Job 1: Careers That Shaped The GOP Candidates
Creating work for unemployed Americans will be the top priority for whoever wins the 2012 presidential race. An NPR series examines some of the formative jobs that each Republican presidential contender held before running for office.
Newt Gingrich is shown teaching a class at West Georgia College (now known as the University of West Georgia) in the 1970s. As a politician, he has long stressed his background as a scholar.
The former House speaker began his career as a history professor at West Georgia College. "He thought he could have some kind of impact, to get kids to think," says a friend and former colleague. "But he really wanted to get into politics."
October 19, 2011 Herman Cain is the only Republican presidential contender who's never held political office. Critics say that could be a real disadvantage. Cain and his supporters, however, say his business experience, leadership skills and ability to solve problems make him "the people's candidate."
October 12, 2011 Before GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman served as governor of Utah, a corporate executive, and U.S. ambassador to China, he had another youthful calling: Huntsman was a rock 'n' roll musician in a band called Wizard.
October 7, 2011 Before he was elected governor of Texas, or to any of a series of positions going back more than 25 years, Perry grew cotton and raised cattle on land that his family had worked since the late 1800s. In every campaign, he has run as a man shaped by that experience. But real life on the farm was far less romantic.
October 6, 2011 The job Romney talks about most on the campaign trail is his leadership of Bain Capital. His supporters say that's where he learned to solve big problems, create jobs and expand companies. His opponents say he made money by shutting down factories, occasionally driving companies into bankruptcy.
October 12, 2011 NPR is exploring some of the formative jobs that the 2012 White House hopefuls held before running. Mitt Romney ran Bain Capital. Rick Perry was a farmer. You can test your knowledge of what these presidents did before they reached the White House: Try to match the occupation with the president.