WASHINGTON – If the presidential candidates were living the life of their idle dreams, Rudy Giuliani would be chattering in the announcer's booth at Yankee Stadium while Bill Richardson plays center field.
By day -- actually, by night, too -- the candidates are politicians. It is what they do and a huge piece of who they are. But they have a personal side, too.
They have home tasks that need tending; one still must take his Christmas lights down. They have television to watch on the fly, tunes to help them through their day, and even the occasional wish to step into a whole new skin.
They have hidden talents, some of them odd. One is a hotshot poker player and one is a celebrity impersonator.
John McCain has pets, does he ever. At last count, 22 of them, including turtles Cuff and Link.
With their guard relaxed and their humor intact, seven Republicans and seven Democrats running for their party's presidential nomination answered questions from The Associated Press about their personal side. They talked about their tastes, traits, backgrounds and even their annoying habits.
The exercise unmasked three "American Idol" fans, others who avoid reality TV and still others who get their kicks online, checking out sports sites.
What is your alternate career choice?
Delaware Sen. Joe Biden: Architect.
New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: "Continue to work for causes and issues I care about, in a setting like a university or foundation."
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd: Teacher.
Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards: Mill supervisor.
Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Astronaut.
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama: Architect.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: Center field, New York Yankees.
Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback: Farmer.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Sports announcer.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: Bass guitar player for a touring rock band.
California Rep. Duncan Hunter: Outdoor writer.
Arizona Sen. John McCain: Foreign service.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: Auto company chief executive.
Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo: President.