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On November 4, 2008, the 56th presidential election was held featuring Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and Senator John McCain of Arizona. Barack Obama represented the Democratic Party and ran along side Delaware Senator Joe Biden, while John McCain represented the Republican Party choosing Governor Sarah Palin from Alaska as his Vice Presidential nominee. Barack Obama defeated John McCain winning the electoral vote 365-173 and the popular vote, therefore becoming the first African American President in United States History.

Presidential Candidate John McCain:

Throughout his political career, Senator John McCain has had an extraordinary record, demonstrating leadership, knowledge, and an indubitable commitment to service. Since being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982, John McCain has focused on eliminating uneconomical government spending, and strengthening our nation’s military. His exceptional reform plan to reduce federal spending and lower taxes quickly increased his credibility and popularity, elevating him to statewide office and the United States Senate in 1986. In the Senate, he obstinately demanded that Congress put an end to loopholes for special interests. He worked to fix the system in Washington that allowed lobbyists to create legislation and members of Congress to waste taxpayer money. McCain was a student at the United States Naval Academy, and had a 22-year career as a naval aviator upon his graduation.

Young John McCain shaking Ronald Reagan's Hand
Young John McCain shaking Ronald Reagan's Hand

Military Endeavors:
“On July 29, 1967, McCain narrowly survived the first of many near-death experiences during his lifetime while preparing to take off on a bombing mission over North Vietnam from his ship, the USS Forrestal. A missile accidentally fired from a nearby plane struck the fuel tanks on his plane.
Instead of taking the option to return home after the Forrestal disaster, Senator McCain volunteered for more combat duty – a fateful decision that stopped the clock on his life and separated him from his family, and country, for five and a half years.
During his 23rd bombing mission on October 26, 1967, a missile struck his plane and forced him to eject, knocking him unconscious and breaking both his arms and one leg. McCain was then taken as a prisoner of war into the now infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was denied necessary medical treatment and often beaten by the North Vietnamese. He spent much of his time as a prisoner of war in solitary confinement, aided by his faith and the friendships of his fellow POWs. When he was finally released and able to return home years later, Senator McCain continued his service by regaining his naval flight status. ” (http://www.johnmccain.com) Senator McCain gained many honors from his bravery in the navy including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Senator McCain presently serves on the following Senate Committees during the 111th Congress: Ranking Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee; Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Committee on Indian Affairs.

Reforming Health Care in America
Reforming Health Care in America

McCain and Health Care Reform

Although the Democrats are continuing to advance their liberal Health Care agenda, Senator McCain believes that Republicans should stick to the principals of a weaker central government along with individual choice over a dominant federal government.

Reforming Education For a New Generation
Reforming Education For a New Generation

McCain on Education

Senator McCain believes wholeheartedly in a strong public school system that gives all public school children a first rate education.

Providing Real Relief for the Economy and the American Worker
Providing Real Relief for the Economy and the American Worker

McCain on our Economy and Jobs

Senator McCain voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act because of the concern that it won't significantly stimulate our economy and it will increase the debt of the United States.

Protecting Our Borders and Our Homeland
Protecting Our Borders and Our Homeland

McCain on Homeland Security

As Immigration poses a serious threat, John McCain has always believed that proper measures must be taken to control and monitor our borders. He has fought to secure US boarders and to control the illegal immigrant population.

Honoring And Supporting The Great American Veteran
Honoring And Supporting The Great American Veteran

McCain on War Veterans

As a veteran, former prisoner of war, and military hero, McCain strongly supports veteran associations which honor and provide aid for veterans.

Strengthening America’s National Security
Strengthening America’s National Security

McCain on National Security

McCain strongly believes in strengthening the United States’ national security and preventing any foreign affairs threatening our prosperity or security in the coming decades.

Fighting For a More Effective Government
Fighting For a More Effective Government

McCain on Fiscal Responsibility

John McCain is a staunch advocate against against wasteful and excessive spending that adds to national debt.


Presidential Candidate Barack Obama

Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4th, 1961. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was born in Kenya, Africa and grew up herding goats. Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, was raised in a small town in Kansas. After a divorce, Barack Obama grew up with his mother in Hawaii, and for a few years in Indonesia. Later, he moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1983. In an effort to demonstrate the values of empathy and service that his mother taught him, Barack "put law school and corporate life on hold after college and moved to Chicago in 1985, where he became a community organizer with a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued with crime and high unemployment. Although, he reached success on some level, Barack realized that in order to make a substantial impact and truly improve the lives of people in all communities, it would take not just a change at the local level, but a change in our laws and in our politics."(www.barackobama.com) Therefore, he later earned a law degree from Harvard in 1991, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. After Harvard, he returned to Chicago to gain experience as a civil rights lawyer and teach constitutional law. His advocacy work led him to run for the Illinois State Senate, where he dutifully served for eight years. In 2004, he became the third African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

The internet propelled Obama's campaign
Barack Obama's campaign team used its command of the internet as a fund-raising and organizing tool. These internet methods were used by both parties, however, Obama's campaign used the tools more effectively. The Obama campaign invited ordinary Americans to participate in the political process and made people feel like they could make a difference. "Volunteers used Obama’s website to organize a thousand phone-banking events in the last week of the race — and 150,000 other campaign-related events over the course of the campaign. Supporters created more than 35,000 groups clumped by affinities like geographical proximity and shared pop-cultural interests. By the end of the campaign, myBarackObama.com chalked up some 1.5 million accounts. And Obama raised a record-breaking $600 million in contributions from more than three million people, many of whom donated through the web. In addition "to fostering grassroots supporters with its social networking tool, the Obama campaign contacted hard-to-reach young voters through text messages, collecting thousands of numbers at rallies and sending out texts at strategic moments to ask for volunteer help or remind recipients to vote. (Stirland)

Political Philosophy

Because Barack Obama grew up in many different places with socio-economic differences he has had many rich and valued experiences. "Amid the partisanship and bickering of today's public debate, he still believes in the ability to unite people around a politics of purpose - a politics that puts solving the challenges of everyday Americans ahead of partisan calculation and political gain." (www.barackobama.com)
Knowing that our economy and our security depend on oil, Obama works to bring auto companies, unions, farmers, businesses and politicians of both parties together to promote the greater use of alternative fuels and higher fuel standards in our cars.
In addition, whether it's the poverty exposed by Katrina, the genocide in Darfur, or the role of faith in our politics, Barack Obama continues to speak out on the issues that will define America in the 21st century.
To build a lasting foundation for America’s economic prosperity and security, Obama believes the core challenges that face Americans and their families are energy, health care, and education. By acting together, Obama believes that we, as Americans, can overcome the obstacles that for too long have prevented real change on the critical issues that we face day in and day out. He became well known for his catch phrase, "Yes we can" and "Change we can believe in" referring to change that Americans were hoping for with a new administration.


Barack Obama's Views on:

Obama on the Economy

Although the economy is in a recession, Obama doesn't believe in rebuilding the economy based on "the old model of bubbles and busts". He wants to build a sustainable foundation that focuses on long term stability, to ultimately create a stable economy for the future.

Obama on Health Care

After many years of debate over the issue of universal health care, Obama succeeded in passing legislation that will end many insurance company abuses and provide more affordable health care options to create a system that treats everyone safely.

Obama on New Energy

Barack Obama believes in investing money and research finding alternative and renewable energy. He envisions America as a 21st century clean energy leader and wishes to diminish our dependency on foreign oil as well as address the global climate crisis.

Obama on Education

Obama also believes that a first-class education is one of the most important issues facing America today. He believes in properly preparing the next generation for success in college and in the workforce in addition to leading the future world in innovation and achievement.


Results of Election 2008:
The 2008 election had historic significance on many levels. Barack Obama got 52.92 percent of the popular vote and a total of 364 electoral votes while John McCain only received 45.66 percent of the popular vote and a mere 174 electoral votes. Obama's victory made him the first African American elected as President. In addition, this was the first time that a Roman-Catholic was elected as a Vice President, with Joe Biden's victory. Furthermore, for the first time in nearly fifty-six years, neither an incumbent president not a vice president ran for President. Finally, it was the first time that a Vice Presidential nominee for the Republican party was a women, Sarah Palin. Ultimately, this was considered an extremely important election and the voter turnout for the 2008 election was the highest in at least 40 years.

First African American President
Barack Obama being elected as the first African American President is one of the truly remarkable, momentous breakthroughs in United States History. When the country was founded, blacks were enslaved and considered property. They had no rights and were viciously mistreated. Even throughout the 20th Century, African Americans did not have equal rights, and faced many civil rights challenges. They were not considered equal by law and many public schools and facilities were segregated. Now, only eight years into the 21st century, Barack Obama was elected as President of the United States, which is arguably the most prestigious honor one could receive.

Fun Fact = Approximately 36% of Barack Obama's name is made up of the vowel "A".

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