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2008 potential presidential candidates:

Background of the race for the presidency

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Starting over a year before the 2008-NOV elections, CNN and other news outlets started to focus much of their resources on the presidential race. Early on, some candidates flip-flopped on abortion access, and equal rights for gays and lesbians as potential candidates abandoned their long-term opinions and oriented themselves to maximize their chances of being nominated. Sometimes their efforts are viewed as having an impact on religious, moral, and cultural conflicts.

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Early Republican candidates:

Early in the campaign, those Republican voters who are particularly concerned about ethical behavior had concern over some of the contenders for their party's nomination. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

bullet Newt Gingrich: 2 divorces: was allegedly responsible for the destruction of two marriages through adultery. 1 He is now on his third marriage. He is famously known for having "...cheated on his second wife while leading the impeachment crusade against Clinton." 2 He did not enter the race after determining that he could not legally explore a bid while remaining as head of his tax-exempt political organization.
bullet Rudy Giuliani: 2 divorces: is "a thrice-married former mayor whose kids barely speak to him." 2 His wife allegedly had to get a restraining order to keep him and his mistress out of the home. 1 He dropped out of the race on 2008-JAN-30 after the Florida primary.
bullet John McCain: 1 divorce: is described as "...a self-confessed youthful philanderer who courted his future second wife while still married to his first, then launched his political career with his second wife's money." 2
bullet Fred Thompson: 1 divorce: "is now married for the second time, to a woman 25 years his junior." 2 He waited to announce his candidacy until after Labor Day on 2007-SEP-06, and dropped out in 2008-JAN.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney's has never divorced. His ethical standards appear to be above reproach. However, many Evangelical Christians may have difficulty voting for him because he is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- the Mormons. Many Evangelicals consider the church to be a cult whose theological teachings hopelessly deviate from historical Christianity.

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Voting in Iowa and New Hampshire winnowed the field. Super Tuesday which involved 24 states and 1 territory, narrowed the field to three candidates with some chance of success:

bullet Republicans: With the withdrawal of Mitt Romney on FEB-07, that party has only one viable candidate: John McCain. Mike Huckabee still remained  in the race, but was unable to expand his support beyond his base among southerners and evangelicals. Ron Paul has proven his ability to raise impressive amounts of funding, but was not able to translate this into voter support from voters.
bullet Democrats: Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama were evenly matched and often in a statistical dead heat.

On 2008-APR-26, the Constitution Party selected Pastor Chuck Baldwin as their candidate over Dr. Alan Keyes by a vote of 384 to 126. He founded the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL. In his acceptance speech, he complained about:

"... the bi-partisan complicity that has allowed the illegal, immoral, unconstitutional war that has resulted in the slaughter of four thousand American soldiers and untold innocent Iraqis. ... If elected, I will end the lunacy that sends Americans abroad to guard the borders of Iraq, while leaving our borders wide open, inviting illegals to plunder the wealth and good will of American citizens." 3

He promised, that if elected, he would work to protect the lives of the unborn, abolish the IRS and the Federal Reserve, support home schooling, and "eviscerate" vast numbers of unconstitutional federal programs like the Department of Energy ("we have more than enough oil in Alaska") and Social Security ("which is nothing more than socialism"). Baldwin promised to get "the U.S. out of the U.N. and the U.N. out of the U.S.", to abolish the department of Homeland Security and to end foreign aid. 3

In a country with two very strong main parties, third party candidates have traditionally gathered a very small percentage of the votes. 4

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The vote:

Obama eventually obtained sufficient delegates to the convention to guarantee his selection as candidate for the Democratic party. McCain became the Republican Candidate. Senator Obama won the election by a narrow majority of popular vote and a landslide according to the electoral college votes.

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The first "black" president, or the sixth?

Barak Obama was widely described as America's first black candidate for the presidency. However, there is evidence that he was in fact the sixth. According to DiversityInc:

"Were there other 'black' presidents? Some historians have reason to believe  people don't really understand the genealogy of past U.S. Presidents. Research shows at least five U.S. presidents had black ancestors and Thomas Jefferson, the nation's third president, was considered the first black president, according to historian Leroy Vaughn, author of 'Black People and Their Place in World History'." 5

Others were: Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, none of whom ever acknowledged their black ancestors.

DiversityInc concludes:

"The only difference between Obama and these former presidents is that none of their family histories were fully acknowledged by others. Even though Obama is half-white, he strongly resembles his Kenyan father. And not only is Obama open about his ancestry, most people acknowledge him as a black man, which is why people identify Obama as the first black president of the United States." 5

DiversityInc provides a free 22" x 35½"poster titled "Know Your Six Black Presidents" with a subscription to their magazine. See:

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Jean," "Let's see," Posting to the readers' reviews section of Christianity Today's article:
    "Mitt's Mormonism and the 'Evangelical Vote' Can conservative Protestants vote for a member of what they consider a cult?" 2007-MAY-31, at:
  2. Dick Polman, "GOP cuts candidates lots of moral slack," Philadelphia Inquirer, 2007-MAY-23,
  3. Chuck Baldwin, "Chuck Baldwin Acceptance Speech, Constitution Party, 2008-APR-28, at:
  4. The Constitution Party's national platform can be read at:
  5. Aysha Hussain, "Obama Won't Be First Black President," DiversityInc, 2007-FEB-16, at:

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Site navigation: Home page Religious information > Basic info > here

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Copyright 2005 to 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2005-SEP-20
Latest update: 2008-DEC-13
Author: B.A. Robinson

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