The American Presidential Election of 2008

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The 56th episode in a very long series about the American presidential elections from 1788 to the present. They’ll be done by Election Day. In 2008, a lot of exciting candidates enter the race for President, and history is certainly made regardless of who wins. #mrbeat #presidentialelectionsinamericanhistory #elections

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The 56th Presidential election in American history took place on November 4, 2008. This was the first election in which I voted in the primaries, and there were a lot of exciting candidates to vote for. But first, let’s see how George W. Bush’s second term went. Well, probably not that well. The Iraq War kept getting worse, and Bush became a scapegoat for the government’s poor response to helping victims affected by Hurricane Katrina. Not only that, but the economic was in shambles after the housing bubble burst in what later became known as The Great Recession.

In 2008, Bush’s approval rating had gotten as low as 25 percent. Therefore, many Republicans began to distance themselves from him. Was Dick Cheney going to run? Haha, that’s a good one, Mr. Beat. This election became the first time since the election of 1952 that a neither the current President or current Vice President ended up a candidate, and first time since the election of 1928 that neither even went for it. Then again, Bush couldn’t even if he wanted to due to the 22nd Amendment, but anyway…the Republican nomination was completely up for grabs.

I will mention a few. First of all, there was this guy…Ron Paul, a Congressman and doctor from Texas, stood out among the nominees because of his non-interventionist foreign policy and overall libertarian views. He had actually ran for President with the Libertarian Party back in 1988 but had lost badly. There was also Fred Thompson, an actor and former U.S. Senator from Tennessee, Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City. He was mayor, in fact, at the time of the 9/11 attacks, and like to bring that up. There was Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and, of course he’s a bass guitar player, too. There was Mitt Romney, the former governor of Utah and the son of George Romney, who was a presidential candidate himself back in 1968. And finally, there was John McCain, who was back for a second-go at it after not getting the nomination back in 2000.

McCain was polling in single digits after he first announced his intention to run, but eventually moved his way up to become the frontrunner. While the early primaries went back and forth, after Super Tuesday there was no stopping McCain. He became the Republican nominee, going with a surprise choice as his running mate. Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska. She was only the second female to be on the ticket for a major political party in American history.

The Democrat Party also had quite a few candidates. First of all, there was this dude….Mike Gravel, a former Senator from Alaska who appeared to not give a crap what people thought about him. There was Bill Richardson, the Governor of New Mexico, who was trying to be the first Hispanic to be President in American history. Then there was Dennis Kucinich, a U.S. Representative from Ohio who was the only running in 2008 who had the distinction of voting against the Iraq War. There was Joe Biden, the Senator from Delaware who also ran way back in 1988. John Edwards, Kerry’s running mate in the 2004 election, Hillary Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton and by this time a Senator from New York. And finally Barack Obama, a Senator from Illinois, who was a relative newcomer but made a strong impression giving a speech during the 2004 Democratic Convention. Wooo, that’s a lot of candidates.

Well, there were really two front runners- Clinton and Obama. The two went back and forth in the primaries, and it got pretty intense. After a 17-month long battle, Obama finally got the superdelegates to his side, and in June Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race. The Democratic Party nominated Obama, who became the first African American to win a major political party’s nomination for President in American history. He chose Joe Biden as his running mate.

Much of the debate between the Republicans and Democrats in the presidential race revolved around the Iraq War and the financial crisis. Because Bush was so unpopular, McCain distanced himself from him, although Bush did endorse him. McCain had some blunders during his campaign, like not remembering how many houses he had, but so did his running mate Sarah Palin.


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