Running for president is a full-time job. But long before they became politicians, several leading contenders in the race for the White House held interesting positions. Who worked what? Find out with this short, fun quiz.


1. Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Ronald Reagan didn’t have much in common politically. But as young men, they both did the same job. What was it?

A: Grocery bagger

B: Delivered newspapers

C: Lifeguard

D: Ice cream vendor

Answer: C. As a teenager and young adult, Reagan was credited with saving dozens of people over seven summers as a lifeguard. Biden also worked summers during college at a public swimming pool — where he had his infamous encounter with a local tough named “Corn Pop.”


2. Before he became a multimillionaire New York developer, Donald Trump’s father taught him the value of a dollar by doing what job at construction sites as a boy?

A: Hammering nails

B: Sweeping up sawdust

C: Sharpening saws

D: Collecting empty glass soda bottles

Answer: D. Trump and his brother rounded up empties and took them to local stores for deposit refunds.


3. This presidential wannabe studied acting in college and, for a short time, pursued a career as a singer.

A: Will Hurd

B: Asa Hutchinson

C: Vivek Ramaswamy

D: Marianne Williamson

Answer: D. Williamson went to New York City to become a cabaret singer, but says she was distracted by “bad boys and good dope.”


4. Which of the following presidential candidates earned spending money as a kid by cleaning animal cages at the zoo?

A: Doug Burgum

B: Nikki Haley

C: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

D: Vivek Ramaswamy

Answer: C. Kennedy loved animals as a youngster, so at age 12, he worked part-time at Washington’s National Zoo, feeding them and cleaning their cages for $1.25 an hour.


5. The United Nations probably wasn’t on the future ambassador’s mind when a teenage Nikki Haley did what kind of work?

A: Janitor

B: Drive-in carhop

C: Bookkeeper

D: Hairdresser

Answer: C. Starting at age 13 and continuing until she was in college, Haley kept the books for her mother’s small clothing shop in South Carolina.


6. As a teenager, this Republican presidential candidate was the youth coordinator for the local county Democrats.

A: Chris Christie

B: Ron DeSantis

C: Mike Pence

D: Tim Scott

Answer: C. Pence grew up a devout Catholic whose Indiana family idolized JFK. Pence was also a parish youth minister and at least one of his teachers hoped he’d become a priest.


7. Today, a presidential candidate, but in the past — a spy? That has to be …

A: Ron DeSantis

B: Asa Hutchinson

C: Will Hurd

D: Marianne Williamson

Answer: C. Hurd worked for the CIA from 2000 to 2009, including stints in Afghanistan and India.