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2012 Cliff Notes on the Candidates

This November, American voters will choose between two candidates from increasingly polarized political parties. Incumbent President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney are running on platforms that differ widely on such issues as the economy, foreign policy, education, and health.

If you don’t know the details on this election, keep reading! We’ll give you a breakdown of your choices. Take it all in, and make your own choices – but remember, whomever wins your vote will have the power (along with Congress) to declare war, raise or lower taxes, appoint Supreme Court justices, and pass bills such as the long debated DREAM Act. No pressure or anything.

Barack Obama

Democratic Party

Born: August 4, 1961, Honolulu, HI

School: Columbia University 1983, Harvard University Law 1991

Military Svc: None

Occupation: Community Organizer, Chicago South Side. Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Chicago 1992-2004. Illinois Senator since 2004.

Obama on the Economy: Obama argues that he is invested in growing the economy through the middle class. He has attacked Romney for protecting the interests of the rich at the expense of the majority of the nation.

Obama on Foreign Policy: Obama points at his foreign policy achievements over the last four years as proof of his excellent performance in this area. He has ended the war in Iraq, weakened al-Qaeda, killed bin-Laden, and renewed relationships with several key allies around the world.

Obama on Education: Obama’s plans on education focus on creating local solutions and keeping good teachers engaged in the classroom. He has also capped student loan repayments at 10% of income.

Obama on Health: Obama’s healthcare reform helps women maintain control of their bodies, strengthens Medicare, and holds insurance companies accountable.

Mitt Romney

Republican Party

Born: March 12, 194, Detroit, Michigan

School: Brigham Young University, 1971, Harvard University MBA/JD 1975

Military Svc: None

Occupation: Management consultant. Venture capitalist. Private equity.

Romney on the Economy: Romney argues that Obama has not done enough in his first term to improve the American economy. Romney’s five-point plan would involve a bipartisan effort to create jobs.

Romney on Foreign Policy: Romney opposes the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, favored a stronger stance against China, and declared Russia the number one American “geopolitical foe.”

Romney on Education: Romney supports school choice options suchcharter schools, vouchers for private schools, and home-schooling. He favors performance based pay for teachers and abstinence-only sex education.

Romney on Health: Romney opposes the healthcare reform popularly known as Obamacare on the grounds that it raises taxes, de-privatizes Medicare, and was achieved without Republican support.

 By Nidya Sarria
Caricature by Edwive Seme

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