Some thumbnail sketches of presidential candidates for 2012 – by asmwizard. (sorry about the uneven editing)
Thumbnail sources are from Wikipedia, where there is much more detail on each of the people below. Dashed comments by asmwizard. I also selected objectives for each party, based solely on my opinion.
Another good source is www.biography.com, but their copyright reserves all rights.
Based on a reasonably comprehensive list – taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2012
Objectives of the party:
- tax the rich
- grow government
- create a dependent class with entitlements
- build a “nanny” state
- defeat capitalism
- ignore American fiscal problems
(Names of formally declared candidates appear in bold.)
President Barack Obamaof Illinois Barack Hussein Obama II ( born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States, having taken office in 2009. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his election to the presidency in November 2008.
A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University andHarvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.
Obama served three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid against the Democratic incumbent for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 2000, he ran for United States Senate in 2004. Several events brought him to national attention during the campaign, including his victory in the March 2004 Democratic primary and his keynote address at theDemocratic National Convention in July 2004. He won election to the U.S. Senate in November 2004. His presidential campaign began in February 2007, and after a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party’s nomination. In the 2008 general election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. In October 2009, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
As president, Obama signed economic stimulus legislation in the form of theAmerican Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 in December 2010. Other domestic policy initiatives include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010. In foreign policy, Obama gradually withdrew combat troops from Iraq, increased troop levels inAfghanistan, signed an arms control treaty with Russia, and ordered enforcement of the United Nations-sanctioned no-fly zone over Libya in early 2011.
– Remains aloof from important issues
– Seems to work to inhibit capitalism
– An excellent speaker but an extremely poor leader
Objectives of the party:
- reduce taxes, and make them fair
- reduce the federal deficit
- balance the budget
- enhance the economy
- regain world respect for America
- build personal responsibility among American citizens
(Names of formally declared candidates appear in bold.)
- Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives from Georgia. Newton Leroy “Newt” Gingrich (born Newton Leroy McPherson; June 17, 1943) is an American politician who served as the 58th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but raised in Hummelstown, a small nearby borough. In 1995, Time magazine selected him as the Person of the Yearfor his role in leading the Republican Revolution in the House, ending 40 years of the Democratic Party being in the majority. During his tenure as Speaker, he represented the public face of the Republican opposition to President Bill Clinton.
A college professor, historian, and author, Gingrich twice ran unsuccessfully for the House before winning a seat in the election of November 1978. He was re-elected ten times, and his activism as a member of the House’s Republican minority eventually enabled him to succeed Dick Cheney as House Minority Whipin 1989. As a co-author of the 1994 Contract with America, Gingrich was in the forefront of the Republican Party’s dramatic success in that year’s Congressional elections and subsequently was elected Speaker of the House. During Gingrich’s term as Speaker, Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed the 1996 reform of welfare, a capital gains tax cut and the first balanced budget since 1969.
Following Republican losses in the 1998 mid-term elections, Gingrich resigned both his Speakership and his congressional seat. Since resigning his seat, Gingrich has maintained a career as a political analyst and consultant. He continues to write works related to government and other subjects, such as historical fiction, and is the author of twenty-three books.He is the founder and/or chair of several organizations and companies, including American Solutions for Winning the Future,Center for Health Transformation, Gingrich Productions and Renewing American Leadership.
- Amazingly good debater.
- Terrifically well-informed on all political subjects
- Ron Paul, U.S. Representative from TexasRonald Ernest “Ron” Paul (born August 20, 1935) is an American Medical Doctor and Republican U.S. Congressman for the 14th congressional district of Texas. Paul serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Joint Economic Committee, the Committee on Financial Services and is Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy where he has been an outspoken critic of current American foreign policy and monetary policy. He has gained prominence for his libertarian positions on many political issues, often clashing with both Republican and Democratic Party leaders. Paul has run for President of the United States twice, first in 1988 as the nominee of the Libertarian Party and again in 2008 as a candidate for the Republican nomination. It is widely expected that he will run again in 2012 as a Republican. A 2010 scientific poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports among likely voters found Ron Paul and President Obama to be statistically tied in a hypothetical 2012 presidential election contest.
Paul is the founder of the advocacy group Campaign for Liberty and his ideas have been expressed in numerous published articles and books, including End The Fed(2009), The Revolution: A Manifesto (2008), Pillars of Prosperity (2008), A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship (2007), and The Case for Gold (1982). According to a 1998 study published in the American Journal of Political Science, Paul had the most conservative voting record of any member of Congress since 1937. His son Rand Paul was elected to the United States Senate for Kentucky in 2011, making the elder Paul the first Representative in history to serve alongside a son or daughter in the Senate.
— I first thought of him as “Crazy Ron”, but lately some of his ideas have gained on me. He writes better than he speaks.
— His thoughts on medical issues should be taken seriously.
— Not likely to win the primary.
- Tim Pawlenty, former Governor from Minnesota Timothy James “Tim” Pawlenty born November 27, 1960) is a Minnesota politician in the Republican Party who served as the 39th Governor of the U.S. state of Minnesota. In the Minnesota gubernatorial election of 2002, he was elected governor and was inaugurated on January 6, 2003. He was re-elected with 46% of the vote. On June 2, 2009, he announced that he would not seek re-election in 2010. Pawlenty was succeeded by Democrat Mark Dayton. On March 21, 2011, he announced he was launching a 2012 presidential exploratory committee.– almost in the “who cares?” category, but is very well-spoken. – decent but brief record as governor.– a dark horse (much like Bill Clinton in 2000)
– experience level before becoming a candidate only marginally exceeds Barack Obama’s.
- Mitt Romney, former Governor from MassachusettsWillard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman andRepublican political figure who was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts (2003 to 2007). He ran for President of the United States in the 2008 election, and is exploring a possible candidacy in the 2012 presidential election.
Romney is the son of George W. Romney (the former Governor of Michigan) and Lenore Romney. He was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and served as aMormon missionary in France. He received his undergraduate degree fromBrigham Young University, then earned a joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. Romney entered the management consulting business which led to a position at Bain & Company, eventually serving as its CEO to lead it out of crisis. He was also co-founder and head of the spin-off company Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm which became highly profitable and one of the largest such firms in the nation. He ran as the Republican candidate in the 1994 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts but lost to incumbent Edward M. Kennedy. Romney organized and steered the 2002 Winter Olympics as President and CEO of theSalt Lake Organizing Committee, and helped turn the troubled games into a financial success.
Romney won the election for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, but did not seek reelection in 2006. During his term, he presided over a series of spending cuts and increases in fees while the state’s finances improved. He signed into law the landmark Massachusetts health care reform legislation, which provided near-universal health insurance access via subsidies and state-level mandates. During the course of his political career, his positions or rhetorical emphasis shifted more towards American conservatism in several areas, though his stances on many other issues have been consistent; this process continued with Romney becoming a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. In that contest, he won several caucuses and primaries but ultimately lost to John McCain. Since then he has published a book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, and also given speeches and raised campaign funds on behalf of fellow Republicans.
On April 11, 2011, Romney announced that he had started an exploratory committee for president; political observers and public opinion polls place him as a front-runner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
— I wish he’d go by Willard. For some reason I like that better than Mitt
— His Mormon religion and his failed “Obamacare Junior” health care advocacy are vulnerabilities
— All around good guy, but seems to lack forcefulness. He is very competent.
- Rick Santorum, former Senator from Pennsylvania Richard John “Rick” Santorum (born May 10, 1958) is a former United States Senator from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Santorum is a member of theRepublican Party and was the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.
Santorum is considered both a social and fiscal conservative. He is particularly known for his stances on the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Social Security, intelligent design, homosexuality, and the Terri Schiavo case.
In March 2007, Santorum joined the law firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC. He was to primarily practice law in the firm’s Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. offices, where he was to provide business and strategic counseling services to the firm’s clients. In addition to his work with the firm, Santorum also serves as a Senior Fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and was a contributor to Fox News Channel.
— Young, very likeable. Very intelligent and well-spoken.
— Not overly experienced.
— Must be considered a dark horse.
Additional prospective candidates
- Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.Michele Marie Bachmann (née Amble; born April 6, 1956) is a member of the United States House of Representatives for Minnesota’s 6th congressional district and a potential candidate for president in 2012. She previously served in the Minnesota State Senate. She is the first Republican woman, to represent the state in Congress.
Privately, Bachmann is also notable as a foster parent.
– tea party.
– the prettiest candidate, or at worst tied with Sarah Palin.
– Not much chance to win.
- Businessman Donald Trump of New YorkDonald John Trump, Sr. (born June 14, 1946) is an American business magnate, socialite, author, and television personality. He is the Chairman and CEO of theTrump Organization, a US-based real-estate developer. Trump is also the founder ofTrump Entertainment Resorts, which operates numerous casinos and hotels across the world. Trump’s extravagant lifestyle and outspoken manner have made him a celebrity for years, a status amplified by the success of his NBC reality show, The Apprentice (where he serves as host and executive producer). Donald Trump is considered a possible candidate for President of the United States in 2012.
Donald is the fourth of five children of Fred Trump, a real-estate developer based in New York City and self-made millionaire. Donald was strongly influenced by his father in his eventual goals to make a career in real estate development, and upon his graduation from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968, Donald Trump joined his father’s company, Elizabeth Trump & Son;taking its helm in 1971 and rechristening it The Trump Organization.
Starting with the renovation of the Commodore Hotel into the Grand Hyatt with thePritzker family, he continued with Trump Tower in New York City and several other residential projects. Trump would later expand into the airline industry (buying the Eastern Shuttle routes), and Atlantic City casino business, including buying theTaj Mahal Casino from the Crosby family, then taking it into bankruptcy. This expansion, both personal and business, led to mounting debt. Much of the news about him in the early 1990s involved his much publicized financial problems, creditor-led bailout, extramarital affair with Marla Maples (whom he later married), and the resulting divorce from his first wife, Ivana Trump.
The late 1990s saw a resurgence in his financial situation and fame. In 2001, he completed Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential tower across from the United Nations Headquarters. Also, he began construction on Trump Place, a multi-building development along the Hudson River. Trump owns commercial space inTrump International Hotel and Tower, a 44-story mixed-use (hotel and condominium) tower on Columbus Circle. Trump currently owns several million square feet of prime Manhattan real estate,[ and remains a major figure in the field of real estate in the United States and a celebrity for his prominent media exposures.
Trump has expressed a desire to run for the United States presidency several times. He has also repeatedly expressed skepticism of President Obama’s birth status and religion, which has been the defining issue in his potential 2012 Presidential campaign, and for which he has been criticized.
— A tough businessman, very competent. (But his bankruptcies are troubling.)
— Understands economics as well as any other candidate, if not better.
— Will speak his mind, is very self-confident — to the point of arrogance.
— Remember, Hitler came to power in a time of great economic turmoil
John Robert Bolton (born November 20, 1948) is an American lawyer and diplomat who has served in several Republican presidential administrations. He served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from August 2005 until December 2006 on a recess appointment. He resigned in December 2006 when his recess appointment would have ended because he was unable to gain confirmation from the Senate.
Bolton is currently a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Fox News Channel commentator, and of counsel to the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, in their Washington D.C. Office.He is also involved with a broad assortment of other conservative think tanks and policy institutes, including the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), Project for the New American Century (PNAC), Institute of East-West Dynamics, National Rifle Association, US Commission on International Religious Freedom, and the Council for National Policy (CNP). Known for his hawkish views on foreign policy, Bolton is often described as aneoconservative,though he personally rejects the term.
— smart, confident, speaks impressively
— A dark horse.
- Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana Mitchell Elias “Mitch” Daniels, Jr., (born April 7, 1949) is the 49th and currentGovernor of the U.S. state of Indiana. A Republican, he began his first four-year term as Indiana’s 49th Governor on January 10, 2005, and was elected to his second term by an 18-point margin on November 4, 2008. Previously, he was the Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget under George W. Bush. He was formerly President of Eli Lilly and Company‘s North American operations, Indiana’s largest corporation. He is cited as a rising star in the Republican Party.
Upon becoming Governor, Daniels pressed for a series of changes that brought him into conflict with both Republicans and Democrats. During his first year in office, he proposed a number of tax increases, budget cuts, and privatization plans to balance the budget. Because of the opposition led by Republican Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, only two of the new taxes were approved. Support for a switch to daylight saving time, the privatization of the Indiana Toll Road, and the closure of many license branches brought him into conflict with Democrats; and, in 2005, his approval ratings dropped to 42%. In 2007, he began pressing for constitutional changes to cap State property taxes at 1-3% of value. The caps were approved by the Indiana General Assembly as statute, and the resulting drop in revenue was offset by an increase in the State sales tax. His support for the property tax limits, and its subsequent adoption, helped raise his popularity and secure his re-election bid.
His second term saw a large drop in State revenues, leading to major spending cuts to maintain a balanced budget. He was aided in passing the agenda by the election of a large Republican majority to both houses of the Indiana General Assembly in 2010. In an attempt to derail his agenda, the Democratic minority in the House of Representatives staged a legislative walkout for several weeks, preventing the passage of any legislation.
– currently my favorite candidate, IF HE RUNS.
– A near perfect resume’. His education, experience, and accomplishments are second to none.
– Seems laid-back and low-key, but very intelligent.
– educated at Princeton and Georgetown.
- Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York– Good old Rudy.=======================================
- Former Governor Mike Huckabee of ArkansasMichael Dale “Mike” Huckabee (born August 24, 1955) was the 44th Governorof Arkansas, serving from 1996 to 2007. ] He was a candidate in the 2008 United States Republican presidential primaries, finishing second in delegate count and third in both popular vote and number of states won (behind both John McCain and Mitt Romney). He won the Iowa Republican caucuses. Huckabee exited the race as McCain became the presumptive Republican nominee after winning the delegate winner-take-all states of Florida, California, and New York State.
Huckabee is the author of several best selling books, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, musician and a public speaker. He is also an ABC Radiopolitical commentator.He and his wife, Janet, have been married for 36 years and have three grown children: John Mark, David, and Sarah. Janet Huckabee was an unsuccessful candidate for Arkansas Secretary of State in 2002.
— He could win the primary, IMO.
— Has enhanced his chances with his television exposures since the last election.
— Gives the impression of total honesty and dedication (rare in a politician)
— Good, not outstanding competence.
— Likely to be somewhat moderate, and might appeal greatly to independents.
- Former Governor and 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin of AlaskaSarah Louise Palin (née Heath; born February 11, 1964) is an American politician and commentator. She was the youngest person and the first woman elected Governor of Alaska, an office she held from December 2006 until resigning in July 2009. In the 2008 presidential election, she was the Republican Party nominee for Vice President, becoming the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major party and the first Republican woman nominated for the vice-presidency. She has subsequently associated herself with the Tea Party movement, endorsing and campaigning for several candidates in the 2010 midterm elections, and is a possible candidate in the 2012 presidential election.
– I think she’ll come to her senses and decline to run.
Republicans who may run – but who cares?
(I’ll be amazed if any of these folks last more than 3 weeks in the primaries – or are invited to any debates.)
- Buddy Roemer, former Governor from Louisiana
- Herman Cain, businessman and radio talk show host from Georgia
- Fred Karger, political consultant and gay rights activist from California
- Andy Martin, perennial candidate from Illinois
- Jimmy McMillan, perennial candidate from New York
- U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr. of Utah
- Former Governor Gary E. Johnson of New Mexico
- Former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore of Alabama
- Former governor George Pataki of New York
- Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky
- Attorney, consumer advocate, and perennial presidential candidate Ralph Nader of Connecticut
- Businessman Donald Trump of New York
- Former Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota