The 2008 United States presidential election was unique from past elections in many ways. The most significant differences were that for the first time in the nation’s history, there was a black man vying on a Democratic ticket for the presidency and a woman vying as running mate for the Republican candidate. As stated by Hollar (2009), the Democratic Party nomination of Mr. Barrack Obama and the picking of Mrs. Sarah Palin for the Republican running mate were unprecedented. For the first time, voters were presented with candidates of different races and gender. The traditional voter considerations still lingered, like, which candidate was best suited for The White House, what do the candidates stand for on important issues like the economy, education, health, security, etc.? Additionally, the voters had to also ask themselves if they were ready for a black president or a woman vice-president. Debates were centered around racial and gender issues, with both sides trying to downplay them and asking Americans to instead vote on issues.
The differences on the issues on governance for the two parties are centered mainly on government, social values, and taxation. Obama was for a government used as a tool for the greater good, he supported modern values, and progressive taxation. Sarah Palin supported empowerment of the individual to promote greater good, traditional family values, and small government with low taxation. However, according to University of Michigan (2008), these issues seemed to be overshadowed by race and gender issues, which brought about discussions on the compatibility of political leadership and social identities. A great deal of media coverage remained narrow and stereotypical. Both teams had to overcome these stereotypes. Examples of negative stereotypes they had to confront included, black people cannot offer guidance on economy and defense, women cannot comprehend the