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Inspiration Time...

They crop up in every debate ... the navel gazing questions.

The candidates were asked to name what the decisive moment in their lives were that put them on the path to running for president. Here's a sampling:

Kucinich said it was living in a car in the inner city as a child. "I decided I was going to be someone," he said. "As president, the American people will have someone who remembers where he came from."

Obama cited the transition from high school to college. "I had gone through a difficult time not knowing my father," Obama said. "It made me serious about not just what I could do for myself but what I could for other people."

Joe Biden said it was the civil rights movement. "I found out and realized that it does make a difference if you are engaged."

Richardson said getting married. "It has given me strength."

Edwards talked about coming down in the morning as a child and seeing his father watching public television to better educate himself. "Whatever I did in my life those are the people I would fight for," said Edwards.

Chris Dodd said it was joining the Peace Corps.

Clinton said the womens and civil rights movements inspired her, and on a personal level her mother. "She gave me a belief that I could do whatever I set my mind to," said Clinton.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 19, 2007; 10:33 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Debate Roundup: The Silence of the Pack

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