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Meet the Democrats

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Senator Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1961. His father was an immigrant from Kenya. Obama’s parents met as students at the University of Hawaii. Obama graduated from Columbia University in New York City 1983. After graduation, he moved to Chicago to work as an activist to help people living in poor neighborhoods.

In 1991, he earned a law degree from Harvard University and became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Soon after, he returned to Chicago and practiced as a civil rights lawyer. Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate as a Democrat in 1996. He became a U.S. Senator in 2004. He won nationwide recognition for his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, Massachusetts. He has two daughters with his wife Michelle.

For more information, visit this candidate's Web site.


Hillary Clinton
(Photo: Hillary Clinton for President)

Hillary Clinton (Conceded the presidential nomination to Barack Obama on June 7, 2008, after the final primary contests.)

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was born in Chicago Illinois on 1947. She attended Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and graduated with honors in political science. She then went to Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut, where she focused on children and family issues. She also became associated with the Democratic Party.

When Clinton graduated from law school, she became a staff attorney for the Children's Defense Fund. Soon after, she married Bill Clinton. The couple had one child, Chelsea, in 1980.

While her husband was Governor of Arkansas, Clinton continued to focus on children's issues and became a partner at a law firm. In 1993 Clinton became First Lady when her husband was sworn in as President. In 2000, Clinton became the first First Lady elected to a public office as Senator of New York. She was re-elected to a second term in 2006.

For more information, visit this candidate's Web site.


Joe Biden

Joe Biden (Dropped out of race for nomination after poor showing in Iowa caucuses.)

Senator Joe Biden was born in 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His family later moved to Delaware, where he is currently a U.S. Senator. He attended the University of Delaware. He also graduated from Syracuse Law School in Syracuse, New York, in 1968.

At the age of 29, Biden became one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate. During that time period, his wife and three children were in a car accident. His wife and infant daughter died, but his two sons survived the accident. Biden remarried in 1977 and has now has three children and five grandchildren.

For the past 30 years, Biden has been part of the Senate's Foreign Relations committee. In 2007, he became the chairman and helped to pass a resolution to stop sending more soldiers to Iraq. In 1994, he also created a new law that helped set up shelters and a national hotline for abused women.

For more information, visit this candidate's Web site.

Chris Dodd

Chris Dodd (Dropped out of race for nomination after poor showing in Iowa caucuses.)

Senator Chris Dodd was born in 1944 in Willimantic, Connecticut. Dodd was born into a political family. His father, Thomas Dodd, was also a Senator. Dodd graduated from Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1966. Soon after graduation he joined the Peace Corps and served in the Dominican Republic until 1968. When he returned home he volunteered for the United States Army National Guard.

Dodd earned a law degree from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1972. In 1974, he was elected to the House of Representatives in Connecticut. He served for six years. In 1980, he was elected to the Senate. In 1993, Dodd pushed the Family and Medical Leave Act through Congress. This allowed workers to take a leave from work to care for a family member. Dodd is married to Jackie Clegg and has two children.

For more information, visit this candidate's Web site.

John Edwards

John Edwards (Dropped out of race for nomination after poor showing in South Carolina primary.)

Senator John Edwards was born in Seneca, South Carolina in1953. He graduated from North Carolina State University in 1974 with a degree in textile technology. He earned his law degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Edwards worked as a trial lawyer for most of his career. He represented families and children in court. The cases usually involved big corporations who made mistakes that hurt people.

In 1998, he ran for Senator in North Carolina and beat the Republican incumbent (the person currently in office). In 2004, he ran unsuccessfully for Vice President on the Democratic ticket with John Kerry.

Edwards has four children with wife Elizabeth. Their eldest son, Wade, died in a car accident in 1996. Elizabeth is currently fighting a second bout with breast cancer.

For more information, visit this candidate's Web site.

Mike Gravel

Mike Gravel

Mike Gravel was born in 1930 in Springfield Massachusetts. Gravel was born to French-Canadian parents and went to French-speaking Catholic schools. In 1951, Gravel joined the U.S. army, where he served for three years. He worked in Communication Intelligence Services and as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. He received a degree in Economics from Columbia University in New York City in 1956.

Gravel served in the House of Representatives from 1963 to 1966 for Alaska. He also served as Senator from 1969 to 1981. He served on the Environment and Public Works Committee throughout his Senate career. Since then he has written several books and continues to lecture and write about political issues.

Gravel has two children with wife Whitney Stewart Gravel. They have four grandchildren.

For more information, visit this candidate's Web site.

Dennis Kucinich

Dennis Kucinich (Dropped out of race after poor showing in Nevada caucuses.)

Dennis Kucinich was born in 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio. Kucinich graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Masters degree in Speech Communications from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1974. Soon after, in 1977, he became one of the youngest mayors of Cleveland.

Kucinich has served on the Cleveland City Council. He was also elected Ohio Senator in 1994. In November 2004, he was elected to his fifth term as a U.S. Representative.

In Congress, he has cosponsored legislation to create a national health-care system and preserve Social Security. In 2004, he ran for President as a democrat.

Kucinich has one daughter, Jackie, and is currently married to his third wife, Elizabeth Harper.

For more information, visit this candidate's Web site.

Bill Richardson

Bill Richardson (Dropped out of race for the nomination after coming in fourth in both the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa caucuses.)

Governor Bill Richardson was born in 1947 in Pasadena, California, to an American father and Mexican mother. He grew up in Mexico City. He later moved to Massachusetts to attend high school. Richardson attended Tufts University in Massachusetts, and received his master's degree from Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1971.Before becoming Governor of New Mexico, Richardson was a U.S. Representative for about 15 years. In 1997, President Bill Clinton appointed him to serve as the country’s UN ambassador. He has been nominated four times for the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the release of hostages and prisoners in North Korea, Iraq, and Cuba. He also served as Clinton's Secretary of Energy.Richardson has been married to his high school sweetheart, Barbara, for 33 years. He would be the first Hispanic to serve as President.
For more information, visit this candidate's Web site.


Scholastic Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail. Keep up with the latest election news in this special report.


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