The 2008 presidential election is shaping up to be one of the most crucial in recent American history. For the first time since 1928, Americans will be choosing from a field of candidates in which neither party has an incumbent president or vice president vying for the presidency.
And because this field of hopefuls is so bountiful (and continues to grow), voters will be sifting through candidates by scrutinizing where and why they stand on the major issue of today.
Topics such as the war in Iraq, healthcare and immigration are among the top issues candidates are shaping their platforms around to garner the most votes come November of next year. So what exactly are these campaign promises? And for that matter, who exactly are the candidates making such claims?
The most notable name vying for the Democratic nomination is Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY. She is a self-proclaimed United Methodist, married to former president Bill Clinton and has been serving in the US Senate since 2001 representing the state of New York.
Clinton has vowed to unitize healthcare and to pull US troops from Iraq if elected to the presidency-after voting for it in 2003-but has yet to propose clear outlines of how she will accomplish either.
According to an April Gallup Poll, she has a 45 percent favorable rating with the American public, a rating that has been on a slow decline for the past two months.
Clinton has been quoted saying, “Every nation has to either be with us, or against us. Those who harbor terrorists, or who finance them, are going to pay a price.”
Out in front for the GOP is the former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani, who is also currently tied with Clinton in favorability, according to the latest Gallup Poll.
Giuliani achieved national fame after the September 11 attacks, earning him the nickname “America’s Mayor” for his presence at ground zero, and he continues to increase his favorability ratings as the ’08 election nears.
Giuliani is a devout Roman Catholic, supports same sex marriage rights and is in favor of limiting a woman’s right to choose concerning partial birth abortion. Giuliani also supports President George W. Bush’s decision to push forward in Iraq saying, “The idea of leaving Iraq, I think, is a terrible mistake.”
One of the most popular candidates for the presidency is Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL.
Obama’s famous “The Audacity of Hope” keynote address that he delivered at the 2004 Democratic National Convention skyrocketed him to national celebrity status even before he had officially thrown his name into the race. He openly denounces the war in Iraq, calling for a full US troop withdrawal by the end of 2008 and has also vowed to make healthcare available and affordable to all Americans if elected, but has yet to propose a clear-cut strategy of how he plans to implement such policies.
Obama supports a woman right to choose, saying, “No one is pro-abortion.” His favorability rating as of April 30 is 52 percent.
Another popular Republican candidate is Sen. John McCain, R-AZ. He is an open supporter of President Bush’s “surge” strategy for Iraq, saying, “Only the most deluded of us could doubt the necessity of this war.”
McCain has been a lifelong Republican but has earned the nickname “Maverick” for his controversial stances on certain issues. He supports American intervention to end the genocide in Darfur, supports gay rights issues, is an advocate for a guest worker program for illegal immigrants and lobbies for stricter limits on political campaign funds. His favorability rating as of April 30 is 41 percent.
Poltical pundits stress that it is important for voters to note the presidential candidates of the 2008 election are in the process of fine-tuning their platforms.
With “election day” more than a year away, voters can expect many campaign promises from candidates to be revamped as November draws nearer.