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Barack Obama

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44th President of the United States (2009 - 2017)

Personal Details

Barack Hussein Obama II (b. August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, HI) was the 44th President of the United States. He was first elected November 4, 2008, and was sworn in January of 2009. Obama successfully won election to a second term on November 6, 2012.

Previously, he served as the junior United States Senator from Illinois and was the nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2008 presidential election. He is the first African American to win enough support for the nomination of any major American political party and became the first African American president in the United States.

Born on August 4, 1961, to a Kenyan father and an American mother, he spent most of his childhood and adolescent years in Honolulu, Hawaii. His parents separated when he was an infant and divorced before he turned three. At age six, he moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where he lived with his mother and Indonesian stepfather for four years. At age ten, Obama was sent back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents. He attended Punahou Academy and graduated with honors in 1979. Obama's father, Barack Obama, Sr., died in a car accident in Kenya in 1982. His mother, Ann Dunham, died of ovarian cancer in 1995.

Obama graduated from Columbia University in 1983 and earned his law degree from Harvard University in 1991. While interning with Sidley & Austin in 1989, he met Michelle Robinson the two began dating. He helped organize voter registration drives during the Clinton campaign, lectured at the University of Chicago law school and practiced law after graduating. As a civil rights lawyer, he tried cases dealing with discrimination, voters' rights and community organizers. In 1995 he published his autobiography titled Dreams from My Father. He and Robinson married on October 3, 1992.

He was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1997 and served until 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he announced his campaign for U.S. Senate in January 2003. After winning a landslide primary victory in March 2004 to become the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2004 with 70% of the vote.

He announced his candidacy for the United States presidency in February 2007 and defeated Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary before defeating John McCain in the presidential election in 2008. He was sworn in as the first African-American president on January 20, 2009. Obama then ran for re-election in 2012, defeating Mitt Romney. He was sworn in for his second term on January 21, 2013.

Below is an abbreviated outline of Obama's academic, professional, and political career:

  • 1983: Graduated from Columbia University
  • 1989: Interned at Sidley & Austin law firm
  • 1991: Earned law degree magna cum laude from Harvard University
  • 1992: Organized voter registration drives for Clinton campaign
  • 1992-1996: Attorney for Miner, Barnhill & Galland
  • 1992-2004: Part-time Lecturer and Professor at University of Chicago Law School
  • 1997-2005: Illinois state Senator
  • 2005-2009: United States Senator from Illinois
  • 2009-2017: President of the United States of America
Elections

U.S. President

2012

Obama sought and won re-election as President of the United States in 2012.

Mitt Romney ran for the Republican Party, while Gary Johnson ran as a Libertarian and Jill Stein ran for the Green Party.

U.S. presidential election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes Electoral votes
Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBarack Obama/Joe Biden Incumbent 51.3% 65,899,660 332
Republican Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan 47.4% 60,932,152 206
Libertarian Gary Johnson/Jim Gray 1% 1,275,804 0
Green Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala 0.4% 469,501 0
Total Votes 128,577,117 538
Election results via: FEC official election results

Other candidates that appeared on the ballot received less than 0.1% of the vote. Those candidates included: Roseanne Barr, Rocky Anderson, Thomas Hoefling, Jerry Litzel, Jeff Boss, Merlin Miller, Randall Terry, Jill Reed, Richard Duncan, Andre Barnett, Chuck Baldwin, Barbara Washer, Tom Stevens, Virgil Goode, Will Christensen, Stewart Alexander, James Harris, Jim Carlson, Sheila Tittle, Peta Lindsay, Gloria La Riva, Jerry White, Dean Morstad and Jack Fellure.

2008

In 2008, Obama defeated John McCain (R), Ralph Nader (Peace and Freedom), Bob Barr (L), Chuck Baldwin (Constitution) and Cynthia McKinney (Green) in the Presidential election on November 4, 2008.

U.S. presidential election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes Electoral votes
Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBarack Obama/Joe Biden 53% 69,498,516 365
Republican John McCain/Sarah Palin 45.7% 59,948,323 173
Peace and Freedom Ralph Nader/Matt Gonzalez 0.6% 739,034 0
Libertarian Bob Barr/Wayne Allyn Root 0.4% 523,715 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin/Darrell Castle 0.2% 199,750 0
Green Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente 0.1% 161,797 0
Total Votes 131,071,135 538
Election results via: Archives.gov official election results


Other candidates that appeared on the ballot received less than 0.1% of the vote. Those candidates included: Alan Keyes, Ron Paul, Gloria La Riva, Brian Moore, Roger Calero, Richard Duncan, James Harris, Charles Jay, John Joseph Polachek, Frank Edward McEnulty, Jeffrey J. Wamboldt, Thomas Robert Stevens, Gene C. Amondson, Jeffrey Jeff Boss, George Phillies, Ted Weill, Jonathan E. Allen and Bradford Lyttle.

Articles

Obama Blasts Trump, Praises Biden in New 2020 Campaign Video

Jul. 23, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama stepped up their attacks on President Donald Trump and defended their time in the White House in a new video showing their first in-person meeting since the coronavirus outbreak began. The 15-minute video, posted online Thursday, is the latest effort to get the former president more involved in the 2020 campaign as his former vice president tries to rebuild Obama’s winning coalition. Obama has promised an active role on the campaign trail this fall. The former White House partners used an interview-style conversation to amplify Biden’s arguments against Trump, with Obama emphasizing Biden’s experience and personal attributes. They pointed to their administration’s 2010 health care law and blamed Trump for stoking division among Americans. They also were sharply critical of the Republican president’s efforts to combat the coronavirus, which has killed more than 140,000 Americans. “Can you imagine standing up when you were president and saying, ‘It’s not my responsibility, I take no responsibility’?” Biden said, offering a line of attack similar to his recent campaign speeches when he asserted that Trump “quit” on the country and has “waved the white flag” in the pandemic. “Those words didn’t come out of our mouths while we were in office,” Obama replied. Trump slammed the pair Thursday afternoon in a Tweet, accusing them of doing a “terrible job” in office and allowing his election. The Republican National Committee issued a scathing assessment of “slickly produced, substance-free love fests,” dubbing the effort “Biden and Obama’s fiction.” The two men are shown wearing masks while arriving at an office, then sitting down well apart from each other to observe social distancing for an unmasked chat. Biden’s campaign billed it as their first in-person meeting during the pandemic. Obama compared the nation’s current economic circumstances to what he inherited in 2009 after the financial collapse that played out during his general election campaign the previous year. “We had to move fast, not just 100 days,” Obama said. “We had to move in the first month to get the recovery act passed.” Calling Obama “Mr. President,” Biden answered that he’d repeat what he learned: “We have got to sustain and keep people from going under forever.” The former president largely stayed out of the once-crowded Democratic primary but endorsed Biden in April, when he was the last candidate standing. Obama hosted a virtual fundraiser for his former vice president last month that raised $7.6 million, the most of any Biden campaign event so far. He warned then against Democrats becoming “complacent and smug.” In other exchanges, Obama and Biden blasted Trump’s view of American society, and Obama praised Biden as possessing empathy that he said Trump lacks. “He ran by deliberately dividing people from the moment he came down that escalator, and I think people are now going, ‘I don’t want my kid growing up that way,’” Biden said, recalling Trump’s 2016 campaign launch. Obama said he has confidence in Biden’s “heart and your character.” Governing, the former president said, “starts with being able to relate. If you can sit down with a family and see your own family in them … then you’re going to work hard for them, and that’s always what’s motivated you.” Building on the point, Biden discussed the final months before his son Beau died of brain cancer and tied it to the 2010 health care law. Biden said he recalled thinking “what would happen if his insurance company was able to come in — which they could have done before we passed Obamacare — and said, ‘You have outrun your insurance.’” Obama said he “couldn’t be prouder of what we got done” and alluded to the Trump administration’s continued efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act through Congress and have it invalidated by the courts. “It is hard to fathom anybody wanting to take away people’s health care in the middle of a major public health crisis … and a time when unemployment is at double digits,” he said. The Republican National Committee insisted, “President Trump and Republicans will always protect pre-existing conditions.” However, when the GOP controlled Congress during Trump’s first two years in office, it failed to pass a promised ACA replacement that would preserve the law’s ban on insurers denying coverage based on a person’s medical history. The RNC also noted that Obama pledged repeatedly in his first term that the new law would allow anyone to keep his existing private coverage. In fact, minimum coverage standards in the law did effectively force some policyholders to obtain different plans. Obama remains a go-to foil for Trump and the Republican base, just as he was throughout his two terms as president. But the 44th president’s two winning coalitions remain the rough model for a Biden victory in November. At the time of the 2016 election, Obama had a 53% Gallup job approval rating, with 45% disapproving, for a net positive approval of 8 percentage points. When he left office a few months later, that net positive had risen to 22 percentage points: 59% approve, 37% disapprove. In 2018, when Gallup assessed past presidents’ standing, Obama notched a retrospective approval of 63%. For Trump, meanwhile, Gallup has measured just three net positive approval ratings during his three-plus years in office, all coming earlier this year and none of them higher than 4 percentage points. ___ Barrow reported from Atlanta.Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

Obama's Profile in Courage -- Endorsing Biden When He's the Last Democrat Standing

Apr. 17, 2020

Joe Biden just loves talking about ice cream. "I'm an ice cream guy," said the former vice president as he campaigned for the Democratic nomination for president. Who doesn't like ice cream? But now, after former President Barack Obama's profile-in-courage endorsement of Biden -- without any other candidates in the race -- it's plain that Joe should have developed a fondness for pudding. Because Obama's endorsement was pure tapioca. Bland, predictable and soft. And you don't need teeth to enjoy it. Obama's endorsement helped Biden a little, though it doesn't mean all that much, since by the time Obama finally got around to endorsing, his former vice president was the last Democrat standing. But after Joe received Obama's video kiss on both cheeks, you've got to wonder: When will the Democrats sit Joe down and give him the long goodbye? When do they tell Joe that it's not his turn, that he's just lost too much off his fastball, even though he never had much of a fastball? When do they tell him they've found someone more vital, stronger, younger, like Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, to take on President Donald Trump? The party never thought much of Biden. Democratic bosses were worried about Bernie Sanders. They were worried Sanders at the top of their ticket would cost them in local statehouse races. In Washington, the corporate overlords of the Democratic Party would never allow Sanders to be their nominee, not after he identified them as the enemy of the people. If Joe ever does get that long goodbye, it'll happen when he least expects it, like when a friend invites you to Chinatown for a late spaghetti dinner and says there'll be a car waiting outside your door just before midnight. And then you arrive and there's Visqueen on the floor and nobody has to explain a thing. But now, let's think happy thoughts, of pudding and journalists gushing over the Obama endorsement. They gobbled it up the way kids gobble pudding. I never really minded Barack Obama, the man, all that much. His policies were a different matter. Obama wasn't evil incarnate. He was just a politician from Chicago, a great communicator who came into the White House to face a crippling economic depression not of his making, with America already hip deep in costly, needless wars started by Republicans. It was the cloying treatment he received from American journalism that was galling. And obviously, he's still receiving that cloying treatment today. Journalists smoked the Hopium and treated the guy from Chicago as if he were the huggable gentle forest faun Mr. Tumnus, from the Narnia stories. They weren't bothered by the White House run the Chicago Way, with Rahm Emanuel and later Bill Daley as White House chiefs of staff. Journalism didn't seem all that bothered. Journalism wasn't bothered by the Obama White House's political weaponization of the IRS. Or the weaponization of the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies used to muscle political enemies, including Donald Trump. Journalism wasn't outraged by the Obama White House bragging that they'd manipulated journalists into supporting the Iran nuclear deal. "We created an echo chamber," Obama national security adviser Ben Rhodes bragged to the New York Times magazine. "... The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That's a sea change. They literally know nothing." Rhodes knew that all the journalistic know-nothings could see was Mr. Tumnus when he smiled at them. It must have felt as cozy as tea and cakes served in a warm hollow tree, with Mr. Tumnus playing his pipes near the fire as the snow fell upon Narnia. American journalism has never reconciled its fawning behavior when it came to Obama. And that cost journalism. Only little children and political tribalists seek virtue in politicians. Some want a knight in shining armor, others want a unicorn. But grown-ups can't afford belief in fairy tales. They don't look to politicians for virtue. They know politics isn't some moral crusade, but a brutal game of leverage, of who gets what, how much and who pays. Yet there was some searing news in Obama's silky endorsement of Biden. And as I've told you a million times before, you've got to first find the negative space, and sketch out what's not been said, so you're not manipulated by puppeteers like Ben Rhodes and his kind. Many of the news accounts of Obama's endorsement, on TV and in print, mentioned that Biden would unite the country in a "great awakening." "We need Americans of goodwill to unite in a great awakening against a politics that too often has been characterized by corruption, carelessness, self-dealing, disinformation, ignorance and just plain meanness," Obama said of Trump and the Republicans. News organizations were thrilled. They used "great awakening" in their headlines, and in their copy. If Trump is blunt force trauma to the establishment, Obama is its master in the use of language. But few, if any, bothered to explain just what Obama meant by "great awakening." The Great Awakening was a movement that swept the American colonies in the 1730s. It wasn't an awakening of politics. It was a Christian spiritual revival that had nothing to do with Joe Biden. So then what was Obama saying to America? Simply this: That politics is the new religion, that government is the new church and only the faithful will be rewarded. But that doesn't go down as easily as ice cream or pudding, does it? (c) 2020 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

Before Fixing Tomorrow, Democrats Must Fix Today

Feb. 18, 2020

Like all candidates, Democrats focus their campaigns on what they will do if elected. Progressives often accuse Joe Biden in particular of wanting to take America back to the Barack Obama years. And it's true that Biden often portrays his candidacy as a restoration of the era in which he served as Obama's vice president. But that's not a bad stance for any of the Democrats to take. They and their followers must understand that to move forward, America must first move back. The next president must reverse much of the damage President Donald Trump has wrought. The work will be considerable. We must rejoin our Western allies in honoring international agreements that still make sense. That would include the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. It reduced sanctions on that country in return for its freezing its nuclear program. Not perfect, but it was working. After Trump broke the agreement, Iran said it was free to develop nuclear weapons. A nuclear-armed Iran would be a nightmare. Washington must rejoin civilization's fight against global warming. Trump has almost completed our removal from the Paris climate agreement. Our abandoning it marks a surrender to environmental catastrophe. Some countries are not cutting carbons as they should. America and its conscientious allies can pressure them only if they lead by example. Trump has shredded regulations curbing the release of planet-warming gases. Some actions were so perverse -- weakening restrictions on methane gas emissions, for example -- that even industries meant to benefit said they didn't want them. How is it that a beautiful and prosperous nation would consent to being turned into a dump? Among Trump's 95 environmental rollbacks, completed or in progress, was a repeal of the limit on pollution thrown in rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands that are connected to large waterways covered by the Clean Water Act. He's weakening protections for migratory birds and endangered species. He's opening fabulous landscapes to industry. The most recent outrage was a move to allow drilling and mining on land that was part of Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. New leadership must reverse the campaign to destroy the Affordable Care Act. Trump has already disabled some of the means for funding the ACA. The law must be strengthened, and then it can be expanded. The next president must turn off the administration's green light for predatory lenders and their disgraceful abuse of ordinary people. He or she could start by undoing scandalous changes in the student loan system. Bring back the norms of behavior expected of government leaders. Begin with the easy stuff: Stop bigoted attacks on racial and ethnic minorities. End the blatant self-dealing for personal enrichment. And restore the respect once extended to America's military leaders and diplomats. Some on the left have criticized the Obama presidency as a lost opportunity to push more progressive goals. Obama should have been tougher on Wall Street, they say, and should have pressed for a stronger government hand in health care. But Obama was plenty progressive given the awful hand he was dealt. He arrived in the middle of a crashing economy. With the financial system in near collapse, he couldn't risk bringing down what was still standing. The auto industry, meanwhile, was on the edge of bankruptcy. Obama's plate was full. That he managed to push through health reforms, bringing coverage to millions, was no small feat -- doubly so given the Republican opposition that vowed to make him fail. And so the future must start with an immense repair job. Starting a new Democratic administration where 2016 left off does not leave it in 2016. Once America gets back to some kind of stable normality, we can start moving forward. Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/