16 for '16- The Contenders

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S1 | E8 | Airdate: 11/01/2016
The son of a former president. The son of a Kenyan and Kansan academics. A former large state governor. A community organizer. George W. Bush and Barack Obama are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. Yet somehow the two men ended up in the same rarefied class of presidents who could be called master politicians. Bush, with the help of his campaign strategists, survived a vicious fight against John McCain for the Republican nomination, and went on to win one of the closest and most controversial elections in U.S. history, defeating Al Gore by only a few hundred votes. He became a wartime leader early in his presidency, and to this day remains one of the most polarizing presidents in the nation's history. When Barack Obama announced his campaign in 2007, his popularity was low, and he was trailing Hillary Clinton by thirty points in the polls. He mobilized a grassroots campaign of young Americans relying heavily on the internet, utilizing revolutionary online fundraising models and effectively re-writing the presidential campaign playbook. Both of these two-term presidents were able to beat serious, big ticket contenders such as John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney with a combination of pitch-perfect messaging, careful and calculated campaign strategy, and the very best teams of rivals in the business.