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Election 2008

A Candidate Blind Taste Test

John Moe

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Who Do You REALLY Want?
(David McNew/Getty Images)
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Weekend America gets a lot of letters about coverage of the campaign, and one complaint keeps coming up about media coverage in general: too much focus on the personalities, not enough on the issues. So we decided to run a little experiment. We've taken the remaining candidates for president, given them pseudonyms, and summarized what they stand for. Rollover the fake names to see the candidate behind the position.

I'm Shirley Winslow and I approve this message. A vote for Shirley Winslow is a vote against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I also support a mandatory cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions as a means of fighting global warming. I think there should be a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants including learning English and paying fines but I do support a fence on the Mexican border. I have promised affordable health care for every American in a Winslow administration but I oppose a mandate to get there and I think we can do it without raising taxes. Over in Iraq, I think we need more troops and I oppose a timeline for withdrawal. When it comes to Iran, we should form an alliance with European countries to apply economic and diplomatic pressure. No military action without congressional approval. I'm Shirley Winslow and thanks for your time.

I'm Fred Frazier and I approve this message. I would abolish the Bush tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000 and use that money to fund health insurance for children. Illegal immigrants should have a path to citizenship but it might include paying some fines and learning the English language. I've supported the construction of a fence along the Mexican border. We need to get out of Iraq, something a Frazier administration would accomplish by withdrawing one or two brigades a month, finishing within 16 months. I wouldn't rule out the use of force against Iran to stop them from obtaining nuclear weapons but I would be fine meeting directly with the president of Iran. I'm Fred Frazier and I hope I've earned your vote.

I'm Vicki Hampton and I approve this message. We've got to get rid of all federal income and payroll taxes and replace them with a 23 percent national sales tax on everything but education. That will happen in a Hampton White House. As far as health care goes, we can make it more affordable through tax credits and cost controls. I think we need to move away from fossil fuels and into a culture that embraces alternative energy sources within ten years. To tackle the immigration issue, I say give illegal immigrants 120 days to register and then go back to where they came from, after which they can apply to return. I supported the idea of invading Iraq and I oppose a timetable for troops to return. As for Iran, I favor direct diplomacy. I'm Vicki Hampton. Thanks for listening.

I'm Doris Franzi and I approve this message. I think corporations should have lower tax rates and taxes on unearned income for middle class families should be eliminated. The Franzi administration will take that business friendly attitude into health care as well, favoring a free-market consumer-based system. In our quest for greater energy independence, I support alternative fuels, including biodiesel and ethanol, as well as nuclear power and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I don't believe in giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship and I oppose a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Oh, and I also support a constitutional amendment against gay marriage. I'm Doris Franzi and I'll see you in Washington.

I'm Phillip Gronko and I approve this message. On the subject of immigration, I support illegal immigrants learning English as part of a path to citizenship. But I also favor tougher penalties in a Gronko administration for those who hire illegal immigrants and I support the construction of a fence along the US-Mexican border. I think everyone in America should be required to have health insurance even if it means that insurance is subsidized by the government. On the subject of Iraq, a Gronko presidency would mean a phased withdrawal within my first 60 days in office with the goal of most troops being out by 2013. Meanwhile in Iran, I would engage in direct diplomacy. I wouldn't rule out using force but I would get congressional approval first. I support the death penalty and lobbied in favor of a bill that would expand the list of capital offenses. I'm Phillip Gronko and thanks for your support.

I'm Lou Crandall and I approve this message. I think we should withdraw all troops from Iraq immediately and shut down Guantanamo Bay while we're at it. As for Iran, well, they have a right to nuclear weapons if they want them and the Crandall administration will engage in direct diplomacy. Domestically, I think the economy can be improved by ending the war, balancing the budget, and getting rid of the income tax. Illegal immigrants should not have a path to citizenship and I support the fence along the border. I'm firmly pro-life and also firmly opposed to the death penalty. I'm Lou Crandall. Thanks for your support.

More stories from our Election 2008 series

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