Senator John McCain
Privilege: As the son and grandson of 4-star US Navy admirals, McCain was untouchable throughout his military career, allowing him to crash several military planes yet still graduate at 5th from the bottom of his class. He went on to marry Cindy Hensley, giving him a family fortune with an excess of $100 million to launch his political career in Arizona.
Inclination to Fall into Peril: McCain, who at this point was already considered a reckless pilot, crashed his plane over North Vietnam on a bombing mission and would spend the next 5-1/2 years as a POW. As a senator, McCain’s involvement with the Keating 5 scandal nearly ended his career.
Begrudgingly Allows Circumstance to Take Control: In his quest for the presidency, McCain compromised his beliefs after losing the 2000 campaign to Bush. He sought the support of the religious right after calling them agents of intolerance and aligned with Bush to gain his party’s support after calling Bush a combination of the scarecrow, tin wood man, and the cowardly lion. He allows his campaign to be run by the same political team that smeared his character and crushed his 2000 campaign.
Senator Barack Obama
Empathy: Obama was born to a Kenyan father and a white mother from Kansas, a union that challenged the status quo. His upbringing in places like Indonesia and Hawaii broadened his understanding of other cultures and allowed him to view the world from many perspectives. Out of college, he turned down lucrative jobs to rebuild a devastated Chicago neighborhood as a community organizer.
High Standard of Excellence: Obama was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, he’s written two bestselling books, won a Grammy award, and in the Senate, has passed a major ethics/lobbying reform bill. His campaign was the first to integrate a comprehensive campaign and networking website and has generated the most contributions in U.S. history.
Rises to the Moment: Obama’s 2004 DNC speech gave birth to his meteoric rise. His primary victory in Iowa stunned the Clintons, while he subdued the Reverend Wright controversy with a historical speech on race.