Barack Obama once came close to injecting heroin, but balked when a junkie pulled out the needle and rubber tubing. Obama and Mitt Romney are descended from polygamous great-grandfathers who had five wives apiece. Rudy Giuliani's first wife was his second cousin. Liberal Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton was once a conservative Republican ""Goldwater Girl."" Such are the plot twists in the remarkable saga of the 2008 presidential campaign, which is brimming with enough colorful characters to populate a Russian novel. On second thought, no novelist would dare invent such an audacious cast of characters in a single work of fiction. After all, who could be expected to believe in the existence of Fred Thompson, an actor who has grown tired of playing presidents on TV? Or John Edwards, a populist who pays $400 for a haircut? Or John McCain, an aging war hero who can't stop alienating his own party? And yet one of these all-too-human mortals will soon become the most powerful person on the planet. The competition is fierce and the contest historic. For the first time in more than half a century, the field of White House hopefuls does not include an incumbent president or vice president. That means 2008 is a wide-open race on both sides of the political aisle. Bestselling author Bill Sammon, senior White House correspondent for the Washington Examiner, has conducted hours of exclusive interviews with the candidates and their most trusted advisers. Sammon, a political analyst for Fox News Channel, goes behind the scenes to answer the crucial questions: Who are these candidates? What do they stand for? How are they running their campaigns? Readers will come away with the knowledge to answer their own set of questions: Who can be trusted to prosecute the next phase of the war on terror? Who deserves the awesome power to appoint the next Supreme Court justices, whose momentous decisions will impact Americans for generations? Who can best guide the world's sole superpower into the second decade of the twenty-first century, when rogue regimes could alter the global balance of power with nuclear weapons? In short, who will be the 44th president of the United States?

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