Archive » October 23, 2008
By Terri Schlichenmeyer, Contributing Writer
The Essential Guide to the Republican Nominee’
by Mark Silva
The Essential Guide to the Democratic Nominee’
by Naftali Bendavid
Both ©2008 • Triumph Books • $14.95 each • 127 pages each
If you’re undecided this November, you’ll need it. Heads: you vote for this duo; tails: you vote for that duo. Both candidates have talked about “change” at one point or another, and you’re glad you’ve got a pocketful of it.
So what does a thinking adult do in an election year like this one? First, you find a copy of “McCain: The Essential Guide to the Republican Nominee” by Mark Silva and a copy of “Obama: The Essential Guide to the Democratic Nominee” by Naftali Bendavid. Then, you settle in and get educated.
As the son and grandson of Navy men, it wasn’t hard for John Sidney McCain III to choose a career in the service. Long before his years as a Navy pilot, though, McCain was known as a rebel who would fight with anyone who provoked him. His tenacious personality served him well when he was shot down over Vietnam in 1967 and imprisoned in a prisoner-of-war camp. When beaten for information, he reportedly gave his captors highly important data: the names of the Green Bay Packers line-up.
Released from captivity in 1973, McCain continued with his Navy career. In 1982, a year after his retirement, he ran for Congress for the first time.
McCain maintains a commitment to the War on Terror. He wants to see federal taxes simplified. He hates “pork-barrel spending” and he pledges to fix Social Security and the housing crisis.
When Stanley Ann Dunham, born in Kansas, fell in love with Barack Obama Sr., a native of Kenya, everyone was surprised. Stanley Ann never seemed interested in marriage or motherhood, but within a year of meeting Barack Sr., their son, Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., was born in Hawaii.
Raised in different cultures on different continents, the younger Obama started his career as an activist working for Chicago’s South Side community. Wanting to do more, he attended Harvard, then returned to Chicago with an eye toward his dream job: governor of Illinois. Instead, in 1997, Obama entered the Illinois State Senate.
Obama wants to increase the size of the Army and the Marines, and he calls for a timetable for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. He pledges to create new jobs through cleaner energy. He’s also promised to crack down on mortgage fraud.
Written by Chicago Tribune staff members, both “Essential Guides” include biographies of the candidates, their careers and platforms. What’s most interesting about these books is the inclusion of scandals and controversies that both candidates have been embroiled in as well as their personal struggles. Chapters about the candidates’ wives and families also are interesting.
The multitude of information in both books make them comprehensive overviews for any voter who is undecided, confused or just wants to know more before heading to the polls.
With that in mind, pick up “McCain: The Essential Guide to the Republican Nominee” and “Obama: The Essential Guide to the Democratic Nominee” and leave the coins at home. With these two books in hand, the change you’ll need is the one you’ll get by voting.