservative, his frequent skirmishes with the Bush administration have made him more popular with liberals than with conservatives. He has also doggedly backed America's keeping troops in Iraq, an increasingly unpopular position. He overhauled his fundraising operation after a disappointing first quarter of 2007 but this was not enough to turn the tide, prompting a major shake-up of his operation over the summer.

Did you know? Shot down as a Navy pilot over Vietnam in 1967, Mr McCain refused to be released ahead of other prisoners of war - earning himself five years of captivity, two in solitary confinement.



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MITT ROMNEY Who is he? Republican governor of Massachusetts from 2002 to 2006 who made headlines for a state law making health insurance mandatory. He declared his White House intentions in February 2007, saying America needed "innovation and transformation" from outside of Washington.

IPB Image Mitt Romney: Olympics saviour Why take him seriously? Gov Romney may have cracked one of the most intractable issues facing America - the millions of people with no health insurance in a country that does not have a national health system. He won acclaim for taking over the organisation of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics when planning looked on the verge of collapse, delivering a successful and profitable event. He reported an impressive $23m in fundraising for the first three months of 2007 but slipped back a little in the second quarter. After pouring significant effort into Iowa, he won its non-binding straw poll. (His chief rivals skipped it.) He has been polling well.

What is going to stand in his way? It is not clear that Gov Romney's health-insurance model can be applied nationally, as Massachusetts is a small and wealthy state. Some voters may be put off by the fact that Gov Romney is a Mormon - a religion that some consider outside the mainstream. A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll in July 2006 found that just over one in three Americans say they would not vote for a Mormon for president.

Did you know? Gov Romney's father, former Michigan Governor George Romney, ran for president in 1968, but failed to secure his party's nomination.



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FRED THOMPSON Who is he? Former two-term senator for Tennessee who left politics in 2002 to return to acting, but has now announced a White House run.

IPB Image Fred Thompson: Actor's charm Why take him seriously? Mr Thompson is well known to many voters through his role as district attorney Arthur Branch in TV crime series Law & Order. Unlike some of his rivals, he has good conservative credentials on such issues as abortion and gun rights.

Polls consistently put him among the front-runners - and analysts predict his down-to-earth charm may help him pick up support from voters uninspired by the other choices.

What is going to stand in his way? Mr Thompson is later than most in entering the race, putting him at a big disadvantage when it comes to fundraising. The long delay in his official declaration has prompted speculation he may have missed his window of opportunity. He will have to overcome a perception in some circles that he is not 100% committed to politics.

Did you know? Mr Thompson has played both himself and a US president. His turn in the top job came with a cameo in the 2007 film Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, as President Ulysses S Grant. He played himself as a senator in the movie Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.



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OTHER OFFICIAL CANDIDATES
Joe Biden
Democrat
Senator from Delaware

Mike Gravel
Democrat
Former senator from Alaska




Dennis Kucinich
Democrat
Representative from Ohio



IPB Image
Sam Brownback
Republican
Senator from Kansas

Duncan Hunter
Republican
Representative from California

IPB Image Ron Paul
Republican
Representative from Texas


Tom Tancredo
Republican
Representative from Colorado







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Southsider2k12
post Oct 17 2007, 10:42 AM
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Ugh. Even after all of this time, I am so completely unimpressed by the slate of candidates we have on tap for this election. Everyone of them has a major flaw in my eyes. In all honesty if I had to vote today, I would be picking between a few guys at the last minute, and holding my breath while I pulled the lever.

Also FWIW, Al Gore said yesterday he is not going to run for President.
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RedDevilMC
post Oct 17 2007, 11:31 AM
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Thanks for the information.
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Roger Kaputnik
post Oct 17 2007, 11:36 AM
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This article is from my favorite online news source, the BBC. By the way, Administrator, I had to delete pictures so the post was allowed. I tried to remove the ones we all know too well, plus the little ones at the end of the article.



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Southsider2k12
post Oct 17 2007, 11:46 AM
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Was the size of the post too big, because some of the pictures did come through?
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Roger Kaputnik
post Oct 18 2007, 11:43 AM
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Too many images, it said. I just deleted them one by one until it went through.


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Roger Kaputnik
post Oct 31 2007, 04:18 PM
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Here's a little history lesson for you. If you don't know the answer, make your best guess.

Answer all the questions before looking at the answers.

Who said it? 1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
A. Karl Marx

B. Adolph Hitler

C. Joseph Stalin

D. None of the above
2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few...... And to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity."
A. Lenin

B. Mussolini

C. Idi Amin

D. None of the Above
3) "(We) ...can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some
people"

A. Nikita Khrushev

B. Josef Goebbels

C. Boris Yeltsin

D. None of the above
4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own ... in order to create this common ground."
A. Mao Tse Tung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above
5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."
A. Karl Marx

B. Lenin

C. Molotov

D. None of the above
6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched."
A. Pinochet
B. Milosevic

C. Saddam Hussein

D. None of the above

Scroll down for answers










Keep scrolling


















Answers
(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004
(2) D. None of the above. Statement was m ade by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007
(3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007

(4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007

(5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007

(6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005









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Ang
post Oct 31 2007, 09:57 PM
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I knew that!


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Roger Kaputnik
post Nov 1 2007, 07:58 AM
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This, of course, is a plant via email purporting to cast Mrs Clinton as some kind of wacko. It is easy to imagine this being done to each candidate by taking one sentence and putting in the appropriate choices. I hope that stuff like this is not how people decide whom to vote for, but I have my doubts.


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Ang
post Nov 1 2007, 09:02 AM
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There is a big story about those remarks on Snopes. They put the statements in the actual context in which they were said and the remarks don't seem so bad.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/clintons/marxist.asp

It is amazing though, how one can remove a small portion of a sentence and make it seem absolutely horrible when it's by itself.

Depsite the fact that the above remarks are not as bad as they seem when in the context of which they were originally said, I'm still not voting for Hillary. I haven't decided yet who I want to vote for, but I do know that Hillary isn't a contender.


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Mr. Mark S. Lindborg
post Nov 2 2007, 04:44 AM
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I like Ron Paul. www.RonPaul2008.com
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post Nov 2 2007, 09:03 AM
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Ron Paul is a really interesting guy. The longer he hangs on, the more daylight he seems to get. To me he seems like the Ross Perot of this election.
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Max Main
post Nov 6 2007, 10:42 PM
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Two things:

a. I wonder how many people who have the kneejerk anti-Hillary reaction could tell us ANYTHIN G about the choices given in the quiz

b. I kind of like Ron Paul, MD, until I heard him in the Michigan debate. Too far out, but I do like some of his views.
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Dave
post Jun 3 2008, 04:10 PM
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And now we know what it's going to be in November -- Obama vs. McCain.
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Roger Kaputnik
post Jun 5 2008, 12:28 PM
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US election primaries quiz



Go to this web site and take the quiz. My score is at the bottom of this post.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7430209.stm













I got 5 right.






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JHeath
post Jun 5 2008, 01:16 PM
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QUOTE(Roger Kaputnik @ Jun 5 2008, 01:28 PM) *

I got 5 right.

Me too, Rog.
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kharris
post Jun 5 2008, 01:22 PM
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QUOTE(JHeath @ Jun 5 2008, 02:16 PM) *

Me too, Rog.

I got 7
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Ang
post Jun 5 2008, 01:23 PM
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Damn! I suck. I only got 3 sad.gif


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Dave
post Jun 5 2008, 02:07 PM
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Six here.
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Roger Kaputnik
post Jun 5 2008, 02:41 PM
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bump


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