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How Much Do You Really Know About the Presidential Candidates?

How Much Do You Really Know
About The Presidential Candidates?
By Abby Shepherd

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Foreign policy experience, health care plans and national security aside, what do you really know about the politicians running for office? By now, many of us can recite our favorite candidates' stump speeches and have memorized the delegate count for each state. But it is easy to forget that these superhuman, 24/7 political machines are actually people too.

Barack Obama

boThe Grammy-winning candidate is already known for his two bestselling books, Dreams of My Father and The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts of Reclaiming the American Dream. But, there is more to the Senator from Illinois. Barack met his wife, Michelle while both were working in the Chicago law firm scene. On their first date, they saw the movie Do the Right Thing. The rest, as they say, is history.

Obama is also publicly known for his ethnicity; his mother was from Kansas and his father from Kenya. But Obama also lived in Indonesia as a child because his mother remarried after a divorce. He has a half sister who is Canadian and Indonesian. When Obama appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he openly talked about his diverse family. His wife often refers to the family's Thanksgiving and Christmas as a gathering of the United Nations.

John McCain

john-mccain3.jpgAfter acquiring the appropriate number of delegates to secure the Republican nomination for president, McCain now must turn his attention to the real thing-becoming President of the United States.

McCain comes from a long military lineage. His father was a four-star admiral who served in Vietnam as commander of all US forces in the Pacific. His grandfather saw the Japanese surrender September 6, 1945 when he was stationed onboard the USS Missouri. McCain himself served as a naval aviator and was held as a Prisoner of War for five-and-a-half years in Vietnam.

According to his own book, Faith of My Fathers, McCain admits to holding his breath as a child if he didn't get what he wanted. This standoff would often last until McCain blacked out.

Hillary Clinton

hcShe has been in the national spotlight ever since her husband was in the White House. Clinton was the first First Lady to then run for public office. She became the Senator of New York in 2000. Clinton and Obama are now in a nail-biting race for the Democratic nomination for President.

As a child, Clinton once wrote to NASA asking for advice on how to become an astronaut. NASA wrote back to Clinton telling her that women can't become astronauts. Apparently, they can become Senators and run for President.

Clinton received her law degree from Yale Law School and has twice been named one of the 100 most influential attorneys at law in the United States. She also was a staff member for the House Judiciary Committee impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon.

Mike Huckabee

mhAlthough Huckabee isn't technically in the race to the White House anymore, the former Arkansas governor has too many interesting tidbits to not include him in our list. According to The Thomas Report, a conservative online blog site, Huckabee has about 29 interesting facts to be exact.

Huckabee has appeared numerous times on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report and admits to actually liking the show, which pokes fun at many conservative politicians and platforms. Also, Huckabee is known for undergoing gastric bypass surgery and one of his favorite "diet" foods is Yarnell's guilt free ice cream. He also likes movie theater style popcorn and received a popcorn machine for Christmas from his wife, Janet.

Ron Paul

rpPaul is currently running as a Republican candidate, however, his more Libertarian views has earned him a cult following online and among young voters. On December 16, 2007, Paul raised over $6 million dollars in 24 hours which is the largest one-day Internet fundraiser in American political history.

Paul was a track star at Dormont High School high school near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In his junior year, Paul was state champion for the 220-yard dash and placed second in the 440-yard run.

Paul attended Duke University School of Medicine and graduated with a degree in obstetrics and gynecology. He later became a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon and served outside the Vietnam War Zone.

During Ron Paul's 1988 presidential campaign, when he ran as a Libertarian, John McCain told his campaign chair, "You're working for the most honest man in Congress."

Let's try to keep it civil, but do you have any interesting facts about the candidates?

Check out the rest of our College Weekend festivities.

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10 Fab Facts About George Harrison
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You probably know George Harrison as a Beatle, the lead guitarist of the most famous band in the world. We’re guessing that there’s a lot you don’t know about the youngest of The Fab Four, who was born on this day in 1943.

1. HE WAS ONLY 27 WHEN THE BEATLES BROKE UP.


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George Harrison turned 27 on February 25, 1970, less than two months before Paul McCartney told the world he had no future plans to work with the Beatles. It had been 12 years since Harrison had joined John Lennon’s band, The Quarrymen—shortly after McCartney, his Liverpool schoolmate—in 1958.

2. HE INVENTED THE MEGASTAR ROCK BENEFIT CONCERT.

Before Harrison organized the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, there were performances for charity, of course. But when his friend, the great Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar, told him about the plight of Bangladeshi refugees, victims of both war and a devastating cyclone who now faced starvation, Harrison felt compelled to devote himself to the cause. He recruited stars like Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Badfinger, and Leon Russell, and together they played two sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden on August 1, 1971. Harrison then arranged for the release of a concert album and film. The ventures had raised more than $12 million by 1985, and profits from sales of the movie and soundtrack continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.

3. HE WROTE “CRACKERBOX PALACE” ABOUT HIS QUIRKY MANSION.

Harrison nicknamed his 120-room Friar Park mansion “Crackerbox Palace” after a friend’s description of Lord Buckley’s tiny Los Angeles home. The 66-acre property, about 37 miles west of London, was first owned by Sir Frank Crisp, a lawyer who lived there from 1889 to 1919. Harrison bought the estate in 1970—and quickly penned “The Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp,” which appeared on his first solo album, All Things Must Pass, also in 1970.

Friar Park was a strange place, with gnomes, grottos, a miniature Matterhorn, and lavish gardens, which Harrison loved to tend. According to the Victoria County History website, the house itself “is an architectural fantasy in red brick, stone, and terracotta, mixing English, French and Flemish motifs in lavish, undisciplined profusion.”

4. HE LOVED HANGING OUT WITH BOB DYLAN AND THE BAND.

All four Beatles were Dylan fans, and first met him in 1964. But Harrison felt a special bond with him, and spent weeks at Dylan’s Woodstock, New York home in the fall of 1968. The Band was there, too, and Harrison loved the collaborative atmosphere. During this time Dylan and Harrison co-wrote “I’d Have You Anytime,” which appeared on 1970's All Things Must Pass. The two would become bandmates in the Traveling Wilburys, and maintained a close, lifelong friendship.

5. THE "QUIET BEATLE" WASN’T SO QUIET.

"He never shut up," friend and fellow Traveling Wilbury Tom Petty once said of Harrison. "He was the best hang you could imagine."

6. WHEN HE LOST HIS VIRGINITY, THE OTHER BEATLES CHEERED.

The Beatles at the EMI studios in Abbey Road, as they prepare for 'Our World', a world-wide live television show broadcasting to 24 countries with a potential audience of 400 million.
BIPs/Getty Images

During the band’s early years, they had extended runs as a house band in Hamburg, Germany, and were paid so poorly (and had to be on stage for so many hours) that they shared a small room in the club’s basement. Hence the witnesses to George’s deflowering, at age 17. "We were in bunkbeds," Harrison recalled. "They couldn't really see anything because I was under the covers, but after I'd finished they all applauded and cheered. At least they kept quiet whilst I was doing it."

7. WITHOUT HIM, THERE MAY NOT HAVE BEEN A MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN.

EMI Films, Life of Brian’s original backer, withdrew funding for the Monty Python comedy classic just before filming began, scared that the religious subject matter would be too controversial. Harrison, a big fan and friend of the Pythons, set up his own production company—Handmade Films—to fund the project. Why? "Because I liked the script and I wanted to see the movie,” he explained. Harrison not only saw the film, he appeared in it, as Mr. Papadopolous, "owner of the Mount.” Monty Python’s Life of Brian, released in 1979, was a huge hit in both the UK and U.S., and was ranked as the 10th best comedy film of all time in 2010 by The Guardian.

8. HE WAS THE FIRST EX-BEATLE TO SIMULTANEOUSLY TOP BOTH THE SINGLES AND ALBUMS CHARTS.

Harrison began recording the songs that would comprise All Things Must Pass at Abbey Road on May 26, 1970, just weeks after the Beatles broke up. The triple album was released in late November, along with “My Sweet Lord,” the first single from the album. Both the record and the single spent weeks at the top of the Billboard and Melody Maker charts in early 1971, while receiving rave reviews.

9. THE FIRST SONG HE WROTE WAS INSPIRED BY A DESIRE TO TELL PEOPLE TO GET LOST.

Harrison wrote “Don’t Bother Me,” his first first solo composition, while sick in bed at the Palace Court Hotel in Bournemouth, England, in the summer of 1963. It “was an exercise to see if I could write a song,” Harrison said. “I don't think it's a particularly good song ... It mightn't even be a song at all, but at least it showed me that all I needed to do was keep on writing, and then maybe eventually I would write something good." “Don’t Bother Me” appeared on With The Beatles, their second studio album.

10. HE WAS THE FIRST BEATLE TO VISIT, AND PLAY IN, THE U.S.

In the fall of 1963, Harrison traveled to Benton, Illinois to visit his sister, Louise, and her husband, George Caldwell. During his 18-day stay, Harrison also became the first Beatle to play in the U.S.—appearing on stage with The Four Vests at the VFW Hall in Eldorado. He played the second set with the band, taking over lead guitar and singing "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Your Cheatin' Heart."

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