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In the Spotlight

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News Headlines
News & Features
Campaign 2004

Candidate Bio
Richard Gephardt
Political affiliation:
Democratic Party
January 31, 1941
St. Louis, Mo.
Married to Jane Byrnes. Two daughters, one son. Baptist.
Attorney. U.S. congressman
B.S. from Northwestern University, 1962. Law degree from University of Michigan, 1965
Lawyer in private practice, Missouri Air National Guard, 1965-71; Democratic committeeman, St. Louis, Missouri, 1968-71; St. Louis city alderman, 1971-6; Congressman from Missouri's Third District, 1977-present; unsuccessful candidate for president, 1988; House Majority Leader, 1989-94; House Minority Leader, 1994-2003.
On the Issues

Audio Highlights
Audio Gephardt speaks to farmers in Moorhead (1/4/04)
During a campaign swing to Moorhead and Fargo, Gephardt stressed farm and labor issuesThe governor discusses the budget and the session during a speech to the Society of Professional Journalists' meeting in Minneapolis

Links and Resources
Web site:
Document dickgephardt2004.com
Campaign contributors:
Document Political Money Line
Candidate Pages

Richard Gephardt

Richard Gephardt dropped out of the race for president on Jan. 20, 2004 after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses. He was one of the founders of the Democratic Leadership Council, the group of Democrats (they called themselves "centrists") who wanted to pull the party back to the middle of the political spectrum. In the 1980s, he opposed many Democratic causes such as abortion rights, busing and the raising of the minimum wasge. That began to change in the mid-1980s when he was elected chairman of the Democratic Caucus. He ran for president in 1986, and signalled his shift, according to the Almanac of American Politics, by doing little to advance a tax reform proposal he helped author, and changing his stand on abortion to pro-choice. During the Clinton administration, he was a vocal opponent of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). While Gephardt is widely known for his ability to build consensus, he was often shut out of negotiations on Capitol Hill in the '90s as the Clinton White House often negotiated directly with Republican lawmakers. In his home district in Missouri, there is some rumbling that Gephardt spends too much time on national issues, and not enough time in the district. Gephardt has a strong network of supporters and high visibility, thanks to his 8 years as leader of House Democrats. He's also a prolific fundraiser for other candidates.Gephardt stepped down as House Democratic Leader in November 2002, after failing to lead the Democrats in four elections back to majority status in the House. No sitting House member has been elected president since 1880, however.

Mondale and Boschwitz ponder presidential politics
The presidential election is just a year away, and Democrats and Republicans are saying Minnesota is a toss-up. Former Vice President Walter Mondale says he thinks Americans are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the Republican leadership in Washington. Former Republican Sen. Rudy Boschwitz says President Bush is vulnerable now; but Boschwitz says a year is a long time, and he's predicting the issues will break in Bush's favor.
The impact of third party candidates
We discuss the potential impact of third-party candidates in the 2004 elections with professor Lawrence Jacobs. He discusses his 2004 Election Project at the Humphrey Institute.
Presidential candidates profiles: Health care
Health care looms as a major issue in the presidential campaign of 2004. How do the Democratic candidates stack up against President George W. Bush when it comes to health care proposals?
Democratic insiders taunt newcomer Clark in presidential debate
Washington insiders seeking the presidency gave Wesley Clark a rough welcome to the Democratic race, dismissing the insurgent outsider's 11th-hour allegiance to the party and assailing his indecisiveness on the Iraq war.
More Democrats join race for president
Friday's Week in Review covers the national political stories as well as the local, including the official entrance of two more Democrats in the presidential candidate field and negotiations on state employees' contracts.
The race for President
With President Bush's poll numbers dropping, many of his fellow Republicans are uneasy about the state of the U.S. economy, rising budget deficits, and the U.S. military operation in Iraq. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential contender Richard Gephardt launched his sharpest attack on rival Howard Dean Friday, likening his views on Medicare to past efforts led by Republican Newt Gingrich to cut the health care program for seniors. We discuss Presidential politics and other national political issues.
Democratic presidential candidates curb their politeness, throw elbows at each other
Democrat Howard Dean's claim that he is the only white politician who talks about race to white audiences drew criticism Wednesday from one of his presidential rivals. Sen. John Edwards said the entire field discusses racial issues on the campaign trail.
Democratic hopefuls make their cases
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean led off the parade of presidential hopefuls at a gathering of Democratic Party officials in St. Paul Friday. Six of the nine prominent candidates appeared, some in person and some via videoconference. All the candidates criticized Bush's handling of the economy, but the differences between them were also evident.

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