The United States Presidential election of 2008 was held on November _, 2008 to elect a President. Incumbent Democrat Dan Quayle of Indiana was term-limited and thus prohibited from seeking a third term. Out of a vicious Democratic primary, New York Senator Rudy Giuliani emerged as the nominee over Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Vice President Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. On the Socialist side, 2004 Vice Presidential nominee John Kerry of Massachusetts was upset by fellow Senator Joseph R. Biden of Delaware, who upset Kerry in the crucial New Hampshire primaries.
Despite Quayle's unpopularity, Giuliani ran as a moderate and was able to distance himself from Quayle, portraying himself and his running mate, Governor Timothy Pawlenty of Minnesota, as centrist technocrats who would restructure popular social programs instead of "just using an axe to cut away at the fat." Giuliani, notably, was the first pro-choice and pro-gay marriage Democrat ever nominated by his party, helping accentuate the party's distance from untenable social positions. In contrast, Biden ran a hapless and energy-free campaign in which he was gaffe-prone, antagonized key parts of the Socialist base, and alienated many moderates. Despite generic Socialist candidates leading the Democratic field in 2007 polling, Biden was crushed in a landslide by the Giuliani-Pawlenty ticket.