With all the candidates throwing their hats into the ring of the Presidential Election of 2008, I’ve been looking a lot at the major candidates and stacking them up against history. I definitely haven’t decided on a candidate. To kick off my series on this topic I feel it necessary to make a few disclosures. I’ve traditionally voted and supported the Republican Party, though I’ve always considered myself an Oregon Republican in the vein of Mark Hatfield. I’m excited that there isn’t a legitimate front runner from either party, and I am open to lending my support to a candidate of either party if their values line up with mine. The title of this series, The Presidential Voice, is in reference to the idea that through their life experiences as well as grooming and coaching, a candidate starts to sound like a President rather than a candidate for President. In my opinion, The Presidential Voice has been missing from this country for many years. Since perhaps Ronald Reagan left office, the presidential elections have ended up being a contest for the lesser of two evils. While I have reverence for the presidents since Reagan, I think both Bushes and Clinton lacked the Presidential voice, even though the term was coined with reference to Clinton’s rise in public image from Bubba from Arkansas to a legitimate answer to George H. W. Bush. The candidates that have stepped forward to declare their intentions to seek the presidency will, over the course of the coming months, define themselves and their policies. We will get a better idea of what they stand for and who they stand for. Like I said I don’t see a front runner at this stage in the game, but the early favorites are Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill), Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), fmr Senator John Edwards (D-NC), Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), fmr Mayor Rudolph Guliani (R-NY) and fmr Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR). All 7 of these leading candidates have things they stand for that I can buy into, but they also have things that can hurt their chances to be inaugurated on January 20, 2009. I will explore both the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates in this series. The primaries leading up to the election in 1992, showed that a candidate who wasn’t even on the early radar could emerge as the president, when the nationally-unheard-of Clinton gained the nomination of the Democrats over previous national figures of Al Gore, Paul Tsongas, Jerry Brown, and Bob Casey. So, based on that precedent, our next president might not even be on the radar, but in this new age of information, I imagine one of the 7 candidates I listed above will end up being elected the 44th President of the United States.