Except for the fact that President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are both Harvard-educated lawyers, the two presidential candidates seem to have little else in common.

 Mitt Romney grew up in a two-parent home, in a posh suburb of Detroit, Michigan, where his father was governor, writes David Aretha, author of Political Profiles: Mitt Romney. “Mitt and his father had an especially close relationship . . .” In fact, Romney once described his father as “the person who I keyed my life off of. He was the person who I looked at as being the definition of a successful human being.” After Harvard, according to Aretha, “Like his father, Mitt rose to the top in the business world, governed a state, and ran for president.”

 Obama, on the other hand, was “named for a father he barely knew, a Kenyan doctor and scholar,” Kerrily Sapet, author of Political Profiles: Barack Obama, writes. Obama was raised by his “devoted mother and grandparents in Hawaii and Indonesia . . . [and] was exposed to different cultures and religions.” After Harvard, Obama took a job with a small Chicago law firm focusing on civil rights cases. Sapet further writes, “He helped organizations trying to build grocery stores, housing, and health clinics in the inner city. At times, he represented victims who were embarrassed and angry at the discrimination they faced.”

 Whatever the differences in their backgrounds and career paths, today Obama and Romney have their eyes set on the same prize: to become president of the United States. Obama wants a second term in office, and Romney wants to unseat him.

 Next week, on October 3, Obama and Romney take part in their first debate, on domestic policy, at the University of Denver in Colorado. They’ll face off a second time, answering questions on foreign and domestic issues, on October 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead,  New York. Then a third and final debate is set for October 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.

 On October 9, PBS jumps into the mix with its Frontline premiere of “The Choice 2012 ”— “a two-hour documentary that journeys into the places, people and decisive moments that made the men who are competing for the presidency.

  “Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have crafted their campaign narratives, telling you who they are, what they’ve done, and how they would lead America. But there’s more to their stories,” reports PBS. “FRONTLINE’s top political reporting team spent the last year gathering the rest of the story. More than 100 interviews with those who know the men best contribute to the most ambitious television biographies of the candidates ever created.”

 There are six weeks to go before voters decide which man should win the country’s top job. Until then, there’s still a lot to learn as well as discern.

 Sharon F. Doorasamy

Managing Editor

 To find out more about the presidential candidates, check out David Aretha’s Political Profiles: Mitt Romney (978-1-59935-344-9) and Kerrily Sapet’s Political Profiles: Barack Obama (978-1-59935-045-5).

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Published in: on September 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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