Politics The Contenders: Sam Brownback
posted by January 11 at 13:54 PMon
Sure, November 2008 is nearly two years away, but it’s apparently never too early to declare one’s intention to run for president, and thus it’s never too early to get to know the people who might be the next leader of the free world. This month we’ll be taking a brief look at them.
Status: Will Enter Race Jan. 20
After Sen. Sam Brownback announces his entrance into the 2008 presidential race later this month in Topeka, Kansas, he will, according to the plan laid out by his spokesman, fly straight back to Washington, D.C., to participate in an anti-abortion march marking the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade ruling. It’s a fitting maneuver for a conservative Catholic who rode into the House of Representatives during the Republican Revolution in 1994 and quickly made the jump to the Senate.
Brownback was born in tiny Parker, Kansas, and first got into politics as a student at Kansas State University, campaigning for Ronald Reagan during Reagan’s unsuccessful run against Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination. He earned a law degree from the University of Kansas in 1982.
He opposes abortion and gay rights, promotes the teaching of intelligent design, and is, in a way, casting himself as the non-Mormon version of Mitt Romney. While Evangelical Christians tend to align with Romney’s positions on social issues, they also tend to look down Mormons as members of a “cult.” Brownback, being a Catholic, doesn’t have that problem.
Brownback has been understood to say that he does not believe the Constitution guarantees a right to privacy. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee he has, however, expressed some concerns about the Bush administration’s secret wiretapping program. He is a fiscal conservative and a moderate on capitol punishment.
And this week he broke from other Republican contenders by announcing that he doesn’t support Bush’s plan for a troop surge in Iraq.
Brownback is married to a Topeka newspaper heiress and the couple has five children.
(With research help from super-star intern Sage Van Wing)