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In less than two months, Americans will head to the polls, to vote for the nation's 45th President - A crucial decision that will shape their lives for at least the next four years, if not more. Their main two choices? Current US President, Mr. Barack Obama, representing the Democratic Party and Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, for Republican Party. So who are they and what do they represent? Read on to find out . . . .
President Barack Obama
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4th, 1961, Mr. Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States and the first African American to lead the country in its 236-year history. Married to Michelle Obama since 1991, he has two girls - Malia (14) and Sasha (11).
Unlike most other former Presidents, Mr. Obama does not come from a political family. In fact, after graduating from New York's Columbia University in 1983 with a degree in political science, he worked for a few years in the business sector before moving to Chicago as a community organizer for low-income neighborhoods.
In 1988 he decided to switch paths and get a law degree from Harvard University. After graduating magna cum laude in 1991, Mr. Obama returned to Chicago and worked as civil rights lawyer for a few years. it was then, while helping organize former president Bill Clinton's voter registration drive that Mr. Obama got his first taste of politics.
In 1996 he made his foray into his new career by running for Illinois State Senator as a Democrat. Sure enough, he won and the rest as they say is history. In 2008, the entire country enthused and energized by his campaign slogan, 'Yes We Can', voted him in with an overwhelming majority of 61% against Republican candidate, John McCain.
His Accomplishments So Far
In the last four years, President Obama has done many things to improve the health of the people and the economy. Amongst his biggest successes is signing into law the Affordable Care Act, an effort to provide health care to even the poorest Americans, setting up a firm schedule to bring the troops home from our long-drawn war in the Middle-East and also, convincing Congress to pass a $787 billion USD stimulus package to help out the American economy, which has been suffering through a recession since he came to office in 2008.
What He Promises If Re-Elected
If re-elected, among other things, the President promises to pull the USA out from the economic doldrums by creating one million new manufacturing jobs and reducing the current budget deficit by more than $4 trillion USD. He also pledges to help boost education standards in the US by hiring 100,000 math and science teachers.
Willard Mitt Romney
Born in Detroit, Michigan on March 12, 1947, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is the son of the former Michigan Governor, George W. Romney. Married to Ann since 1969, he has five boys and 18 grandchildren.
Similar to President Obama, he did not opt for politics early on in his career. Instead, upon graduating from Harvard University in 1984 with a joint degree in law and business, he founded investment firm, Bain Capital. After spending about a decade building it into one of the nation's largest and most successful asset management and financial firms, Mr. Romney turned his attention to the 'family' business of politics with an unsuccessful run for the Massachusetts Senate in 1994. Not deterred, he tried again in 2003 and was elected.
In 2008, ready to seek out higher office, he made a bid for the Republican Presidential nomination. He was however defeated by fellow party member John McCain. But as usual, he never gave up. In 2011 he announced his intention to try again. Sure enough, this time around he was successful and now all he has to do is convince the US public that he can do a better job at running the country than President Obama.
His Accomplishments So Far
Since Mr. Romney has never had the chance to lead the country, his achievements can only be judged from his past accomplishments which include, starting and running a successful business, overseeing a very successful 2001 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and being instrumental in reducing a $3 billion USD deficient during his term as the Governor of Massachusetts. In addition to that he also helped implement a health care reform program that provides universal health care to the residents of Massachusetts.
What He Promises if Elected
To turn around the economy which, is the biggest concern most Americans have right now.
We will probably hear more specific plans from both candidates as November 6th approaches. Given that President Obama and Mitt Romney are almost neck to neck in opinion polls currently, they both have some convincing to do before the big day! Hopefully, Americans will choose the right candidate to lead them over the next four or possibly eight years!
Resources: Biography.com, cnn.com