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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.

KNOW Exit Poll: Presidential vote in Minnesota was referendum on Iraq
Exit poll data suggests John Kerry's victory in Minnesota was more a rejection of President Bush than an affirmation of the Democratic challenger. Read the full exit poll results and listen to voters explain why they voted the way they did.
KSTP video sheds light on when Iraqi explosives went missing
A news crew with Twin Cities TV station KSTP shot video of U.S. troops in Iraq in April of 2003 that may help determine when tons of powerful explosives were removed from the Al-QaQaa munitions base. Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that almost 380 tons of explosives from the site were not secured immediately after the invasion of Iraq. Reporter Dean Staley, who now works in Seattle, and photo journalist Joe Caffrey were embedded with the 101st Airborne Division at the time. Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer spoke with Caffrey, who says he shot the video nine days after the fall of Baghdad.
Undecided voter still undecided after first presidential debate
Many undecided voters watched President George W. Bush and Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry at last night's presidential debate. Polls suggest undecided voters make up roughly ten percent of the voting public, and could tip the election in many battleground states like Minnesota. Earlier this week, Morning Edition aired a story about Joe Raasch and undecided voter from Shakopee. In the story, he said he was looking forward to the debates to help him make up his mind. Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer spoke with Raasch who says the debate last night was not enough to get him to commit.
Kerry creates stir in Wisconsin small town
Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry is in Spring Green, Wisconsin, preparing for Thursday's debate with President George W. Bush. Kerry's decision to do his debate prep at the House on the Rock resort is creating quite a stir in the small Wisconsin town. One of the people most excited about the arrival of the Kerry camp is Todd Miller, a Democrat running for the Wisconsin State Assembly, and the co-owner of the Spring Green General Store.
MPR Poll: Minnesota voters divided about Iraq
A new poll shows Minnesotans continue to be divided about the war in Iraq and its aftermath. The Minnesota Public Radio-St. Paul Pioneer Press poll finds no overwhelming consensus on whether the U.S. intervention will make things better in Iraq, and whether it will improve the United States' standing in the world.
MPR Poll: Presidential race a dead heat
A new poll suggests Minnesota voters are evenly divided between re-electing President George Bush or replacing him with Democratic rival John Kerry. The survey, commissioned by Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, shows 45 percent of likely voters favor Sen. Kerry and 44 percent support Bush. Ralph Nader attracted 2 percent support. Those results haven't changed much in the last few months.
Let's talk politics
With the Green Party meeting in Milwaukee for its national convention, it's time to talk politics. Independent candidate Ralph Nader, who ran as a Green in 2000 and is credited with taking enough votes from Al Gore to win the race for George W. Bush, named Green party member Peter Camejo as his running mate on Monday. A poll from Quinnipiac University out today showed Nader pulling seven percent in Pennsylvania--a key battleground state. The poll showed President Bush and John Kerry in a statistical dead heat in the state that Gore won by 4.2 percentage points in the last election--perhaps an indication of just how close this year's race is likely to be. Even Minnesota, which has historically been a Democratic stronghold in presidential elections, is considered up for grabs this time around.
Kerry to push for veterans' support in Minnesota visit
Sen. John Kerry plans to make another campaign stop in Minnesota Friday, on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. While in the state, the presumptive Democratic nominee will roll out a national Veterans for Kerry campaign organization. Kerry's visit comes as a Minnesota Public Radio - Pioneer Press poll shows the presidential race is virtually even in the state. MPR's David Molpus reached Kerry on the campaign trail in Florida Wednesday.
MPR Poll: Growing concern about involvement in Iraq
A new poll finds growing concern about the aftermath of the war in Iraq, even though a majority of Minnesotans say the U.S. was right to invade Iraq. The Minnesota Public Radio-St. Paul Pioneer Press poll also found most Minnesotans want the U.S. to stabilize Iraq, even if it takes awhile. Yet many people say they believe the Bush administration misled the public about the reasons for going to war.
MPR Poll: Presidential race is a close one
A new Minnesota Public Radio-Pioneer Press poll shows the presidential race is extremely close in Minnesota. The poll shows Democrat John Kerry with a slight lead over Republican incumbent George W. Bush, although that lead is within the poll's margin of sampling error. The poll also shows President Bush's approval ratings have steadily dropped over the past year.
Iraq taking heavy toll on Bush five months before election
Five months before the election, President Bush confronts a grim picture in Iraq of rising casualties, growing violence, skittish allies and Arab anger. To the administration's dismay, the setbacks have drowned out news of an improving economy at home and have pushed Iraq to the top of Americans' concerns. Those anxieties have helped drive down Bush's approval ratings to the lowest point of his presidency and stirred deep doubts about his handling of Iraq.
Is Minnesota a swing state?
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry is in Minnesota on Monday, a week after George Bush paid a visit to the state. Is Minnesota a swing state? What difference might the Gopher state make in this year's presidential campaign? (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)
'Face off' over the presidential campaign
The University of St. Thomas hosted a "Face-off" debate last Thursday about the war in Iraq and the presidential campaign. A conservative and a liberal political writer debated those issues.
Presidential politics
President Bush and his challenger Senator John Kerry are both coming to Minneapolis. Host Gary Eichten and his guest talk about presidential politics and Minnesota's role in the 2004 election.
The buying of America's elected leaders
Investigative journalist and author, Charles Lewis, speaking recently at the City Club of Cleveland. Lewis is the founder and executive director of the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit, non-partisan watchdog group that tracks the links between monied interests and American elected leaders. His books include The Buying of the President 2000, and The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers--and What They Expect in Return.

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