, Research Paper
For the next 12 months over 11 presidential candidates will be racing to win a nomination from their respective parties. Only a select few will get a nomination as well as a few will get a vice president nomination. All of these nominations will be determined at the National conventions held for each different party. I have selected 4 candidates to discuss primarily because I think they are the strongest candidates of the democratic and republican parties. From the Democratic Party, I have chosen Bill Bradley and Al Gore. For the Republican Party I chose George W. Bush and Elizabeth Dole. As far as a 3rd party candidate I have looked at the large list of candidates and I really don t think there is anyone strong who will have support from the public.
I have found several surveys listed at PollingReport.com that basically tells How the American public feels about several of the candidates, here are some of the results of the CNN/Time Poll taken between 3/25/99:
Al Gore(D) vs. George Bush (R )
Al Gore(D) vs. Elizabeth Dole (R )
Al Gore (Pres.) George Bush (Pres.)
Hillary Clinton(VP)(D) Vs. Elizabeth Dole (VP)(R )
To be in the race for presidency you must have proper funds to use for your campaign, as of April 1999 the following is their financial status report:
Raised Spent Cash on Hand
Bill Bradley $4,301,882 1,474,687 $2,867,755
George W. Bush $7,604,593 $854,521 $6,750,072
Elizabeth Dole $686,253 $108,210 $578,043
Al Gore $8,883,518 $2,031,342 $6,850,634
Later I will discuss the sources of their funds.
Another major part of their campaigns is important issues and the candidates biography. This is how they get people interested in them. It s very important when it comes down to debates and what each candidate stands for.
Bill Bradley, currently 57 and living in New Jersey as a Banking Consultant, is an only child born in Crystal City, Missouri. Grew up in a middle class family and a multiethnic town. As an adult Bradley served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force Reserves from 1969-1978. He also held a position on the U.S. Senate from 1979-1997. And a very interesting fact, he played for the New York Knicks basketball team from 1967-1977 (he has my vote).
Bill Bradley has published many of his views on the Internet making them accessible to the public. Such views as hate crimes he feels that “when any American is persecuted or murdered because of who he or she is, our fundamental values are violated.” (www.billbradley.com) Abortion; he is strongly pro-choice, which is a common stance of the Democratic Party. Social Security; “we should take that social security surplus out of the budget and put it over to the side.” (www.billbradley.com) Health Care; “health must be redefined broadly to include not just one s individual health, but the health of one s family and community.” (www.billbradley.com) Campaign Finance Reform; he thinks that there is too much money in politics and that it makes the democratic process weaker in fundamental ways. Government in the Economy; we feels we need a prudent fiscal policy. Education; he wants to put more technology in the classrooms, have teachers trained over long terms, and have national standards. The US Military; he does not think that we need to increase the defense budget as much as Clinton has proposed, the money can be spent in better places. Environment; he wants to make such that the non polluted areas stay unpolluted, and continue to work on cleaning up the polluted areas in the US. Taxes; “The best income tax system is the one with the lowest rates and the fewest loopholes.” (www.billbradley.com) Last of all, his standing on the US involvement in Kosovo; “I fully support the American and NATO troops who are now in danger overseas. However, I have serious questions about our policy. We are escalating our commitment without establishing a clear exit strategy. As with Bosnia, we run the risk of becoming bogged down in a quagmire whose end we cannot predict or control.” (www.billbradley.com)
When asked, why he is running for president? Bradley replies his first words are that “I think my ability matches the moment.” Bradley is financially supported by many contributors. So far his largest contributors are; JP Morgan & Co., Winston & Strawn, and Mayer, Brown & Platt.
Another Democratic Candidate is current Vice President, Al Gore. Gore, currently 52 and from Tennessee, has had much political experience. For instance; he held a position in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977-85, the U.S. Senate from 1985-93, and has been Vice President since 1993. He also has past Military experience serving the United States Army from 1969-71.
When asked what the most important issues facing the U.S. today, he listed 7 issues in order of importance;
(Most Important) 1. Improving Our Children s Schools
2. The Environment
3. Health Care
4. Fighting Crime
5. Creating More Jobs
6. Caring for the Elderly
(Least Important)7. Quality Day Care
Currently Gore has received funding from two different sources; small individual contributions and large individual contribution. None of his funds come from PAC contributions as of yet. Geographically Gore s contributions come mainly from New York. This is a big deal since New York is a large state and they receive a large amount of electorate votes. A few of Gore s largest contributors are Ernst & Young, Viacom Inc., and National Jewish Democratic Council.
The republican party has 2 strong candidates that I will be discussing. George W. Bush, who is the front-runner for the Republican nomination and Elizabeth Dole.
Bush, currently 54 and Governor of Texas, was born here in New Haven, CT. His Political experience includes being the Governor of Texas since 1995. He was also a candidate for U.S. House of representatives in 1978. His military experience is serving in the Texas National Guard for 6 years.
Like most Republicans his Bush s stance on Abortion is Pro-Life. His stance on other issues are as follows; In favor of the Death Penalty, Against Gay Rights in most instances, wants to reduce the governments size and influence, he feels welfare should be cut off after 2 yrs. Those are the only issues he has commented on so far, but looking at his track record as Governor of Texas you can tell what other issues are important to him. While he has been Governor he has focused on four simple yet profound issues: improving public schools with high standards, strong accountability and local control; limiting frivolous and junk lawsuits; reforming welfare; and strengthening the juvenile and criminal justice laws. As well as Elizabeth Dole, Bush has received funds from PACS, yet most of his funds come from larger individual contributions. Some of them come from Vinson & Elkins, Jenkens & Gilchrist, and Haynes & Boone. Almost half of his funds have come from the state of Texas, which is very positive for him since Texas is a large state and also receives many electorate votes.
The other Republican candidate I am interested in is, Elizabeth Dole. At age 64 Her political experience includes being a U.S. Secretary of Labor, 1989-91. U.S. Secretary of Transportation, 1983-87. Assistant to President Reagan for Public Liaison, 1981-83. Chair, Voters for Reagan-Bush, 1980. Member, Federal Trade Commission, 1973-79. Deputy Assistant to President Nixon for Consumer Affairs, 1971-73. Executive Director, President’s Commission for Consumer Interests, 1968-71. Staff Assistant, U.S. Department of Health Education & Welfare, 1966-67. President of the American Red Cross since 1991. She is consistently finishing 2nd in the polls for the republican nomination.
Same as Bush, Dole has not made any official stances on issues. She has however made recent comments on Education, Taxes, Defense Spending, Drugs, and the Federal Government. On education she states; “There should be a zero-tolerance policy on bad teaching.” Taxes; “when you work two jobs to put food on the table and shoes on the kids then find one of your paychecks goes to pay the tax bill, you are not in control of your income.” Defense Spending; Defense spending has reached its lowest percentage of gross domestic product in 50 years.” Drugs; “Let s be obvious with ourselves and our neighbors, there wouldn t be a supply if there wasn t a demand.” Federal Government; “I believe the federal government has become too big, too bloated, and too bureaucratic.” (www.dolein2000.org)
Dole has received most of her funding from individuals and a small percentage from PAC contributions.
I personally favor Elizabeth Dole simply because she is a women. That may be the wrong reason but I think it would be a great stride for the U.S. to experience something different and I think we are ready for a women president.
When starting this project I contacted each of the above candidates by e-mail. They are very accessible and easy to contact, all of them have Official Committee pages on the web which is how you can write to them. I have only received 2 responses, one from Bill Bradley and one from Elizabeth Dole. I really had a lot of fun with this project even though a lot of the information was hard to find.