2016 



Former U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady
Born: October 26th, 1947  (age 69)


The sight of former president Bill Clinton wiping away tears of joy while standing silently behind his wife as she was making her victory speech in the 2000 Senate elections in New York may appear a little melodramatic for some. However, when one considers the sacrifices and extreme loyalty that Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton has shown to her husband over the previous 26 years, that gesture suddenly makes all the sense in world.

Secretary Clinton’s ascension to Senator, and thereafter, Secretary of State, is not something all that surprising for those that knew her, considering what a gifted child, student and political operative Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was.

Born in Cook County and raised in suburban Park Ridge just outside of Chicago, Secretary Clinton grew up in a loving middle class family. Her early years were shaped by her Goldwater-Republican Navy veteran and business owner father and his tremendous work ethic, balanced against her mother’s Democratic leanings and harsh childhood.

At an age where young girls and boys were still too preoccupied with watching cartoons on TV, young Hillary was already busy demonstrating her leadership abilities and initiative with backyard carnivals and cookie and food drives for charity. When others her age were engrossed with the challenges of school and growing up, young Hillary was busy with the post-election canvassing of Chicago’s south side for the Republican Party. When children tread lightly around their parents and elders, she was engaged in delightfully spirited political debates with her family during dinner.

Her star continues to shine brightly at Wellesley, where her commencement address drew a seven-minute long standing ovation, and at Yale, where she was paid to intern at Washington every summer. She was already an experienced Democratic aide before even graduating from Yale, and was headhunted to be part of the Watergate impeachment inquiry team counseling House Democrats months after finishing college.

She was never a radical, beatnik or hippie, but neither was she a middle-of-the-road moderate. She is, above all, an idealist – an intelligent, disciplined, driven and practical idealist. Despite her image of a strong and uncompromising woman, people who she’s worked with reveal her to be a polite, considerate, consultative, and perhaps most surprisingly, religious individual. The latter perhaps is due to the influence of her mother and grandmother, both strong-willed Methodist women. She is also an exceptional public speaker, and can speak for an extended period of time without notes – done without pauses and filler syllables.

Over the years, many negative epithets have been used by the press and political opponents to describe her. As many have learned however, pigeonholing or underestimating Secretary Clinton often comes at a great cost.

The key to defeating Secretary Clinton lies in winning over her core support base - women, baby boomers and minorities. Meanwhile, her weakest demographic is the millennials, and this is clearly reflected in her underwhelming support online. And yet, one gets the impression that her opponents simply do not get this very simple equation. Will this prove costly in the end?




Hillary Clinton, the First Lady of Arkansas, in a 1979 TV interview
 
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Declared 2016 



Management consultant and semi-retired professional engineer


Currently a resident of Batesville, Arkansas where he lives with his wife and mother of their three children, Ken Cross comes from humble beginnings, including a childhood that included picking potatoes alongside migrant workers. Though he nurses a lifelong love of politics and claims to have studied that subject since his earliest days, he has also filled his time as an assistant scoutmaster to a troop of boy scouts, as a construction worker and as a UAW foundry worker. His professional training is in engineering, though he now considers himself semi-retired from that field and currently works as a management consultant. Having once worked as a corporate executive, he has owned three different small businesses.

Cross gives an air of fiscal conservatism in many key areas, including his support for a balance budget and harsh criticism of deficit spending, as well as his calls for a simplified tax code (including a “flat tax” that harkens back to the ideals of his party's founder, Ross Perot), however he parts with the conservative base in other economic matters. Ken Cross is a strong proponent of social security and carefully avoids policy that might endanger that program. He believes in exploring potential alternative energy sources that many of those on the right might consider cost prohibitive. As such, he also supports environmental protection measures.

Cross is conditionally pro-life, with a belief in reluctantly permitting abortion in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is in danger. He criticizes the “nation-building” policies of the United States demonstrated in recent wars, and believes military action should be used only sparingly and overwhelmingly for homeland defense.

The primary contention of Ken Cross' campaign for president is that both major political parties cater almost exclusively to their own most extreme factions, leaving a majority of Americans disenfranchised. He believes that the interests of the United States are best served by strengthening the middle class, and remarks that this is most readily accomplished by electing a middle class president such as himself. A blend of fiscal and social conservatism meeting traditionally leftist energy with environmental concerns, and a staunch support for certain entitlement programs, his philosophies are comfortably unextreme and include elements that appeal to wider range of voters. However, that same mishmash of erstwhile separated ideologies put him at risk of being insufficiently orthodox to any one political base, potentially limiting his appeal when the time comes to cast ballots.
 
 
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