It was the election that just wouldn’t end. Beginning way back in 2007, more than 15 presidential candidates from both parties began trotting all over Iowa and New Hampshire, pleading their case to the electorate — to anyone who would listen, really — in the quest to become the next president of the United States.
MTV News was there every step of the way — and will continue to be there all the way through the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama on January 20. In the meantime, here’s a few of our favorite moments from a campaign that just couldn’t help but be entertaining.
10. OK, this may not have technically involved Obama, McCain or any of the other candidates, but it was an important issue in this year’s election. Back in October, 50 Cent, Ludacris and Saving Abel converged on New York’s Nokia Theatre (and people like [artist id=”1230523″]Kanye West[/artist] and [artist id=”10551″]Kid Rock[/artist] appeared on tape) in order to mobilize support for the Bill of Rights for American Vets (BRAVE).
9. Throughout the primaries, MTV and MySpace sponsored events in which candidates answered your questions — and they received instant feedback to their responses. John McCain was the first Republican to participate , and you might be surprised how well the audience rated the elder Arizonan.
8. The creative class’ support of Obama may seem like a cliché by now, but there’s definitely been some interesting art inspired his historic candidacy. And none is more recognizable than the iconic “Hope” poster created by street artist Shepard Fairey. We spoke to the grassroots creator at the Democratic National Convention, where he explained his theory of why people are inspired to make Obama art.
7. Chelsea Clinton does not answer questions from the press. That’s a very firm rule of hers, but she still invited the MTV News cameras to follow her for a day as she campaigned across the state of California on behalf of her mother. It was an MTV News exclusive, and the first time the youngest Clinton allowed herself to be tailed in such a manner.
6. The day of John McCain’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, we spoke with a group of young Republicans (and even a Democrat) about what the former prisoner of war needed to accomplish that evening. Did he do it? Sway was in Minneapolis for the entire convention, chatting with supporters and protesters as the elephant party put its best foot forward.
5. Feeling nostalgic? Then check out Barack Obama’s historic DNC speech at Denver’s Invesco Field, as well as reactions from people and experts all over the country. It’s broken down and discussed in a way only MTV could.
4. Remember when there were about a dozen candidates running for president? Who else but MTV and MySpace could manage to get Obama, Clinton, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul live under one (virtual) roof for a “Super Dialogue” before the biggest day of the primaries? The candidates answered questions from the live and online audiences and got instant feedback to their answers. Talk about the hot seat! You try telling Senator Clinton that 52 percent of the audience “just isn’t buying it.”
3. With more than 1.5 million new veterans in this country since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, MTV News decided to make young veterans and their concerns a focus of Choose or Lose for this election cycle. Back in March, Clinton and Obama sat down with a group of young vets to answer their questions. John McCain had already secured the Republican Party’s nomination by then and couldn’t make it to the chat — since he was in Iraq at the time.
2. We’re not saying Obama’s last-minute interview with Sway back on November 2 won him the election, but taking questions from MTV viewers certainly didn’t hurt. One of the most popular, and telling, topics to come out of the chat was the now President-elect’s take on sagging pants. No word yet on whether belt sales have soared since Election Day.
1. Your votes made a difference in this election! An estimated 2.2 million more 18- to 29-year-olds voted for president in 2008, casting ballots 2-1 in favor of Obama. The results proved that you all vote, and that your voice makes a difference!