We begin to prepare for election 2012 by becoming familiar with Presidential candidates

Barack Obama – current President of the United States – running – Democrat.  Born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  His parents divorced. Father attended Harvard University, returned to Kenya and was killed in car accident.  American mother married an Indonesian and family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia. Obama attended local schools until 10 and returned to Hawaii to live with maternal grandparents. Attended private college preparatory school and graduated with honors.  Studied at Occidental College in L.A. and transferred to Columbia University, majoring in political science with specialization in international relations.  Received BA in 1983 and worked for one year at Business International Corporation and moved to Chicago to work as community organizer.  Entered Harvard School of Law & graduated with JD degree magna cum laude in 1991.  Married Michelle Obama, a Harvard Law School graduate and had two daughters. Served as associate attorney with Mines, Barnhill & Gallard representing community organizeers, discrimination claims and voting rights claims.  Lectured on Constitutional law at the University of Chicago until elected to State Senate in 1996-2004.  Elected to U.S. Senate and elected President of the United States in 2008. Faces challenges with the economy, foreign relations and national budget deficit. Recent polls see a significant drop in support. Obama relaxed deportation priorities within Homeland Security to focus on deportation of individuals with criminal backgrounds.. He is also proposing new immigration reforms. among the most recent is barring the deportation of some young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as young children with no knowledge of  breaking immigration laws. He is pro-choice and support gay marriages. Obama passed Obamacare, making it possible for 30M to purchase insurance, but being challenged in court on constitutionality. Obama captured and killed Osama Bin Ladin. Withdrew American troops to end the war in Iraq and is credited with working with NATO on Syrian issues and the final death of Muamar Gaddafi. Obama was faced with the biggest financial world challenge immediately after becoming President. Obama offered stimulus funds to U.S. financial institutions, automobile industry, etc. to avoid economic downturn, most have repaid stimulus funds, but is criticized for the effectiveness of the stimulus plan and bailing out institutions.  Established an American Jobs Plan to offer jobs to Americans. Plan was defeated by Republicans in the Senate, but Veterans Jobs segment finally approved. Passed universal health care, supports teachers, college affordability, veterans, elderly, women and children.  Opposes prioritization of Social Security. President is faced with having the U.S. Supreme Court decide on the constitutionality of Obamacare and SB1070, which was challenged by the DOJ charging pre-emption of federal law over state law.  Both may have an impact on his re-election.  Nobel Laureate Prize recipient and author.

Republican challenger

Mitt Romney – Republican Party Nominee for President –  Born on March 12, 1947 and son to George W. Romney  (Governof of Michigan 1963-69).  His father was an automotive executive and his mother an actress turned homemaker. His father was born to American parents living in Mexico. He is a fifth generation member of the Mormon Church.  Mitt Romney was raised in Bloomfield, Michigan, in an elite community, where he attended private boarding school. Upon graduation, he enrolled at Stanford University and after one year, left on a 30 month Mormon mission to France  He returned to the U.S. and in 1965 married Ann Davies who was attending Brigham Young University.  On her encouragement, he enrolled at BYU and graduated with a Bachelors in English and in 1975 received a joint Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. He and his wife have five children.  Romney served most of his career life in the private sector as a management consultant and executive.  He also served one term as Governor of Massachusettes and later on as President of the Salt Lake City Olympics.   Romney. While Governor, he was criticized for signing into law a health care plan modeled by Obamacare.  During his term he raised taxes by $740M.   According to critics he was not a full-time Governor and as a result Massachusettes was one of two states with a no growth economy during his tenure.  He left office with only a 30% approval rating.  After leaving political office, Romney worked for  Bain Investment firm. His work focused on investing time in helping clients become profitable.  Romney also worked for Bain Capital, investing and acquiring financial stakes in companies and then selling them for profit. He is criticized by his own party members for using Bain Capital to purchase and destroy companies that result in less employment and the  firing of employees.  In 1994 Romney ran for U.S. Senator of Massachusettes and lost to Ted Kennedy .In 1999, he became the President of the Salt Lake City Olympic Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics and helped turn a fiscally troubled organization into a success. He was elected as Governor of Massachusettes in 2002. Romney’s focus is on the economy and job creation. He is pro-life and does not support gay marriages. Romney runs on a conservative campaign that states federal government is too large, millions of jobs lost during Obama administration, citizens faced with bankruptcies and foreclosures under Obama and believes in free enterprise. He has limited experience in foreign policy and recently formed a foreign policy committee.  Romney has strong family values, is Mormon and  has made it clear he will not support amnesty or the Dream Act and is against any immigration reform. This position was recently changed in response to Obama’s Executive Order to grant temporary legal status to students brought to this country as children and needing work visas. Most recently, vetted Senator Marco Rubio as a potential VP candidates. Romney believes in limited government, a need for self-reliance and requirements for welfare.  He is an author, received five honorary degrees and was named by TIME magazine as 100 of the most influential people in the world.