Presidential Elections

The will be held on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016  ♦  2016 Presidential Candidates






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  Presidential Candidates  Age & Birthdate
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  Presidential Candidates  Childhood
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  Republican Convention
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    Barack Obama


Childhood



Despite the ongoing debate between the primacy of nature and nurture, there is no denying the obvious effect of our childhood on our eventual mental, emotional and physical development. Whether it was a beautiful or traumatic one, it will inevitably shape us into the kind of adult we will grow to be.

It is no different for the candidates. And like everything else, in order to understand something completely, we have to go back to the very beginning. So, put your Kevin Arnold helmets on and let's travel back in time to look at their wonder years.




 

 

2012 Libertarian Presidential Nominee
Former Governor of New Mexico

Gary Johnson

Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson

Johnson Childhood

Johnson grew up in an upper middle class neighborhood of Minot, North Dakota, with a teacher father and a mother who worked with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He was exposed from an early age to the value of money and an appreciation for diversity, traits that he carries to this day.
Johnson's profile, official website and positions on the issues



 
2012 Democratic Presidential Nominee
Current President of the United States

Barack Obama

Presidential Candidate Barack Obama

Obama Childhood

Barack Obama Sr. was awarded a joint scholarship by Kenyan-based Airlift Africa Project and the African-American Students Foundation, which led to him enrolling in the University of Hawaii in Honolulu in the fall of 1959 to pursue a degree in Economics. Free-spirited Wichita-born Stanley Ann Dunham enrolled there several months earlier, pursuing a Mathematics degree.

As luck would have it, both the 23-year old Obama Sr. and the 17-year Dunham signed up for the same basic Russian language class for some extra credits. The pair met, and romance blossomed. A few months later, Dunham moved into Obama Sr.’s rented unit at 625 11th Ave Honolulu, and President Barack Obama was conceived here sometime in early December 1960.
625 11th Ave Honolulu

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Dunham, already a scandalous figure in the community owing to her relationship with Obama Sr., dropped out of the university after learning of her pregnancy. The couple wedded a little over a month later on Groundhog Day in the small coastal town of Wailuku in Maui. Barack Hussein Obama II was born half a year later on August 4, 1961. But the marriage proved to be a short- lived affair after Dunham discovered that Obama Sr. hid about an earlier marriage, and an existing wife in his homeland Kenya. Their relationship broke down irretrievably.

A heartbroken Dunham, with the one-month old Obama Jr. in tow, moved to Seattle and attended a program at the University of Washington. She stayed in a rented apartment there, juggling baby Obama with her studies. Meanwhile, back in Hawaii, Obama Sr. graduated and was quickly offered another scholarship, this time by Harvard, to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics. He left in September 1962, just missing Dunham’s return, who moved in back with her parents. Not much is known of their life in the next two years, beyond the fact that Dunham’s parents, Stanley and Madelyn Lee, proved to be doting grandparents to the young Obama. With the support of her parents, Dunham re-enrolled in the University of Hawaii to pursue a degree in Cultural Anthropology. She filed for divorce in January 1964, and Obama Sr. did not contest it.
Stanley with Obama
During her free time, Dunham began spending time in the new East-West Center campus, a Congress-funded initiative designed to forge and build relationships between the American academic and professional community and their Asian counterparts. It was here, in the Center’s 21-acre, six building compound, located adjacent to the University of Hawaii, that Dunham met and subsequently fell in love with, Lolo Soetoro.

Soetoro, a 29-year old government-sponsored Indonesian student, was in the third year of his Geography degree. The couple dated, and was married on March 15, 1965, in a civil ceremony in Molokai. Dunham and the young Obama, affectionately called Barry by his family, moved into Soetoro’s rented house at 3326 Oahu Avenue in Upper Manoa.

Soetoro, after obtaining his degree, returned to Indonesia in 1966. Dunham graduated in 1967 and promptly moved to Indonesia with six-year old Obama to join her husband. Soetoro’s early employment remains a source of contention, although the most popularly accepted theory was either as a Surveyor or Colonel with the Indonesian Army. However, based on several passages from President Obama’s 1995 bestseller, Dreams of My Father, the latter seems more likely.

Dreams of My Father, page 25
I noticed a series of indented scars that ran from his ankle halfway up his shin.
“What are those?”
“Leech marks,” he said. “From when I was in New Guinea. They crawl inside your army boots while you’re hiking through the swamps. At night, when you take off your socks, they’re stuck there, fat with blood. You sprinkle salt on them and they die, but you still have to dig them out with a hot knife.”….
I asked Lolo if it had hurt. “Of course it hurt,” he said, taking a sip from the jug. “Sometimes you can’t worry about hurt. Sometimes you worry only about getting where you have to go.”….
“Have you ever seen a man killed?” I asked him. He glanced down, surprised by the question. “Have you?” I asked again.
“Yes,” he said.
“Was it bloody?”
“Yes.”
I thought for a moment. “Why was the man killed? The one you saw?”
“Because he was weak.”
“That’s all?”
Lolo shrugged and rolled his pant leg back down. “That’s usually enough. Men take advantage of weakness in other men. They’re just like countries in that way. The strong man takes the weak man’s land. He makes the weak man work in his fields. If the weak man’s woman is pretty, the strong man will take her.” He paused to take another sip of water, then asked, “Which would you rather be?”
I didn’t answer, and Lolo squinted up at the sky. “Better to be strong,” he said finally, rising to his feet. “If you can’t be strong, be clever and make peace with someone who’s strong. But always better to be strong yourself. Always.”
Dreams of My Father, page 27
"Still, something had happened between her and Lolo in the year that they had been apart. In Hawaii he had been so full of life, so eager with his plans. At night when they were alone, he would tell her about growing up as a boy during the war, watching his father and eldest brother leave to join the revolutionary army, hearing the news that both had been killed and everything lost, the Dutch army’s setting their house aflame, their flight into the countryside, his mother’s selling her gold jewelry a piece at a time in exchange for food. Things would be changing now that the Dutch had been driven out, Lolo had told her; he would return and teach at the university, be a part of that change.
He didn’t talk that way anymore. In fact, it seemed as though he barely spoke to her at all, only out of necessity or when spoken to, and even then only of the task at hand, repairing a leak or planning a trip to visit some distant cousin. It was as if he had pulled into some dark hidden place, out of reach, taking with him the brightest part of himself. On some nights, she would hear him up after everyone else had gone to bed, wandering through the house with a bottle of imported whiskey, nursing his secrets. Other nights he would tuck a pistol under his pillow before falling off to sleep. Whenever she asked him what was wrong, he would gently rebuff her, saying he was just tired."
Much later in the book, Obama would recount his experiences living in Indonesia, a chapter in his life that profoundly affected both him and his mother. More importantly, he began to understand the naiveté of his mother, of her habit of only seeing the best in everyone and of her constant battle for acceptance.

Obama spent his first three years of primary school in SD Fransiscus Asisi (St. Francis of Asisi), a Catholic school under the auspices of the St. Francis of Asisi Church in Jakarta.
A statue of young Obama in front of SD Franciscus Asisi in Jakarta
Three years later, with the help of his brother, Soetoro managed to secure a job with Mobil Oil Co, as an executive in their government relations office. The family moved to a new house near Central Jakarta, and Obama was transferred to the nearby government-run Menteng State Elementary School for the next year and a half. Dunham also found a new job as the Director of the Indonesian Institute of Management, Education and Development.

On August 15, 1970, Dunham gave birth to Maya Kassandra Soetoro, and life appeared to be perfect for the young family.

However, Dunham began to have reservations about the education of his son. Despite the daily three-hour early-morning  tutoring she gave Obama, she feared that her son will lose his identity and culture growing up in a foreign land. And thus, in 1971, Dunham decided to send Obama back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents.
Obama, with his 9th grade class in 1976
The ten-year old Obama returned to Hawaii in the summer of 1971 into the eagerly awaiting embrace of his grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn. They promptly enrolled him into the Punahou School, one of the top private schools in Hawaii, where he will stay until graduation eight years later. His schoolmates at the time included AOL founder Steve Case and Hollywood actress, Kelly Preston.

Young Obama received a surprise several months later when his biological father, Obama Sr., came to visit. The older Obama took his son to a jazz concert, featuring the legendary jazz pianist, David Brubeck. It proved to be the first and only time they would meet. Obama Sr. would pass away eleven years later in a car crash.
Obama Sr. and Obama Jr.
His mother returned to Hawaii the following year with his half-sister Maya after obtaining a scholarship to pursue an M.A in Anthropology from the University of Hawaii. She graduated three years later, and planned on bringing Obama back with her to Indonesia. However, Obama chose to stay behind with his grandparents and finish high school at Punahou. Dunham returned again two years later to complete her Ph.D, and once again, Obama declined to follow her when she returned to Indonesia in 1978.

Obama was a respected and well-liked student in his school. He played as a forward in the school’s basketball team and won the 1979 State Championship. He was in the Choir Club and became one of the editors of the school magazine. Outside the school, Obama was an avid surfer, a fan of jazz and loves fishing. His former homeroom teacher, Eric Kusunoki, remarked in an interview 28 years later, “I knew he would do well. He was very gifted, and I knew he'd do great things." Years later, Obama would admit to experimenting with drugs and consuming alcohol as a high schooler. He graduated in 1979, and his journey into adulthood officially began.
Obama's profile, official website and positions on the issues



 
2012 Republican Presidential Nominee
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mitt Romney

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney

Romney Childhood

After the birth of her third child, Scott, Lenore LaFount Romney was devastated to learn that she could no longer carry a baby. The risks were too high, she was told, and future births could only be done through a Caesarean section. This probably explains the shock that accompanied the news of Willard Mitt Romney’s arrival on March 12, 1947.

The proud father, George Wilcken Romney, was bursting with joy and sent out telegrams and letters to family and friends from their home in Detroit, Michigan. In one of the letters, George declared, “Well, by now most of you have had the really big news, but for those who haven't, Willard Mitt Romney arrived at Ten AM March 12.”

It was a difficult birth, and the attending doctor remarked, as related by Tiger Vidmar in his book, ‘Behind the Mask: Mitt Romney’; “I don't see how she became pregnant, or how she carried the child.”

The parents named him in honor of George’s good friend, J. Willard Marriot (who would later establish the Marriot chain of hotels) and his cousin Milton ‘Mitt’ Romney, the former star quarterback for the Chicago Bears.

Romney’s arrival coincided with George’s rising fortune. The college dropout, who by then was already a highly rated executive after successful stints as General Manager of the Automobile Manufacturers Association, and later, as Managing Director of the Automotive Council for War Production, is widely credited as one of the architects in Detroit’s emergence as the Motor City of the nation.

He was poached by George Mason a year after Mitt was born and appointed as the Executive Vice President of Nash-Kelvinator, which effectively made him the number two man in the firm. Five years later, following the death of Mason, George became the President and Chairman of the firm. Within twelve months, George engineered a merger between Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson Motor Car Company, forming the American Motors Corporation (AMC).

Things were looking bleak at the time for the company. Two other smaller car manufacturers, Packard and Studebaker, folded the previous year in the face of the onslaught from the big three; General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. AMC was not expected to fare much better. But George rose to the challenge and introduced the first national branding campaign in the motor industry for the Rambler, aided by a host of Disney characters following the inking of a sponsorship agreement between AMC and Disneyland.

Two straight years of record breaking sales followed, and the Rambler became the third highest selling car in the United States by the early 60s. With the survival of AMC secured, George left the firm in late 1961 for a well-deserved rest, and to begin a new chapter in his career - politics.

George ran for Governor of Michigan in 1962, and against all odds, triumphed in what was considered a Democratic stronghold. He was reelected twice more after that, in 1964 and 1966. He was widely tipped to contest the 1968 Republican presidential nomination race. However, he withdrew after realizing that Richard Nixon was a shoe-in for the nomination. Nevertheless, President Nixon, fearing a renewed run from George in 1972, attempted to appease the man by appointing him to his 12-man cabinet, as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. George accepted the offer, and it proved to be his last high profile position.

During the time George was latched securely on a supersonic career path, young Mitt grew under the tremendous shadow of his larger than life father. However, instead of wilting under the glare of the father he idolized, Mitt, protected by an adoring mother and the rest of his siblings, and took every available opportunity to spend some time with his old man. The affection was mutual, as re-counted by Dick Milliman, the former Press Secretary for Romney Sr. “They would hug upon meeting, and not just any hug," he recalls. "He would give Mitt a big bear hug and a kiss.”
Romney's profile, official website and positions on the issues



 
2012 Republican Vice-Presidential Nominee
U.S. Representative from Wisconsin

Paul Ryan

Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan

Ryan Childhood

Ryan was born and raised in the blue-collar town of Janesville, Wisconsin, to father, Paul, a lawyer, and mother, Betty, a house wife. He was the youngest of four siblings.

The Ryans were an established and well known family in the community, chiefly due to Ryan Incorporated Central, a construction company started by his great-grandfather, Patrick, in 1884. The company, which employs many of the locals, is currently one of the largest earthmoving firms in the United States.

Tragedy struck in 1986 when his father died from a heart attack. Reports suggest that the 16-year old Ryan discovered his body at home after school.

The family’s life immediately changed thereafter. His grandmother moved in to help care for Ryan and his siblings while his mother enrolled into college in order to better support them. Ryan started working part-time at McDonald’s to supplement the family income.

At school, Ryan maintained his grades and became class president. He was also voted prom king in his senior year. During summer the following year, Ryan worked as a camp counselor at Camp Manito-wish YMCA in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. It was here that he developed a fondness for the outdoors first cultivated during his younger years, when the family would spend their holidays hiking in the Rockies.

Ryan enrolled in Miami University, Ohio, in 1998, and paid for his education using the Social Security Survivors benefits he had saved the preceding two years.
Ryan's profile, official website and positions on the issues



 


 

 

Declared 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate


Kathyern Lane

Presidential Candidate Kathyern Lane

Lane Childhood

Lane’s childhood was strict and filled with abuse. Her mother was handicapped while her father abandoned the family when she was six years old. She was a welfare child but grew up to stand on her own two feet. Christmas presents consisted of underwear and socks, and food was powered milk, with hardly any meat or vegetables. Kathyern even ran away from home a few times - once taking all her younger siblings with her - but was always found and taken back to her home.

More on Lane  



 
Declared 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate
U.S. Representative from the State of Texas

Ron Paul

Presidential Candidate Ron Paul

Paul Childhood

• He helped with the family’s dairy business as a child. His very first paying job was inspecting milk bottles loaded onto the conveyer belt by his uncle. He earned a penny for every dirty milk bottle he found.

• Ron Paul also had a paper route, mowed lawns and worked in the local drug store. He saved those earnings and used them be begin his college education. He also earned money as a part time painter and furniture mover.

• He and his five brothers all shared one bedroom. His siblings agree that he was an even-tempered but very stubborn young boy.

More on Paul  



 
Declared 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate
Businessman

Vern Wuensche

Presidential Candidate Vern Wuensche

Wuensche Childhood

• Both parents grew up on a farm and did some small farming all their life. Vern’s father was a handyman at Elgin Butler Brick Company. His mother was a laundry worker at Travis State School near Austin.

• Vern was disciplined as a boy. He loved track and baseball in high school. While training he one ran 27 quarter miles one after the other 90 seconds apart—without a coach. He regularly ran long distances before people even new marathons existed.

More on Wuensche  



 
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