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The Kids Who Would Be President: When Your 2012 Candidates Were Young

During the course of a presidential campaign, the lucky few who remain competitive candidates share nearly every aspect of their lives with the American people– from how they care for their family to their views on the most personal issues. But while we get a great idea of what they would be like as leaders, it’s hard to imagine them as carefree children with no political aspirations whatsoever, or young adults who have no idea they will end up on the national spotlight.

What were they like as children, teens, young people with no particular political aspirations or responsibilities? The internet has a surprising variety of answers to this question for each candidate, all of whom grew up across the nation, from Massachusetts to Hawaii, and while it gives us little insight into how they would govern with the power of the commander in chief in their hands, it serves as a good reminder that all our candidates were once young– and adorable little critters at that. Below, a collection of photos of the candidates making headlines during this election season.

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