Being a straight talker in a presidential race has damaging consequences for Shirley Chisholm, the first black female Democratic candidate in 1972 and Republican war hero John McCain in 2008.
Outspoken doctor and governor Howard Dean (2004 Election) and outspoken conservative columnist Pat Buchanan (1992, 1996, 2000 Elections) become forces in American politics.
Learn why successful governors of Massachusetts, Democrat Michael Dukakis (1988 Election) and Republican Mitt Romney (2008, 2012 Elections), both competent contenders, were unprepared to combat the portraits their opponents painted of them and were unable to define themselves to the public.
Examine the stories of the charismatic Sen. Gary Hart (1984, 1988 Elections) and Rev. Jesse Jackson (1984, 1988 Elections), forward-leaning aspirants determined to tackle the biggest foreign policy and domestic issues of the day. Equal parts brain and brawn, both were ready to upend American politics.
The political careers of conservatives Barry Goldwater (1964 Election) and Ronald Reagan (1976, 1980, 1984 Elections).
The third-party campaigns of H. Ross Perot (1992, 1996 Elections) and Ralph Nader (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 Elections).
Former vice presidential candidates Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin.
At opposite ends of the political spectrum, both Barack Obama and George W. Bush beat serious contenders with careful campaign strategy.
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