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 



Ordained Bishop and God-First Man of Faith
Born: July 11th, 1953  (age 63)


Born in Grapeland, Texas, Julian Lewis, Jr was raised to be a man of deep and unshakeable faith, and he has carried this lesson with him moving forward. Upon graduating from Lincoln High School, he went on to serve in the armed forces from 1972 to 1975 before being honorably discharged, making him a veteran of the Vietnam War era (though he did not see actual combat). After his service, he attended All State Business College and Dallas Bible College, where he eventually graduated with a degree in Pastoral Ministry. He officially joined the ministry in 1976, becoming a pastor in 1984 and being ordained into the Office of the Bishop in 1997.

While he was raised to vote Democratic, Lewis has developed his own political leanings and opinions that are decidedly conservative in nature. He accuses social welfare programs of handicapping people and calls for better management of resources. He is tough on illegal immigration, declaring that current laws must be upheld and those entering the country unlawfully be stopped. Ever the religious man, he even blames the removal of prayer from schools for many of the problems currently facing the educational system. He favors the implementation of corporal punishment in school, saying children have become unruly in modern days and are prone to engaging in behaviors they would once have regarded as unthinkable.

A central tenet of Lewis' candidacy is the call to go “back to basics”, or to return to the traditional American values of yesteryear. He champions the inclusion of God both at the community level and in the highest branches of government, blaming a departure from Christian values for many of the nation's ills. His bid is made less likely by the fact that, despite his strongly conservative views which would appeal to a large fraction of the Republican heartland, he has chosen to run as an Independent, being disgusted with party politics and wishing not to involve himself in them.

It is mainly for this reason that Julian Lewis, Jr will have a difficult time finding his audience. With even disenfranchised Republicans – of which there are many – turning to the Tea Party to cast their “message” votes, a place in American politics may prove difficult for an Independent, pious Bishop.
 
 
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