Candidates fall behind in housework

When you run for president, some duties on the home front go undone.

Heavy travel demands are drawing the presidential candidates to Iowa, New Hampshire and other states in play for the nomination, and candidates who also serve in Congress are often pinned to the capital as well. All that has kept them from a variety of chores that do not always get done in their absence.

Few have their hands as full as GOP candidate Duncan Hunter of California. In 2003, the congressman's home was destroyed in a San Diego County brush fire that took everything except the station wagon he and his wife were trying to get rid of.

Now his new house is almost completed. The plumbers are installing the final fixtures. The electricians are attaching the wall covers. Hunter is pitching in.

"He'll grab a shovel and dig a ditch," said Roy Tyler, his campaign spokesman.

The Associated Press asked the 2008 presidential candidates about their neglected household chores and found that the Christmas spirit still lingers at one congressman's home.

AP is asking the candidates a series of questions about their personal tastes, habits and backgrounds. Today's question and their answers:

What home task needs tending?


♦ Delaware Sen. Joe Biden: "Maintaining shrubbery."

♦ New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: "Organizing my closets."

♦ Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd: "My 2-year-old who wakes up beginning at 3 every morning!"

♦ Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards: "Clearing paths in the woods."

♦ Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich: "The garden."

♦ Illinois Sen. Barack Obama: "Too numerous to list."

♦ New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: "Taking out the garbage at the mansion."


♦ Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback: "Mowing the lawn."

♦ Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani: "Cleaning the fireplace."

♦ Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: "Cleaning garage."

♦ California Rep. Duncan Hunter: "Finishing the rebuilding of our house that burned down — a big task."

♦ Arizona Sen. John McCain: "Grilling."

♦ Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: "Clean the gutters."

♦ Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo: "Christmas lights."