US Politics/ Al Gore term paper 17279

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Al Gore

Running mate:

Sen. Joe Lieberman.

Current position:

Vice president of the United States

Political experience: Vice-President of the United

States (1993-present); US senator from Tennessee

(1985-1993); candidate for the Democratic

nomination for president (1987-1988); US

representative from Tennessee, (1977-1985)

Work experience: farmer (1973-1990); investigative

reporter, editorial writer, The Tennessean

(1971-1976); home builder and land developer,

Tanglewood Home Builders Co. (1971-1976)

Party affiliation:


Educational background:

• B.A., Harvard University, 1969;

• Vanderbilt University Law School, 1974-76.

Military experience:

• U.S. Army, 1969-1971


Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Aitcheson Gore


Karenna, Kristin, Sarah, Albert




March 31, 1948 in Washington D.C.

Why he wants to be president: "I want to keep our

prosperity going, and I know how to do it. I want to

do it the right way - not by letting people fend for

themselves, or hoping for crumbs of compassion." June

1999, announcing his candidacy

George W. Bush

Running mate: Dick Cheney

Current position: Governor of Texas

Born: July 6, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut, the

eldest son of former President George Bush. Grew up

in Midland, Texas. Attempting to become the second

president's son to occupy the White House. First was

the 6th president John Quincy Adams, son of the

second President John Adams.

Political experience: Governor of Texas

(1995-present); adviser and speechwriter for his

father's presidential campaign (1987-88); Republican

nominee for US representative from Texas' 19th

district (1978)

Work experience: managing general partner, Texas

Rangers baseball team (1989-94); consultant, Harken

Energy Corporation (1986); president, Spectrum

Corporation (1984-86); founder and CEO, Bush

Exploration (1975-84)

Party affiliation:


Educational background:

• B.A., Yale University, 1968;

• M.B.A., Harvard University, 1975.

Military experience:

Pilot in the Texas Air National Guard, 1968-73


Laura Welch Bush


Twin daughters Barbara and Jenna


Methodist, renewed faith aged 40 after

counselling from evangelist

Billy Graham. Jesus is his favorite philosopher or

thinker because "he

changed my heart"


July 6, 1946

Contact information:

• George W. Bush for President,

(512) 637-2000;

• Governor's office, (512) 463-2000.

Why he wants to be president: "I think our country is ready for a fresh

start after a season of cynicism." Speech, February 2,

South Carolina.

Democratic platform backs open

trade, death penalty

News-Journal Wire Services

ST. LOUIS - Pushing a centrist agenda, the Democrats' platform

committee drafted a statement of principles calling for open trade,

teacher certification and continued support for the death penalty

despite objections from liberal, education and labor interest groups.

The policy positions dovetail with the agenda of Vice President Al

Gore, the Democratic presidential candidate who also supports

capital punishment despite growing debate nationwide about its


Meeting Friday, the committee added an amendment to the death

penalty plank in the party platform, calling for DNA evidence to be

used when appropriate and for efforts to ensure defendants

effective legal counsel, which is in line with Gore's view.

"Some believe serious consideration ought to be given to repealing

the death penalty," said Gerald Shea, assistant to the president for

government affairs of the AFL-CIO, citing differences of opinion on

the committee. "I think the party is committed to being tough on


The Democratic Party spent the past decade trying to shake a

soft-on-crime image that Republicans promoted.

Texas Gov. George W. Bush, Gore's Republican opponent, has

come under fire for heading a state with the nation's highest number

of executions: more than 130 since Bush took office in 1995.

North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt, who oversees the draft committee,

said he believes Democrats will support the stand.

"There are differences in the party about the death penalty," he said.

"But the vice president and I support it in certain cases."

The draft committee will submit the document to the platform

committee on July 29 in Cleveland. Democrats will weigh final

approval during their national convention, Aug. 14-17, in Los


"I believe it's a platform the Vice President Gore can run on, and it's

a platform he can win on," said Hunt.


-On trade, the proposed policy does not address the issue of

favored trade status for China, which has been a source of

contention within the party and among big labor. But it encourages

the need to "aggressively open new markets in which to sell our

goods - at home and abroad." Major industrial unions have

opposed the context and tone of such language.

Democrats included a pledge to educate American workers so that

they can compete for jobs in a global economy. The platform also

vows to protect human rights and the environment.

"It's not the kind of document we would write," said the Shea of the

AFL-CIO, which has endorsed Gore. "But in the context of it being

an outside group's document, we believe our issues were


-On education, the draft calls for federally required teacher

certification and a "rigorous test" for all new teachers despite

opposition from some teachers organizations.

"Teachers should be answerable for what goes on in the

classroom," the draft states. "Bad teachers who are out there

should not be allowed to sully the reputation of the teaching


Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers,

said teachers need to be treated fairly and ensured of due process.

"We're not shying away from accountability," she said. "What we're

trying to do is to make sure that the field we are playing on is level

and that we have the tools to do the job."

The committee also included language requiring schools that fail to

improve to be shutdown or placed under new leadership.

Mary Elizabeth Teasley, director of government relations for

National Education Association, offered an amendment to ensure

that schools and teachers are rewarded for making positive

differences in the classroom.

Finally, Democrats reaffirmed their commitment to abortion rights.

But Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, a co-chair of the

platform committee, said the party should work to reduce the

numbers of abortion in America.

"This is a debate within our party," she said. "We could go in the

back room and hide it. But we're putting it out on the table, just like


- Highlights of points included Friday in the proposed Democratic



-Knock down the barriers to fair trade. Enforce worker rights, human

rights and environmental protection in those agreements.

-Work to repeal Republican Freedom to Farm Act that has resulted

in years of low prices and necessitated billion dollar bailouts.


-Have fully qualified, well-trained teachers in every classroom - and

every teacher should pass a rigorous test to get there.

-Every failing school in America should be turned around - or shut

down and reopened under new leadership.

-Ensure that no high school student graduates without mastering the

basics of reading and math.

-Allow parents to choose the best public school for their children.

-Make high-quality preschool fully available to every family in every


-Close the achievement gap between minority students and the rest

of America's students.

-Children deserve schools of safety and classrooms that are free of


-Zero-tolerance policy towards guns in schools.

-Each school should institute strict, firm and fair discipline policies.

Expand family leave law to make sure parents can attend

parent-teacher conferences without fear of job loss.

-Make college education as universal as high school with tax

deductions for tuition and fees.

Fiscal Discipline:

-Wipe out national debt by 2012.

-Give middle-class families tax cuts that would allow them to save

for college, invest in job skills and lifelong learning, pay for health

insurance, afford child care, eliminate marriage penalty for working

families, care for elderly or disabled loved ones, invest in clean cars

and clean homes, and build additional security for retirement.

Retirement Security:

-Create Retirement Savings Plus - voluntary, tax-free, personally

controlled, privately managed savings accounts with a government

match that help couples build a nest egg of up to $400,000. It would

allow Americans to save and invest on top of Social Security's

guaranteed benefit.


-In death penalty cases, DNA tests should be used in all appropriate

circumstances and defendants should have effective assistance of


-Mandatory child safety locks on guns to protect children.

-Require photo license identification, full background check and gun

safety test to buy new handgun.

-Give states and communities another 100,000 prosecutors to fight

gun crime.

-End racial profiling.

-Ensure drug and alcohol treatment for criminals. Impose strict

supervision of prisoners after release, and insist they stay off drugs.

In return, help them make it in work place.

-Give victims voice in trial and other proceedings.

Abortion and birth control:

-Stand behind every woman's right to choose, consistent with Roe

vs, Wade and regardless of ability to pay.

-Support contraceptive research, family planning, comprehensive

family life education and policies that support healthy childbearing.

Health Care:

-Guantee access to affordable health care for every child. Expand

coverage to working families and make coverage affordable for

small businesses.

-Allow Americans age 55 to 65 to buy into the Medicare program.

-Add prescription drug benefit to Medicare.

-Invest in biomedical research to fight disease.

Word Count: 1509


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