Sizing Up the Candidates: B.E.'S Primary Guide Reveals What You Can Expect from the Democratic Agenda

Article excerpt

As 2004 election approaches, the fates of most candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination may he decided in the critical contests of January and February--the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. This collection of presidential hopefuls is the most diverse ever. In the running are a retired general, three senators, two congressmen, a former governor who is a trained physician, and two African Americans--one a preacher and the other a former senator who is also the only woman in the race. They vary in their approaches to governance and differ in their positions on job creation, healthcare, education, and economic growth.

The candidates will seek the black vote at the polls to advance through the primary elections. Without it, the Democratic nominee cannot prevail against President Bush. As part of our ongoing coverage of Campaign 2004, BLACK ENTERPRISE takes a look at the nine democratic presidential candidates.

CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN

Most Recent Position: U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, 1999-2001

Born: Aug 16, 1947, Chicago

Education: University of Illinois, B.A., 1969; University of Chicago, J.D., 1972

On Jobs and the Economy: Moseley Braun plans to raise the minimum wage, eliminate pay inequities, and create jobs by rebuilding the nation's infrastructure (schools, roads, and bridges).

On Education: Moseley Braun advocates public education and opposes school vouchers.

On Healthcare: Moseley Braun supports universal healthcare coverage through a single-payer system that is de-coupled from employment so it's not a burden on job creation or small business.

On War: Moseley Braun opposed invading Iraq.

On Rights and Justice: Moseley Braun backs affirmative action and would appoint more women and minorities to federal judgeships.

WESLEY K. CLARK

Most Recent Position: General, U.S. Army, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, 1997-2000

Born: Dec. 23, 1944, Chicago

Education: United States Military Academy, 1966; Rhodes Scholar; Oxford University, M.A., 1968; National War College; Command and General Staff College.

On Jobs and the Economy: clark seeks to establish a two-year, $100 billion economic stimulus package to create jobs by improving port security and investing in infrstructure projects; providing a Tax Rebate Fund to states to avoid raising property taxes and university tuition; and providing a tax credit of up to $5,000 for every new employee hired.

On Education: Clark supports reserving $20 billion for states' college tuition abd to train workers for new jobs.

On Healthcare: Clark wants to expand states' Child Health Insurance Program and raise the limits on Medicaid.

On War: Clark opposed the incasion of Iraq.

On Rights and Justice: Clark supports affirmative action.

HOWARD DEAN

Most Recent Position: Governor of Vermont, 1991-2002

Born: Nov. 17, 1948, East Hampton, New York

Education: Yale University, B.A., 1971; Albert Einstein College of Medicine, M.D., 1978

On Jobs and the Economy: Dean seeks to repeal Bush's tax cuts and use those funds to pay for universal healthcare, homeland security, and jobs.

On Education: Dean supports professional development to help non-performing teachers in public schools.

On Healthcare: Dean wants to establish a Family and Children's Health Insurance Program (FCHIP) covering all children and young adults (up to age 25), and older adults with low incomes.

On War: Dean opposed the invasion of Iraq.

On Rights and Justice: Dean opposes expansion of the Patriot Act, proposes federal legislation to restore the right to vote in any federal election for ex-felons, and seeks full voting representation in Congress for District of Columbia residents.

JOHN EDWARDS

Most Recent Position: U. …