Essay, Research Paper
Each of the candidates for President and Vice-President has specific experience and numerous accomplishments that aid in decision-making for voters.
Al Gore graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1969. Later in that year, he voluntarily enlisted in the United States Army to go to Vietnam as a military journalist. In May of 1971, he returned from Vietnam. After that, he attended the Vanderbilt Univ.Grad School of Religion from 1971 until 1972. Later, he attended Vanderbilt University Law School from 1975 to 1976. In November of 1976, he was elected to congress representing Tennessee?s Fourth Congressional District. In February of 1979, he cosponsored the Department of Education Organization Act. In October of 1984, he was elected to the United States Senate. In 1988, he ran for president, winning more than three million votes in 1988 presidential campaign. In 1992, he became one of ten US Senators to support the Persian Gulf War. In November of 1992, Al Gore wa elected as the 45th Vice-President of the United States. In 1993, Gore casted the deciding vote for the administration?s 1993 economic plan. In November of 1996, Gore is reelected as 46th Vice-President of the United States. In August of 1997 the Clinton-Gore administration signs the first balanced budget in a generation. Gore spoke at the Columbine High School memorial service calling for stricter gun control and support for the families of the victims. He certainly stands with an impressive amount of accomplishments and experience as a politician in the United States.
Joseph Lieberman was born in Stamford, Connecticut on February 24, 1942 and attended public schools there. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale College in 1964 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1967. Lieberman was elected to the Connecticut State Senate in 1970 and served there for 10 years, including the last 6 as Majority Leader. He also spent time in the private practice of law, and as an Assistant Dean of the School of Art and Architecture at Yale. From 1982 to 1988, Joe Lieberman served as Connecticut’s 21st Attorney General, and used the post to fight for consumers in Connecticut. He took on the oil industry and brought legal actions to promote women’s rights. Lieberman also was an aggressive enforcer of the state’s environmental protection laws. In 1988, Lieberman won the biggest upset victory in the country, by beating incumbent Lowell Weicker to win election to the U.S. Senate by just 10,000 votes. Six years later, he made history by winning the biggest landslide victory ever in a Connecticut race for a Senate seat, with a margin of more than 67% of the vote. Now in his second term in the U. S. Senate, Joe Lieberman has earned a national reputation as a thoughtful, effective legislator. He is a Democrat who speaks his conscience, forms bipartisan coalitions with Republicans, and fight for working families. He has fought for consumers, for a better environment for present and future generations, and for a strong national defense in his service in the Senate, and on the Armed Services, Environment and Public Works, Governmental Affairs, and Small Business Committees.
Governor George W.Bush, the son of President George Bush started this campaign as a frontrunner selected by political commentators who gave him the most media of any 2000 GOP hopeful. Since then, Bush has taken a series of calculated steps to solidify that position. His landslide re-election victory in a large state and significant numbers of Hispanic supporters gave his frontrunner status credibility on the surface. Behind the scenes, Bush used knowledge from his father’s campaigns to develop a wide range of contacts and a solid fundraising network.
At the same time Bush enjoys the benefits of his father’s name id, his campaign borrows a line from the Oldsmobile commercials and promises “this is not your father’s campaign”… instead it is a younger, more conservative group that’s ready for the next century. When Bush broke all records and raised $37 million by June 1999, he effectively won the 2000 GOP money race. No other Republican challenger was able to match him in fundraising. And his money shows Republicans are putting their money where their collective mouth has been. Bush has been criticized for making mistakes when naming foreign countries and heads of state and is building a foreign policy agenda around interaction with Russia and China as major powers in the next century. After winning the primaries, despite a strong challenge from John McCain, Bush worked to solidify his Republican base and build from it to reach independent voters. His selection of Dick Cheney as a running mate in July helped Bush keep his conservative base while addressing concerns that the party shows a compassionate face.
Richard B. Cheney, widely credited with helping mastermind the U.S.-led military victory over Iraq, by reputation is deliberate but decisive, a Washington insider who honed his skills of persuasion both in Congress and the executive branch. Out of sight for most of the past decade, the 59-year-old Cheney is very much back in the public eye as Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s choice as vice presidential running mate. The face is rounder now than when Cheney, former President Bush’s defense secretary, was on the world’s TV screens during his prosecution of the Persian Gulf War. But he still has that seemingly permanent half-smile, a friendly look that comes with a disarming manner that helped him get along with Democrats even while amassing a deeply conservative voting record on Capitol Hill. In April, when George W. Bush put Cheney in charge of his vice presidential search team, Bush called him “a man of enormous experience.”
The highlight of Cheney’s four years as Pentagon chief, from 1989 to 1993, was the resounding victory in the Persian Gulf War. During that time he also oversaw the Pentagon’s first big wave of post-Cold War defense cuts — and characteristically cautioned Congress against cutting too deeply, too rapidly. In November 1991, several months after the Gulf War ended, Cheney publicly worried about the future of the Soviet Union — which dissolved one month later — and foresaw an instability that continues today.
Cheney was born in Lincoln, Neb., and his father was a longtime Agriculture Department worker. He attended elementary school and high school in Casper, Wyo. He was football co-captain and senior class president, and won a full scholarship to Yale — Bush’s alma mater. He attended Yale for one year but had to leave because of failing grades. He moved back to Wyoming where he worked for the power company stringing and cutting lines, before enrolling at the University of Wyoming, where he renewed a relationship with high school sweetheart Lynne Anne Vincent. They married in 1964 and both went to the University of Wisconsin for doctorates. She earned her doctoral degree, but politics lured him to Washington in 1968, where he was a congressional fellow and became a protege of Michigan Republican Rep. Donald Rumsfeld, a close friend of President Gerald Ford. Cheney served under Rumsfeld in the anti-poverty agency of the Nixon years, on the Nixon White House staff and under Rumsfeld again as assistant director of the Cost of Living Council, Nixon’s agency to combat inflation. When Ford tapped Rumsfeld to become his chief of staff, Rumsfeld made Cheney his deputy. When Rumsfeld left the White House to be defense secretary, Cheney moved up to become the youngest chief of staff ever, at age 34. He held the post for 14 months. After Ford left office, Cheney returned to Casper, Wyoming and ran for the state’s single congressional seat. Despite his heart attack in the middle of the first campaign — which he discussed with all of Wyoming’s Republicans in a letter explaining why he would continue to campaign — Cheney won decisively. He went on to win five more terms.
In Congress, Cheney quickly rose within the GOP power chain. He was one of President Reagan’s most ardent supporters, backing him up on defense issues like the “Star Wars” missile defense system. He also voted against Democrats on almost every social issue, including abortion rights, gun control and the Equal Rights Amendment. During the Iran-Contra scandal, as vice chairman of the congressional investigation commission, Cheney became of one Congress’s most stalwart defenders of the Reagan administration. William Cohen, the current defense secretary and a former member of Congress, recalled Monday that he served with Cheney on the Iran-Contra commission and worked with him during Cheney’s years at the Pentagon. Cheney was not President Bush’s first choice to be defense secretary. His initial pick, Sen. John Tower, withdrew after it became clear he could not win Senate confirmation. Cheney quickly established himself in the Pentagon.
When the Air Force chief of staff, Gen. Michael J. Dugan, talked to reporters in unusual detail about U.S. war plans in the Persian Gulf in September 1990, Cheney said he went too far and fired him. But Cheney, the former politician and Washington insider, also has a deft diplomatic style that was typified during the Gulf War, again, when he flew to Saudi Arabia to convince King Fahd that allowing U.S. forces into his kingdom would be wise.
In 1995, Cheney became chairman and chief executive officer of Dallas-Based Halliburton Corp., one of the world’s leading engineering and construction firms focused on oil companies. Under Cheney’s guidance, the company’s stock price and profits have soared, as has Cheney’s personal portfolio. In 1998, he made $2.2 million in salary and controlled another $10 million in Halliburton stock. He is also a director of several large corporations, including Procter & Gamble, Union Pacific, and Electronic Data Systems.
The biggest question about Cheney may be his health. His 1978 heart attack was the first of three and in 1988 he had a quadruple bypass.
Cheney remains physically active, and his heart problems do not seem to have slowed him down — he continues to go on hikes that last for days and fly-fishing trips.
One skeleton that could hurt a Bush-Cheney ticket is the ever-constant specter of the Vietnam War. Cheney received five student and marriage deferments of service during the war. He told The Washington Post in 1989, “I had other priorities in the ’60s than military service. … I don’t regret the decisions I made. I complied fully with all the requirements of the statutes, registered with the draft when I turned 18. Had I been drafted, I would have been happy to serve.”
Perhaps the most important factor in making a choice for either party is the candidate?s stands on issues affecting voters. I will discuss and analyze six specific issues, education, healthcare, abortion, environment and energy, gun control and tax plans.
In education, the implimentation of vouchers has become an important issue. While Gore strongly opposes vouchers, believing that the money used for them should be given to aid improvement of public schools, Bush favors them. His plan for vouchers would require a three year waiting period for any action to then take place. Concerning class sizes, Gore supports federal initiatives to decrease class sizes at all grade levels. Bush signed a Texas law allowing districts to opt out of class-size limits. He argued that class size should be determined by the district. Gore opposes education block grants that would allow schools to shift funding like Title I from neediest students. He supports hiring two million new teachers, raising standards for students, teachers and schools and universal pre-K. Bush places Title I at risk by pledging to restore local control by converting more than 60 federal programs into block grants. On the issue of college affordability, Gore would make up to 10,000 of college tuition tax-deductible, helping parents and students save tax-free for college costs. Bush would expand ?Education Savings Accounts? by increasing the the annual contribution limit from $500 to $5000.
As they do concerning issues about education, Gore and Bush differ greatly in their views on healthcare. While Gore supports a Patients? Bill of Rights, Bush opposes it. Gore opposes cuts in Medicare, and will use the federal budget surplus to ensure the stability of the Medicare program and guarantee prescription drugs to seniors. If elected, Bush would cut Medicare by $350 billion and end the federal guarantee of funding. His tax cuts leave no money to shore up the Medicare system. Gore supports universal health care while Bush opposes it. Gore opposes the privatization of social security, while Bush supports it. Gore proposed a 10-year $225 billion Medicare plan that includes a prescription drug benefit with free coverage for low-income recipients. Bush proposes providing prescription drug benefits as an option under his $158 billion Medicare reform. He would allow states to voluntarily provide drug coverage for low-income retirees until his reform is complete. As illustrated with healthcare as an example, the candidates strongly disagree on almost every issue.
Among women voters, the issue of abortion has become an important concern in the upcoming election. When each candidate was questioned on whether they would only nominate Supreme Court Justices who share their views on abortion, Vice-President Gore responded by saying he would, ?always protect a woman?s right to choose.? Governor George W. Bush said he would nominate strict constructionists , also known as justices sympathetic to abortion restrictions. He also opposes the federal spproval of the abortion pill RU-486, while Gore supports the pill.
Al Gore had continually stressed the inportance of the environment and issues concerning the nation?s energy policies. His ten year plan of $150 billion is dedicated to obtaining a cleaner environment and ways to obtain energy. This includes tax credits for buying evergy-efficient new homes and cleaner vehicles and $68 billion in incentives for cleaner power plants. He supportes tapping the petroleum reserve to ease the nation?s continually climbing gas prices. Governor Bush opposed this. The major issue Gore and Bush have clashed on has been whether or not to drill in the Alaskan refuge. While Governor Bush supported this drilling, Vice-President Gore adamantly opposed it.
While Vice-President Gore has been a long time advocate of strict restrictions concerning gun control, Governor Bush?s perspective on the issue differs greatly. He believes that United States citizens that have proven themselves responsible enough to bear arms, a right dictated in the constitution, should be allowed to do so. In his opinion, the regulation of firearms should be left to the individual states.
If elected, Governor Bush proposes to use $4.296 trillion of the 10-year budget surplus on tax cuts, programs, interest, and Social Security commitment. His accusation that Vice-President Gore has ?fuzzy math? is quite the opposite. He is the one who has been said to have overspent the federal budget surplus. Gore proposes to use a $500 billion package to encompass tax relief for tuition, health insurance, retirement, etc.
Al Gore?s record as a Congressman, Senator, Presidential Candidate, and Vice-President of the United States has served to portray the strong leader and individual he is. Although I disagree adamantly with Vice-President Gore on the issue of abortion, I support each and every one of his stands on the other issues. I am strongly pro-life, so I could not possibly agree with his pro-choice policy concerning abortion. I am also pro-life in issues concerning the death penalty. If I were able to vote, he would win my vote. Idealy, there would be a perfect candidate. However, this situation does not exist. I disagree with so many of Governor Bush?s policies, particularly those concerning gun control, healthcare, the economy, taxes, and abortion, that it makes it almost impossible for me to vote for him. For me, it is clear that Gore is working more for middle class families, a group in which I am most likely going to spend the rest of my life. On the other hand, Bush seems to be concerned only with the very rich or very poor. For me to compromise two issues I feel so strongly about, portrays how important I believe Gore?s stands on the other issues are. Also, I feel experience gives him an edge over Bush. His voting record in Congress, the Senate and as Vice-President indicate the results we can expect if he is elected president. Although Vice-President Gore supports the death penalty, the public has not seen any direct connection to it with him personally. On the other hand, Governor Bush has shown the American people his stand on the death penalty in his governing of Texas with the highest death penalty rate in the country, we can also expect that as President, he would not work to abolish the death penalty. For me, voting is a chance to voice one?s opinions and take part in a decision that will affect millions of people for the rest of their lives. This is a great privelege I hope to take part in in the next election.