Clinton, Johnson, Trump: Step up to the plate

And then there were two.

There’s more, actually. Let’s make it three.

In just over a month, we will cast our votes for president of the United States. The Republican and Democratic candidates are high-profile and well-known, at least by name. The Libertarian candidate is a distant third, but has enough voter interest to be included here, even if he didn’t have enough in the polls for the first debate this fall.

In January I profiled 15 presidential hopefuls, 12 Republican and three Democratic, before the primary season began. I quoted each candidate on the issues from his or her own campaign website.

Let’s update that.


Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, served as the 67th U.S. secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, U.S. senator representing New York from 2001 to 2009, first lady during the presidency of husband Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, and first lady of Arkansas during his governorship from 1979 to 1981 and from 1983 to 1992.

Her vice presidential running mate, Tim Kaine, is an attorney and U.S. senator from Virginia since 2012.

Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, is a businessman, television personality and chairman of the Trump Organization, which is the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests.

His vice presidential running mate, Mike Pence, is an attorney and the 50th governor of Indiana.

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee, is a businessman, author and was the 29th governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003 as a member of the Republican Party.

His vice presidential running mate, William Weld, is an attorney, businessman and served as the 68th governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997 as a member of the Republican Party.


Between the sound bites, attack advertisements, debate mudslinging and low popularity in nearly all polls, it’s hard to know exactly where Trump and Clinton stand on most issues. Sure, they are loud on a couple of positions passionate to each.

When we take the emotion out of this election, what are they standing on? What specific plans do they have to solve the nation’s problems? It’s hard to hear those details amid the rhetoric.

As I did in January, I visited the campaign websites of Clinton and Trump, and also Johnson this time. I edited their position statements for clarity.

I also removed the digs against their opponents. Don’t degrade your opponent(s); tell me how you will solve the problem. Don’t preach. Give us your plan.

Each describes his or her plan in his or her own words, choosing the issues important to him or her. Seeing what their priorities are is a position statement in itself. Rather than both candidates speaking on the same issues, as happens in a debate, the candidates on their websites choose their issues and their positions. Let’s hear it.

I illustrated this introductory blog with yard signs I’ve seen from all three candidates. I’ve seen Trump-Pence signs for months, many still standing from the crowded GOP primary season last winter. I’ve only in the past week seen Clinton-Kaine signs in the ground, and I’ve seen one or two Johnson-Weld signs as well.

All three candidates prefer white lettering on blue background. Not very original. Unlike the candidates, not very different.

How to tell them apart?

Read their position statements.

I’ll post the statements of Clinton on Wednesday, Johnson on Thursday and Trump on Friday (in alphabetical order).

If you don’t know who you’re voting for – or even if you do – do you know where your favorite candidate stands on multiple issues?

See you at the polls on Nov. 8.


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