Our nation is ruled by the President. Granted he has advisers, a House and a Senate to guide him and to balance his power. However, he (or maybe a she one day) has ultimate veto. He is the "father figure" to our nation. So let's look at the candidates based on their family and their views on family, starting with with Obama (going in alphabetical order).
Children: 2 girls. "And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours." (source: Parade Magazine) "President Obama is to be commended...His visible involvement in the lives of his daughters is a quiet affirmation of the role of fathers in the lives of their children." (No Apology, pg. 268)
Pet: Dog. A Portuguese Water Dog.
Family life: Barack Obama grew up in a "nontraditional family". His mother and father were married, but divorced when he was little. Both parents remarried. For part of his childhood, he lived with his grandparents while his mother lived in a different country with her husband. (source: Wiki)
Prior drug use: High school drug and alcohol use. (source: LA Times article, Wiki) "I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though..." (sources: Dreams from My Father, pg. 93; NYTimes.com)
Obama's Education: Attended both public and private schools. Graduated high school from a private college-prep school. Received a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia and a law degree from Harvard. (source: Wiki)
His Children's Education: Private schools. (source: Wiki)
Spanking: Yes. Based on a speech, he seems to be in favor of spanking. "We need to go back to the time, back to the day when we parents saw somebody, saw some kid fooling around and -- it wasn't your child, but they'll whup you anyway. Or at least they'll tell your parents -- the parents will". (sources: Obama on spanking via Labour.org, Obama on spanking via CBS News article)
"The strength and conviction of all mothers-including those who work inside and outside the home-are inspiring. They deserve our deepest respect, admiration, and appreciation." (source: The Obamas In The White House, pg. 14)
Diaper Changes: Unknown.
ON ISSUES THAT DEAL WITH FAMILY LIFE:
Abortion stance: Pro.
Kid vaccinations: Unknown.
Gun: Unclear. He may sign a UN arms treaty which some say could put our 2nd Amendment rights at risk. (source: Fox News)
Gay Marriage: Yes. Obama recently changed his stance to pro gay marriage in 2012. (source: Politico.com)
Children: 5 boys.
Grandchildren: 18 grandchildren. (source: USA Today article)
Pet: Unknown currently.
Family life: Mitt Romney grew up in "traditional" family with his mother and father being married. By his own accounts, he grew up in a "prosperous family" and his father "put us to work shoveling snow, raking leaves, mowing the lawn, planting the garden...weeding--always reminding us that work would make us strong." (Source: No Apology, pg. 6)
Prior drug use: No.
Romney's Education: Mitt went to a public school until 7th grade. He then attended private schools. (source: No Apology, pg. 194). Received a Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young, a law degree and Master of Business from Harvard. (source: Wiki)
His Children's Education: Private all-boy school.
Spanking: Yes. "Mitt Romney: 'We had five boys that were 10 or younger. People used to say to my wife, 'And what do you do?' She'd look at them like, 'Are you out of your mind?'… I was willing to change the urine-soaked diapers, but the messier types gave me dry heaves. So my wife allowed me to escape that. I came into my own as a parent when the boys were going into their teenage years… I grew up in a home where spanking was applied rarely, so I don't object to 'tapping.' Not to cause pain, but to communicate displeasure…Even on the bleakest days, (fatherhood is) the most fulfilling experience of your life.' (sources: GQ article, www.politico.com )
Diaper changes: Admitted to changing pee diapers, but not poopy ones. (source: GQ article )
"During my campaign for governor, I decided to spend a day every few weeks doing the jobs of other people in Massachusetts...cooked sausages...worked on an asphalt paving crew, stacked bales of hay...volunteered in an emergency room, served food at a nursing home, and worked as a child-care assistant. I'm often asked which was the hardest job--it's child care, by a mile." (No Apology, pg. 250-251)
"Hardworking parents raise hardworking kids; we should recognize that the opposite is also true." (No Apology, pg. 251)
ON ISSUES THAT DEAL WITH FAMILY LIFE:
Abortion stance: Pro-life. However, according to The Washington Post, Romney stated "I am pro-life and believe that abortion should be limited to only instances of rape, incest, or to to save the life of the mother."
Kid vaccinations: Unknown.
Gun: Pro. However, in the past he goes back and forth on wait period. Some semi-auto's were banned in Massachusetts when he was governor.
"Only if America and the West succeed-if our economic and military strength endure-can we be confident that our children and grandchildren will be free." (No Apology, pg. 19)
Gay Marriage: No.
"Any discussion of out-of-wedlock births must exercise extreme care and compassion to make sure that we in no way appear to judge or condemn these moms (single) or their children...They work hard and sacrifice much to raise their children. But given the enormous human and national implications of nearly half our children being raised without the benefit of two parents, it is long past time to tell the truth: a marriage between one man and one woman is one of the best things a parent can do for a child. (No Apology, Mitt Romney, pg. 212)
I contacted each campaign on their website on 7/13/12, 8/13/12, 10/8/12 to get more information on these leaders and their views. The Obama campaign page responded 8/14/12 and told me to contact the White House contact page. I submitted the questions to the White House question page on 8/15/12 and 10/8/12. To date, I have not heard back from either side. Here are the questions I asked:
WHO DO YOU THINK IS THE BETTER FATHER?
- Obama Links:
- Romney Links:
- Romney, Mitt. No Apology. New York, St. Martin's Press, 2010.
- Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father. New York, Three Rivers Press, 1995, 2004.
- The Obamas In The White House Reflections on Family, Faith & Leadership. New York, Time Inc., 2009.