Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Overwhelmingly considered the favorite for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Rodham Clinton was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1947.
Hillary enrolled in Wellesley College in 1965, where she earned a degree in political science. Raised in a Republican household, Hillary switched political affiliations in 1968. After graduation from Wellesley in 1965, Clinton entered Yale Law School, where she met future husband Bill Clinton. Hillary received a juris doctorate from Yale in 1973.
During postgraduate study, Clinton served as a staff attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and as a consultant to the Carnegie Council on Children.
After moving to Arkansas with husband Bill, Hillary joined the Rose Law Firm in 1977 and cofounded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. President Jimmy Carter appointed Hillary to the board of directors of the Legal Services Corporation, where she served until 1981.
Clinton became First Lady of Arkansas in 1979. She continued to practice law during her time as First Lady of Arkansas. From 1982 to 1988 Clinton served on the board of directors of the New World Foundation. Extending that time to 1992, she also served on the boards of Arkansas Children’s Hospital Legal Services, the Children’s Defense Fund, TCBY, Wal-Mart and Lafarge.
Upon Bill Clinton’s election as President, Hillary became First Lady of the United States in January 1993. She was the first First Lady to hold a postgraduate degree and have a career before entering the White House. Clinton played an integral part in her husband’s administration, even heading the Task Force on National Health Care Reform in 1993.
In 2000, Hillary was elected to the U.S. Senate by the state of New York. Her first year saw many challenges, including the 9/11 attack in her constituency state. Clinton sought to obtain funding for the recovery efforts in New York City and security improvements in her state. Clinton proved crucial in securing $21 billion for the World Trade Center redevelopment.
During her time in the Senate, Clinton served on the Committee on Budget, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Environment and Public Works, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the Special Committee on Aging. She also was a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.
After a failed presidential bid in 2008, President Barack Obama appointed Clinton as his first Secretary of State. As Secretary, Clinton advocated a change in foreign policy, expanding the role of the U.S. in global economic issues and overall diplomatic presence.
Hillary supports energy conservation, raising the minimum wage, and advocated the Affordable Care Act. Clinton spoke in favor of campaign finance reform and supports retaining the Social Security tax cap. She is defined as pro-choice, supports the death penalty and that global warming is a man-made issue. In 2013, contrary to 2003 Hillary, Clinton came out in favor of nationwide same-sex marriage. Clinton has also called for an end of marijuana raids in the states in which it is legal and supports stem cell research.
Bernie Sanders (D-VT)
The elder statesman of the presidential race, Bernard “Bernie” Sanders is the only candidate to have been alive when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Born in September 1941 in Brooklyn, New York, Sanders was born to Jewish parents. Most of his family was killed during the Holocaust, with his father emigrating from Poland.
Sanders graduated from the University of Chicago in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Sanders’ political career began with several election losses for U.S. Senate and Governor of Vermont. In 1981, as an Independent, Sanders became mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and held the office until 1989. Under Sanders leadership, Burlington became the first city in the nation to fund community-trust housing.
In 1990, Sanders became the first Independent elected to Congress in over 40 years. In 1991, Sanders co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In 2007, Representative Sanders became Senator Sanders for the state of Vermont, defeating Rich Tarrant by a near 2-to-1 margin.
In January 2013, Sanders became Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. In January of this year, declared Democratic Senator Sanders became the Ranking Democratic Member on the Senate Budget Committee.
Throughout his life, Sanders independent nature often fell in line with progressives. Sanders was actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. He joined the anti-Vietnam War Liberty Union Party in Vermont in the early 1970s. Sanders is a vocal advocate for the effects of climate change has also called for media reform. Sanders is a strong supporter of universal health care and public funding for college students. Sanders opposed the Patriot Act and supports same-sex rights, legalizing same-sex marriage and promotes pro-choice legislation.
Martin O’Malley (D-MD)
Born and raised around the big machine that is Washington, D.C. in 1963, Martin O’Malley is no stranger to the capital city of our nation. O’Malley attended high school and college in the District of Columbia, graduating in 1985 from The Catholic University of America. O’Malley then enrolled in the University of Maryland School of Law where he earned his juris doctorate in 1988.
Out of college, O’Malley was hired as an assistant State’s Attorney for the City of Baltimore. O’Malley remained with the city until 1990, when he ran for Maryland State Senate, losing by just 44 votes to incumbent John Pica. In 1991, O’Malley was elected to Baltimore City Council, where he served until 1999. As councilman, O’Malley served as Chairman of both the Legislative Investigations Committee and the Taxation and Finance Committee.
In 1999, the citizens of Baltimore elected O’Malley as mayor of the predominantly African-American city. During his tenure, O’Malley focused on reducing crime. He employed a management group, CitiStat, which focused on evaluating and increasing efficiency of Baltimore city services. The program saved the city over $350 million and generating the first surplus for Baltimore in recent memory.
In 2006, O’Malley became the 51st Governor of Maryland. As governor, O’Malley introduced his CitiStat on a statewide level. He was elected Vice Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association in 2009, serving until 2010.
O’Malley, a Catholic, voiced his support for same-sex marriage and signed bill into law legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland in March 2012. An opponent of capital punishment, O’Malley signed a bill banning the death penalty in Maryland in May 2013. O’Malley is also friendly to illegal immigrants and signed a law in 2011 that made the children of illegal immigrants eligible for in-state college tuition.
Jim Webb (D-VA)
James Webb, Jr. was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri, in 1946.
Webb entered the Naval Academy and served in Vietnam. Upon retirement due to injuries during the war, Webb earned his law degree from Georgetown in 1975. Webb also authored his first book Micronesia and U.S. Pacific Strategy during his time at Georgetown.
From 1977 to 1981, Webb worked on the staff for the House Committee for Veteran’s Affairs. During the Reagan administration, Webb served as the nation’s first Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs and sought to reorganize the Marine Corps. Webb also served as Secretary of the Navy from 1987-1988.
In 2006, Webb won the Virginia Senate seat from incumbent George Allen. Upon election, Senator Harry Reid appointed Webb to the committees on Foreign Relations, Veterans’ Affairs and Armed Services. Webb introduced several pieces of legislation in his first year in the Senate, including the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act, which he proposed on his first day in Congress. The bill was passed into law in June 2008.
Webb became an Emmy award-winning filmmaker in 1983 and authored several books and articles. Webb was considered one of the Fighting Dems while in the Senate.
Lincoln Chafee (D-RI)
Lincoln Davenport Chafee was born in the capital of his represented state, Providence, Rhode Island, in 1953.
Chafee, the son of the 66th Governor of Rhode Island John Chafee, graduated with a degree in Classics from Brown University. He then attended the horseshoeing school at Montana State University. Lincoln worked as a farrier at harness racetracks in the U.S. and Canada for seven years before turning to politics.
In 1986, Chafee was elected to the Warwick, Rhode Island, city council until elected mayor of Warwick as a Republican in 1992. After his father’s death in 1999, Lincoln was appointed to his father’s seat in the U.S. Senate and was elected to a full term in 2000.
In 2011, Chafee became the 74th Governor of Rhode Island after a political hiatus from 2007 to 2009. During his term as governor, Chafee switched parties to the Democratic Party in 2013. With low approval numbers and equally low fundraising, Chafee denied to pursue a second gubernatorial term.
Chafee signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Rhode Island in 2013. Chafee denies the belief that America’s schools are failing and opposes charter schools.
Profiles Compiled By: Bradon Long
Categories: Presidential Candidates 2016 - Democrats