As the 2004 election approaches, the fates of most candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination may be decided in the critical electoral contests of January and Februaryâ€“the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. This collection of presidential hopefuls is the most diverse ever. In the running are a retired general, three senators, two congressmen, a former governor who is a trained physician, and two African Americansâ€“one a preacher and the other a former senator who is also the only woman in the race. They vary in their approaches to governance and differ in their positions on job creation, healthcare, education, and economic growth.
The candidates will seek the black vote at the polls to advance through the primary elections. Without it, the Democratic nominee cannot prevail against President Bush. As part of our ongoing coverage of Campaign 2004, BLACK ENTERPRISE takes a look at the nine democratic presidential candidates.
CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN
Most Recent Position: U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, 1999 — 2001
Born: Aug. 16, 1947, Chicago
Education: University of Illinois, B.A., 1969; University of Chicago, J.D., 1972
On Jobs and the Economy: Moseley Braun plans to raise the minimum wage, eliminate pay inequities, and create jobs by rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure (schools, roads, and bridges).
On Education: Moseley Braun advocates public education and opposes school vouchers.
On Healthcare: Moseley Braun supports universal healthcare coverage through a single-payer system that is de-coupled from employment so it’s not a burden on job creation or small businesses.
On War: Moseley Braun opposed invading Iraq.
On Rights and Justice: Moseley Braun backs affirmative action and would appoint more women and minorities to federal judgeships.
WESLEY K. CLARK
Most Recent Position: General, U.S. Army, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, 1997 — 2000
Born: Dec. 23, 1944, Chicago
Education: United States Military Academy, 1966; Rhodes Scholar; Oxford University, M.A., 1968; National War College; Command and General Staff College.
On Jobs and the Economy: Clark seeks to establish a two-year, $100 billion economic stimulus package to create jobs by improving port security and investing in infrastructure projects; providing a Tax Rebate Fund to states to avoid raising property taxes and university tuition; and providing a tax credit of up to $5,000 for every new employee hired.
On Education: Clark supports reserving $20 billion for states’ college tuition and to train workers for new jobs.
On Healthcare: Clark wants to expand states’ Child Health Insurance Program and raise the limits on Medicaid.
On War: Clark opposed the invasion of Iraq.
On Rights and Justice: Clark supports affirmative action.
Most Recent Position: Governor of Vermont, 1991 — 2002
Born: Nov. 17, 1948, East Hampton, New York
Education: Yale University, B.A., 1971; Albert Einstein College of Medicine, M.D., 1978
On Jobs and the Economy: Dean seeks to repeal Bush’s tax cuts and use those funds to pay for universal healthcare, homeland security, and jobs.
On Education: Dean supports professional development to help non-performing teachers in public schools.
On Healthcare: Dean wants to establish a Family and Children’s Health Insurance Program (FCHIP) covering all children and young adults (up to age 25), and older adults with low incomes.
On War: Dean opposed the