Bill Bradley left the United States Senate in 1996 after representing
the state of New Jersey for 18 years. He is a former NBA basketball
player, Rhodes Scholar and Olympic Gold Medalist. Bradley first
began shaping the Democratic nomination debate by proposing a plan
that would offer universal healthcare coverage to all Americans.
in New Hampshire and New York indicate he is tied or ahead of Vice
President Al Gore, the leading party contender.
is generally seen as more liberal than Gore. Other themes he often
addresses are race relations, gun control and campaign finance reform.
Al Gore has been the Democratic front-runner since talk about the
2000 election began. The high level of support that Bill Bradley
generated in the early stages of the campaign forced Gore to change
strategies. Gore moved his headquarters to Tennessee, his home state,
in search of a fresh start. Campaign staffers hoped organizing from
Nashville would reduce his image of being a "Washington insider."
The Gore campaign also attracted news when Naomi Wolf, a feminist,
was hired by his campaign to help the vice president connect with
and campaigning have shifted talk from strategies to political positions.
Gore says he wants to guarantee "universal access" to
health care and bolster the Medicare program, differing a bit from
Bradley. He also made a proposal to Bradley to halt all broadcast
campaign advertisements -- and, instead, increase the number of
debates. Gore is hoping for a "come from behind" victory
in New Hampshire, though January numbers still place him a narrowly
behind. Polls show him leading nationwide by a large margin.