Rep. Dick Gephardt
Astrodatabank confirms Gephardt birthtime as 5:00 PM CST. 1/9/04 -- Starcats.
ANNOUNCED CANDIDATE: Former US House Minority
Leader Dick Gephardt started as one of the few first-tier Democratic candidates for 2004 -- although others quickly jockeyed into that category. He filed his federal paperwork to run in January 2003. Gephardt's role as leader of the House Democrats for 8 years created a natural, nationwide network of supporters and provided him with visible platform from which to be heard. He is also one of the most successful fundraisers within the party -- having raised in excess of $20 million over the years for Democrats around the nation. Gephardt stepped down as House Democratic Leader in November 2002, after failing to lead the Democrats in four elections back to majority status in the House. Some critics within the party gave him at least partial blame for the Democrats' failure to retake the House over those four election cycles. Still, he enjoys strong support from labor unions, the Jewish community, and old New Deal-style liberals. Gephardt previously made an unsuccessful run for President in 1988 (as did Al Gore, among others) and briefly flirted with running in 2000. But, unlike in 1988, Gephardt is no "lock" to win the AFL-CIO endorsement. Gephardt would like to be President, as the House Speakership he so wanted eluded him. For now, he is well positioned for the 2004 race -- especially with Gore now out of the race. While Howard Dean and several others loudly postured as the anti-Iraq war candidates, Gephardt stood out for his early and solid support for the Iraq war -- a position that may resonate well with more centrist voters. History may also be against Gephardt -- as no sitting House member has been elected President since 1880. To prove his committment to the White House race, Gephardt announced he would not be a candidate for re-election to Congress in 2004. Gephardt reported raising $3.6 million as of the close of the March 31, 2003 federal reporting period -- placing him third in the early money chase. Gephardt Bio Notes courtesy of politics1.com