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Synopsis

To simply say the 2008 presidential election was historic seems like an understatement. The election was unique in many ways beyond the selection of the nation's first African-American as President. The drama of the election was also heightened by the historic nomination battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The contest generated issues of race and gender throughout the campaign, as did the candidacy of Sarah Palin as the Republican Vice Presidential nominee. And John McCain brought his own unique qualities to the campaign: Vietnam War hero, long-term Congressional service record, feisty temperament, and the oldest first-time presidential candidate to run for the Presidency. Thus, issues of race, gender and age dominated the campaign both implicitly and explicitly. The candidacies of Clinton, Obama, McCain and Palin provided the context and dynamics for charges of racism, sexism and ageism. Studies of Identity in the 2008 Presidential Campaign explores issues of identity politics and the presidential election. Investigating all aspects of race, gender or ageism, the contributors to this volume address the role and function of 'identity politics' in political campaigns, and highlight challenges of 'identity politics' in contemporary political campaigns.

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