|Barack Hussein Obama II|
|44th President of the United States|
|January 20, 2009 - Present|
|Years in position||5|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|First elected||November 4, 2008|
|Term limits||2 (4 year terms)|
|United States Senator|
|Illinois state Senator|
|High school||Punahou Academy|
|J.D.||Harvard University Law School|
|Birthday||August 4, 1961|
|Place of birth||Honolulu, HI|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Committee assignments
- 4 Issues
- 5 Elections
- 6 Campaign donors
- 7 Political positions
- 8 Cultural and political image
- 9 Analysis
- 10 Personal
- 11 Recent news
- 12 See also
- 13 External links
- 14 References
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.
- 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-Present: President of the United States of America
Obama served on the following committees:
- United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
- Subcommittee on African Affairs
- Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs
- Subcommittee on European Affairs
- Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection
- United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Subcommittee on Children and Families
- Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
- United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
- Ad Hoc Subcommittee on State, Local, and Private Sector Preparedness and Integration
- Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
- Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security
- United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Obama served on the following committees:
- United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
- Subcommittee Clean Air, Climate Change, and Nuclear Safety
- Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water
- United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
- Subcommittee on African Affairs
- Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs
- Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion
- Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
- United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Consistent with his interests in conservation, Obama voted in favor of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Obama took an active role in the Senate's drive for improved border security and immigration reform. In 2005, he cosponsored the "Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act" introduced by Republican John McCain of Arizona. He later added three amendments to the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act", which passed the Senate in May 2006, but failed to gain majority support in the House of Representatives. In September 2006, Obama supported a related bill, the Secure Fence Act, authorizing construction of fencing and other security improvements along the United States–Mexico border. President Bush signed the Secure Fence Act into law in October 2006, calling it "an important step toward immigration reform."
Partnering with Republican Senators Richard Lugar of Indiana and then Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Obama successfully introduced two initiatives bearing his name. "Lugar–Obama" expanded the Nunn–Lugar cooperative threat reduction concept to conventional weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles and anti-personnel mines. The "Coburn–Obama Transparency Act" authorized the establishment of USAspending.gov, a web search engine launched in December 2007 and run by the Office of Management and Budget. After Illinois residents complained of waste water contamination by a neighboring nuclear plant, Obama sponsored legislation requiring plant owners to notify state and local authorities of radioactive leaks. A compromise version of the bill was subsequently blocked by partisan disputes and later reintroduced. In December 2006, President Bush signed into law the "Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act," marking the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor.
In January 2007, Obama worked with Democrat Russ Feingold of Wisconsin to eliminate gifts of travel on corporate jets by lobbyists to members of Congress and require disclosure of bundled campaign contributions under the "Honest Leadership and Open Government Act," which was signed into law in September 2007. He introduced Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act (S. 453), a bill to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections, including fraudulent flyers and automated phone calls, as witnessed in the 2006 midterm elections. Obama's energy initiatives scored pluses and minuses with environmentalists, who welcomed his sponsorship with McCain of a climate change bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds by 2050, but were skeptical of his support for a bill promoting liquefied coal production. Obama also introduced the "Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007," a bill to cap troop levels in Iraq, begin phased redeployment, and remove all combat brigades from Iraq before April 2008.
Later in 2007, Obama sponsored an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act adding safeguards for personality disorder military discharges, and calling for an official review following reports that the procedure had been used inappropriately to reduce government costs. He sponsored the "Iran Sanctions Enabling Act" supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran's oil and gas industry, and joined Republican Chuck Hagel of Nebraska in introducing legislation to reduce risks of nuclear terrorism. A provision from the Obama–Hagel bill was passed by Congress in December 2007 as an amendment to the State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill. Obama also sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program providing one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries.
|U.S. presidential election, 2012|
|Party||Candidate||Vote %||Votes||Electoral votes|
|Democratic||Barack 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|
|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.
|U.S. presidential election, 2008|
|Party||Candidate||Vote %||Votes||Electoral votes|
|Democratic||Barack 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|
|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.
In February 2007, standing before the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Describing his working life in Illinois, and symbolically linking his presidential campaign to Abraham Lincoln's 1858 Lincoln's House Divided Speech|House Divided speech, Obama said: "That is why, in the shadow of the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln once called on a house divided to stand together, where common hopes and common dreams still live, I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America." Speaking at a Democratic National Committee (DNC) meeting one week before the February announcement, Obama called for putting an end to negative campaigning. After announcing his presidential campaign Obama has emphasized ending the Iraq War, energy independence, and providing universal health care as his top three priorities.
Obama's campaign raised $58 million during the first half of 2007, topping all other candidates and exceeding previous records for the first six months of any year before an election year. Small donors, those contributing in increments of less than $200, accounted for $16.4 million of Obama's record-breaking total, more than any other Democratic candidate. In the first month of 2008, his campaign brought in $36.8 million, the most ever raised in one month by a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries.
Obama was placed under Secret Service protection on May 3, 2007, the earliest ever for a U.S. presidential candidate. With two months remaining before the first electoral contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, and national opinion polls showing him trailing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama began directly charging his top rival with failing to clearly state her political positions. Campaigning in Iowa, he told The Washington Post that as the Democratic nominee he would draw more support than Clinton from independent and Republican voters in the general election.
Among the first four DNC-sanctioned state contests, Obama won more delegates than Clinton in Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina while winning an equal number in New Hampshire. On Super Tuesday, he emerged with 20 more delegates than Clinton. He broke fundraising records in the first two months of 2008, raising over $90 million for his primary campaign while Clinton raised $45 million in the same period. After Super Tuesday, Obama won the eleven remaining February primaries and caucuses. Obama and Clinton split delegates and states nearly equally in Vermont, Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island.
In March 2008, a controversy broke out concerning Obama's 23-year relationship to his former pastor Jeremiah Wright. After ABC News broadcast racially and politically charged Media clip|clips from sermons by Rev. Wright, Obama responded by condemning Wright's remarks and ending Wright's relationship with the campaign. Obama delivered a speech, during the controversy, entitled "A More Perfect Union" that addressed issues of race. After Wright reiterated some of his remarks in a speech at the National Press Club, Obama strongly denounced Wright, who he said "[presented] a world view that contradicts who I am and what I stand for." Obama's association with Bill Ayers was also questioned in an ABC debate. Ayers, whose radical activism had taken the form of planting bombs in the early 1970's, hosted the announcement of Obama's 1996 State Senate campaign and had joined the board of the Woods Foundation, where Obama was already a member, in 1999. On May 31, 2008 Barack Obama resigned from the Chicago Trinity Church in a further public speech, Obama said he made the decision after racially charged comments by visiting Catholic priest Michael Pfleger were made towards Hillary Clinton.
Obama lost six out of the next nine contests. During April and May 2008 Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oregon held primaries. Obama won North Carolina and Oregon, and Clinton won the rest, with an aggregate result of Obama remaining ahead in pledged delegates after these contests; during the same period, Obama received endorsements from more superdelegates than Clinton. On May 31, the Democratic National Committee agreed to seat half of the Michigan and Florida delegates at the national convention, narrowing the delegate gap between Clinton and Obama, and increasing the number of delegates needed to win the nomination; but Obama retained a lead even after Clinton won the Puerto Rico primary on June 1. On June 3, Clinton won the South Dakota primary while Obama won Montana. On June 3, with all states counted, Obama passed the 2118 delegate mark and became the Democratic presumptive nominee. Obama is the first African American to be the presumptive nominee of a major political party, and the first to be born in Hawaii.
In his victory speech in St. Paul, Minnesota, Obama said: "After 54 hard-fought contests, our primary season has finally come to an end. Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another, a journey that will bring a new and better day to America. Because of you tonight I can stand here and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States of America." Paying tribute to his rival Hillary Clinton, he said she had made him a "better candidate."He congratulated her on the race she had run "throughout this contest" and also praised former President Bill Clinton's economic policies. In her own speech in New York, Clinton showed no sign of suspending her presidential campaign. She told cheering supporters: "Now the question is, 'Where do we go from here?' And given how far we've come, and where we need to go as a party, it's a question I don't take lightly. This has been a long campaign and I will be making no decisions tonight." Earlier, she had signaled her interest in joining Obama's ticket as a potential vice-president.
To view the full congressional electoral history for Barack Obama, click [show] to expand the section.
Comprehensive donor information for Obama is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Obama raised a total of $1,475,627,500 during that time period. This information was last updated on October 14, 2013.
|Barack Obama's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||U.S. Presidency (Incumbent)||$715,677,692|
|2008||U.S. Senate (Illinois)||$14,964,184|
|Grand Total Raised||$1,475,627,500|
Obama won re-election to the U.S. Presidency in 2012. During that election cycle, Obama's campaign committee raised a total of $715,677,692 and spent $683,546,548.
Cost per vote
Obama spent $10.37 per vote received in 2012.
|U.S. Presidency, 2012 - Barack Obama Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by Election Runner-up||$446,135,997|
|Total Spent by Election Runner-up||$433,281,516|
|Top contributors to Barack Obama's campaign committee|
|University of California||$1,212,245|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
Obama won election to the U.S. Presidency in 2008. During that election cycle, Obama's campaign committee raised a total of $744,985,624 and spent $729,519,581.
Cost per vote
Obama spent $10.50 per vote received in 2008.
|U.S. Presidency, 2008 - Barack Obama Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$368,039,764|
|Total Spent by General Election Opponent||$333,375,676|
|Top contributors to Barack Obama's campaign committee|
|University of California||$1,799,460|
|JPMorgan Chase and Co.||$847,895|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Securities and Investment||$16,580,277|
Cost per vote
Obama spent $3.99 per vote received in 2004.
|U.S. Senate, 2004 - Barack Obama Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$2,803,878|
|Total Spent by General Election Opponent||$2,664,471|
|Top contributors to Barack Obama's campaign committee|
|University of Chicago||$153,054|
|Kirkland & Ellis||$96,138|
|Henry Crown & Co.||$76,000|
|Sidley, Austin et al||$75,682|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Securities and Investment||$1,184,036|
Obama made several statements in a campaign video released in October, 2007 related to defense spending and nuclear weapons. In addition to promising to end the war in Iraq, Obama stated that he would enact budget cuts in the range of tens of billions of dollars. He stated that he will stop investing in missile defense systems, that he will not weaponize space, that he will "slow development of future combat systems," and that he would work towards a world without nuclear weapons. To achieve this goal, Obama wishes to end development of new nuclear weapons, to reduce the current U.S. nuclear stockpile, to enact a global ban on production of fissile material, and to seek negotiations with Russia in order to take ICBMs off high alert status.
On the role of government in economic affairs, Obama has written: "We should be asking ourselves what mix of policies will lead to a dynamic free market and widespread economic security, entrepreneurial innovation and upward mobility [...] we should be guided by what works." Speaking before the National Press Club in April 2005, he defended the New Deal social welfare policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt, associating Republican proposals to establish private accounts for Social Security with social Darwinism. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Obama spoke out against government indifference to growing economic class divisions, calling on both political parties to take action to restore the social safety net for the poor. Shortly before announcing his presidential campaign, Obama told the health care advocacy group Families USA that he supports universal healthcare in the United States.
Campaigning in New Hampshire in 2007, Obama announced an $18 billion plan for investments in early childhood education, math and science education, and expanded summer learning opportunities. Obama's campaign distinguished his proposals to reward teachers for performance from traditional merit pay systems, assuring unions that changes would be pursued through the collective bargaining process.
Obama was an early opponent of the Bush administration's policies on Iraq. On October 2, 2002, the day President George W. Bush and Congress agreed on the joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War, Obama addressed the first high-profile Chicago Protests against the Iraq War in Federal Plaza, speaking out against it.
On March 16, 2003, the day President Bush issued his 48-hour ultimatum to Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq before the U.S. 2003 invasion of Iraq|invasion of Iraq, Obama addressed the largest Chicago anti-Iraq War rally to date in Daley Plaza and told the crowd "It's not too late" to stop the war.
Obama sought to make his early public opposition to the Iraq War before it started a major issue in his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign to distinguish himself from his Democratic primary rivals who supported the resolution authorizing the Iraq War, and in his 2008 U.S. Presidential campaign, to distinguish himself from four Democratic primary rivals who voted for the resolution authorizing the war (Senators Clinton, Edwards, Biden, and Dodd).
Speaking to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in November 2006, Obama called for a "phased redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq" and an opening of diplomatic dialogue with Syria and Iran. In a March 2007 speech to AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobby, he said that the primary way to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons is through talks and diplomacy, although not ruling out military action. Obama has indicated that he would engage in "direct presidential diplomacy" with Iran without preconditions. Detailing his strategy for fighting global terrorism in August 2007, Obama said "it was a terrible mistake to fail to act" against a 2005 meeting of al-Qaeda leaders that U.S. intelligence had confirmed to be taking place in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas. He said that as president he would not miss a similar opportunity, even without the support of the Pakistani government.
Obama has encouraged Democrats to reach out to evangelicals and other religious groups. In December 2006, he joined Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) at the "Global Summit on AIDS and the Church" organized by church leaders Kay and Rick Warren. Together with Warren and Brownback, Obama took an HIV test, as he had done in Kenya less than four months earlier. He encouraged "others in public life to do the same" and not be ashamed of it. Before the conference, 18 pro-life groups published an open letter stating, in reference to Obama's support for legal abortion: "In the strongest possible terms, we oppose Rick Warren's decision to ignore Senator Obama's clear pro-death stance and invite him to Saddleback Church anyway." Addressing over 8,000 United Church of Christ members in June 2007, Obama challenged "so-called leaders of the Christian Right" for being "all too eager to exploit what divides us."
In a December 2005 Washington Post opinion column, and at the Save Darfur rally in April 2006, Obama called for more assertive action to oppose genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. He divested $180,000 in personal holdings of Sudan-related stock, and urged divestment from companies doing business in Iran. In the July–August 2007 issue of Foreign Affairs, Obama called for an outward looking post-Iraq War foreign policy and the renewal of American military, diplomatic, and moral leadership in the world. Saying "we can neither retreat from the world nor try to bully it into submission," he called on Americans to "lead the world, by deed and by example."
At the Tax Policy Center in September 2007, he blamed special interests for distorting the U.S. tax code. His plan sought to eliminate taxes for senior citizens with incomes of less than $50,000 a year, repeal income tax cuts for those making over $250,000 as well as the capital gains and dividends tax cut, close corporate tax loopholes, lift the $102,000 cap on Social Security taxes, restrict offshore tax havens, and simplify filing of income tax returns by pre-filling wage and bank information already collected by the IRS. Announcing his presidential campaign's energy plan in October 2007, Obama proposed a emissions cap and trade auction system to restrict carbon emissions and a 10 year program of investments in new energy sources to reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil. Obama proposed that all pollution credits must be auctioned, with no grandfathering of credits for oil and gas companies, and the spending of the revenue obtained on energy development and economic transition costs.
- Main article: Barack Obama transparency on Sunshine Review
Obama sponsored the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006. This act allowed for greater transparency in government at the federal level and also established the website usaspending.gov a resource on federal spending.
Obama's first book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, was published before his first run for political office. In it he recalls his childhood in Honolulu and Jakarta, college years in Los Angeles and New York City, and his employment as a community organizer in Chicago in the 1980s. The book's last few chapters describe his first visit to Kenya, a journey to connect with his Luo family and heritage. In the preface to the 2004 revised edition, Obama explains that he had hoped the story of his family "might speak in some way to the fissures of race that have characterized the American experience." In a 1995 review, novelist Paul Watkins wrote that Dreams "persuasively describes the phenomenon of belonging to two different worlds, and thus belonging to neither." The audiobook edition earned Obama the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album of 2006.
His second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, was published in October 2006 and soon rose to the top of the New York Times Best Seller hardcover list. Its title came from a sermon delivered by Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. The paperback edition currently ranks fourth on The New York Times nonfiction list. The Chicago Tribune credits large crowds that gathered at book signings with influencing Obama's decision to run for president. Former U.S. presidential candidate Gary Hart said the book's self-portrayal presents "a man of relative youth yet maturity, a wise observer of the human condition, a figure who possesses perseverance and writing skills that have flashes of grandeur." Reviewer Michael Tomasky writes that it does not contain "boldly innovative policy prescriptions that will lead the Democrats out of their wilderness," but does show Obama's potential to "construct a new politics that is progressive but grounded in civic traditions that speak to a wider range of Americans." In February 2008, he won a Grammy award for the spoken word edition of Audacity. Foreign language editions of the book have been published in Italian, Spanish, German, French, Danish and Greek. The Italian edition was published in April 2007 with a preface by Walter Veltroni, former Mayor of Rome, currently leader of Italy's Democratic Party and one of Obama's earliest supporters overseas.
Barack Obama is reportedly writing a children's book.
Cultural and political image
Supporters and critics have likened Obama's popular image to a cultural Rorschach test, a neutral persona on whom people can project their personal histories and aspirations. Obama's own stories about his family origins reinforce what a May 2004 New Yorker magazine article described as his "everyman" image. In Dreams from My Father, he ties his maternal family history to possible Native American ancestors and distant relatives of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Speaking to Jewish audiences during his 2004 campaign for U.S. Senate, he linked the linguistic root of his East African first name Barack to the Hebrew word baruch, meaning "blessed." In an October 2006 interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Obama highlighted the diversity of his extended family: "Michelle will tell you that when we get together for Christmas or Thanksgiving, it's like a little mini-United Nations," he said. "I've got relatives who look like Bernie Mac, and I've got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher. We've got it all."
With his Kenyan father and American mother, his upbringing in Honolulu and Jakarta, and his Ivy League education, Obama's early life experiences differ markedly from those of African American politicians who launched their careers in the 1960s through participation in the civil rights movement. In January 2007, The End of Blackness author Debra Dickerson warned against drawing favorable cultural implications from Obama's political rise: "Lumping us all together," Dickerson wrote in Salon, "erases the significance of slavery and continuing racism while giving the appearance of progress." Film critic David Ehrenstein, writing in a March 2007 Los Angeles Times article, compared the cultural sources of Obama's favorable polling among whites to those of "magical Negro" roles played by black actors in Hollywood movies. Expressing puzzlement over questions about whether he is "black enough," Obama told an August 2007 meeting of the National Association of Black Journalists that the debate is not about his physical appearance or his record on issues of concern to black voters. Obama said, "we're still locked in this notion that if you appeal to white folks then there must be something wrong."
Writing about Obama's political image in a March 2007 Washington Post opinion column, Eugene Robinson characterized him as "the personification of both-and," a messenger who rejects "either-or" political choices, and could "move the nation beyond the culture wars" of the 1960s. Obama, who defines himself in The Audacity of Hope as "a Democrat, after all," has been criticized by progressive commentator David Sirota for demonstrating too much "Senate clubbiness", and was encouraged to run for the U.S. presidency by conservative columnist George Will. But in a December 2006 Wall Street Journal editorial headlined "The Man from Nowhere," Ronald Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan advised Will and other "establishment" commentators to avoid becoming too quickly excited about Obama's still early political career. Echoing the inaugural address of John F. Kennedy, Obama acknowledged his youthful image, saying in an October 2007 campaign speech, "I wouldn't be here if, time and again, the torch had not been passed to a new generation."
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Obama's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $2,566,014.00 and $8,265,000.00. That averages to $5,415,507.00, which ranked 8th among executive branch members. His average net worth decreased by %2.6 from 2010.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Obama's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $2,802,012.00 and $11,830,000.00. That averages to $7,316,006.00, which ranked 9th among executive branch members.
Elected office turnover
In state government elections, the Democratic party lost one governor's office and gained control of two state legislatures.
In state government elections, the Democratic party lost 8 governors' offices and lost control of 10 state legislatures. The turnover in state legislature control was the largest differential since the 1974 general election.
Obama grew up with his half-sister Maya Kassandra Soetoro, the daughter his mother had with her second husband. Obama also has seven other half-siblings; his father had six other sons and one daughter.
Obama met his wife, Michelle Robinson, in June 1989 when he was employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin. Assigned for three months as Obama's adviser at the firm, Robinson joined him at group social functions, but declined his initial offers to date. They began dating later that summer, became engaged in 1991, and were married on October 3, 1992. The couple's first daughter, Malia Ann, was born in 1998, followed by a second daughter, Natasha ("Sasha"), in 2001.
Applying the proceeds of a $2 million book deal, the family paid off debts in 2005 and moved from a Hyde Park, Chicago condominium to their current $1.6 million house in neighboring Kenwood. The land adjacent to their house was simultaneously sold to the wife of developer and Obama supporter, Tony Rezko. This deal provoked media scrutiny of Obama's relationship with Rezko, who was indicted in October 2006 for fraud and extortion. In December 2007, Money magazine estimated the Obama family's net worth at $1.3 million. Their 2007 tax return showed a household income of $4.2 million, up from about $1 million in 2006 and $1.6 million in 2005, mostly from sales of his books.
Obama plays basketball, a sport he participated in as a member of his high school's varsity team. Before announcing his presidential candidacy, he began a well-publicized effort to quit smoking. "I've never been a heavy smoker," Obama told the Chicago Tribune. "I've quit periodically over the last several years. I've got an ironclad demand from my wife that in the stresses of the campaign I do not succumb. I've been chewing Nicorette strenuously." Replying to an Associated Press survey of 2008 presidential candidates' personal tastes, he specified "architect" as his alternate career choice and "chili" as his favorite meal to cook. Asked to name a "hidden talent," Obama answered: "I'm a pretty good poker player."
In The Audacity of Hope, Obama writes that he "was not raised in a religious household." He describes his mother, raised by non-religious parents, as detached from religion, yet "in many ways the most spiritually awakened person that I have ever known." He describes his Kenyan father as "raised a Muslim," but a "confirmed atheist" by the time his parents met, and his Indonesian stepfather as "a man who saw religion as not particularly useful." In the book, Obama explains how, through working with black churches as a community organizer while in his twenties, he came to understand "the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change."
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Barack + Obama.
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- United States Congress
- Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election
- Possible 2016 U.S. Presidential candidates
- Official White House website
- Official campaign website
- Barack Obama on Facebook
- Barack Obama on Twitter
- Barack Obama on YouTube
- Barack Obama on MySpace
- The Cincinnati Herald, "Obama re-elected to historic second term," November 10, 2012
- Biography.com, "Barack Obama biography," accessed November 14, 2013
- CNN, "Barack Obama Fast Facts," January 20, 2013
- Washington Post, "Obama Forged Political Mettle In Illinois Capitol," February 9, 2007
- Washington Post, "Who Runs Gov: Barack Obama," accessed November 14, 2013
- Government Printing Office, "Standing Committees of the Senate, 110th Congress" (accessed June 25, 2013)
- Government Printing Office, "Standing Committees of the Senate, 109th Congress" (accessed June 25, 2013)
- U.S. Senate, 109th Congress, 1st Session (May 12 2005). "S. 1033, Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act". Thomas. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:SN01033:. Retrieved on 2008-04-27.
- "Immigration Bill Divides House, Senate", USA Today (September 22 2006). Retrieved on 2008-04-27. See also: "Obama Statement on Senate Passage of Immigration Reform Bill". Barack Obama U.S. Senate Office. May 25 2006. http://obama.senate.gov/press/060525-obama_statement_on_senate_passage_of_immigration_reform_bill/index.html. Retrieved on 2008-04-27.
- "Latinos Upset Obama Voted for Border Fence", CBS 2 (Chicago) (November 20 2006). Retrieved on 2008-04-27.
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- Wallace-Wells, Benjamin (November 2004). "The Great Black Hope: What's Riding on Barack Obama?", Washington Monthly. Retrieved on 2008-04-07. See also: Scott, Janny (December 28, 2007). "A Member of a New Generation, Obama Walks a Fine Line", International Herald Tribune. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
- Dickerson, Debra J (January 22 2007). "Colorblind", Salon. Retrieved on 2008-01-14. For a sampling of views by other black commentators see: Younge, Gary (posted October 27 2006 (November 13 2006 issue)). "Obama: Black Like Me", The Nation. Retrieved on 2008-04-07. Crouch, Stanley (November 2 2006). "What Obama Isn't: Black Like Me", New York Daily News. Retrieved on 2008-04-07. Archived from the original on 2007-03-08. Washington, Laura (January 1 2007). "Whites May Embrace Obama, But Do 'Regular Black Folks'?", Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved on 2008-04-07. Page, Clarence (February 25 2007). "Is Barack Black Enough? Now That's a Silly Question", Houston Chronicle. Retrieved on 2008-04-07. Archived from the original on 2007-03-08.
- Ehrenstein, David. "Obama the 'Magic Negro'", Los Angeles Times, March 19 2007. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
- Payne, Les (August 19 2007). "In One Country, a Dual Audience" (paid archive), Newsday. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
- Robinson, Eugene (March 13 2007). "The Moment for This Messenger?", The Washington Post. Retrieved on 2008-04-07. See also: Senior, Jennifer (October 2 2006). "Dreaming of Obama", New York Magazine. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
- Obama (2006), p. 10. Sirota wrote that Obama's confirmation of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State and his reluctant support of a Senate filibuster opposing President Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court may disappoint "those who see him as a bold challenger of the system".Sirota, David (June 26 2006). "Mr. Obama Goes to Washington", The Nation. Retrieved on 2008-04-07. Will, George F (December 14 2006). "Run Now, Obama", The Washington Post. Retrieved on 2008-04-07. Other praise by conservative media:"The Daily Dish". http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/01/bainbridge-asks.html. conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan defends his praise for Obama, theatlantic.com, January 2008 Washington Watch: Obama's fund-raising record reveals weakness of Hillary's campaign Conservative editor Jeffrey T. Kuhner praises Obama.
- Noonan, Peggy (December 15 2006). "The Man From Nowhere", OpinionJournal (Wall Street Journal). Retrieved on 2008-04-07. See also: Obama (2006), pp. 122–124. For Noonan's comments on Obama winning the January 2008 Iowa Caucus, see: Noonan, Peggy (January 4 2008). "Out With the Old, In With the New", OpinionJournal (Wall Street Journal). Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
- Dorning, Mike (October 4 2007). "Obama Reaches Across Decades to JFK" (paid archive), Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 2008-04-07. See also: Harnden, Toby (October 15 2007). "Barack Obama is JFK Heir, Says Kennedy Aide", Daily Telegraph. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
- OpenSecrets.org, "Barack Obama (D), 2011"
- OpenSecrets.org, "Barack Obama (D), 2010"
- Sabato's Crystal Ball, "The Presidency's Political Price," August 1, 2013
- Scott Fornek (2007-09-09). "AUMA OBAMA:Her restlessness, her independence", Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved on 2008-03-23.
- Obama (2006), pp. 327–332. See also: Brown, Sarah (December 7 2005). "Obama '85 Masters Balancing Act", Daily Princetonian. Retrieved on 2008-04-28. Tucker, Eric (March 1 2007). "Family Ties: Brown Coach, Barack Obama", Associated Press, ABC News. Retrieved on 2008-04-28.
- Obama (2006), p. 329.
- Fornek, Scott (October 3 2007). "Michelle Obama: 'He Swept Me Off My Feet'", Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved on 2008-04-28.
- Obama (1995), p. 440, and Obama (2006), pp. 339–340. See also: "Election 2008 Information Center: Barack Obama". Gannett News Service. http://www.gannettnewsservice.com/?cat=153. Retrieved on 2008-04-28.
- Zeleny, Jeff (December 24 2005). "The First Time Around: Sen. Obama's Freshman Year", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 2008-04-28.
- "Indictment - U.S. vs. Levine and Rezko" (PDF publisher=Chicago Business). http://www.chicagobusiness.com/downloads/rezkoindict.pdf. Retrieved on 2008-05-30.
- "Obama's Money", CNNMoney.com (December 7 2007). Retrieved on 2008-04-28. See also: Goldfarb, Zachary A (March 24 2007). "Measuring Wealth of the '08 Candidates", The Washington Post. Retrieved on 2008-04-28.
- Zelany, Jeff (April 17 2008). "Book Sales Lifted Obamas' Income in 2007 to a Total of $4.2 Million", The New York Times. Retrieved on 2008-04-28.
- Kantor, Jodi (June 1 2007). "One Place Where Obama Goes Elbow to Elbow", The New York Times. Retrieved on 2008-04-28. See also: "The Love of the Game" (video), HBO: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, YouTube (BarackObama.com) (April 15 2008). Retrieved on 2008-04-28.
- Parsons, Christi (February 6 2007). "Obama Launches an '07 Campaign—To Quit Smoking", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 2008-04-28.
- "Questions for the Candidates", Associated Press, USA Today (May 15 2007). Retrieved on 2008-04-28.
- "Gambling Buddies: Obama Flush with Poker Prowess", Associated Press, CNN (September 24 2007). Retrieved on 2008-04-28.
- Obama (2006), pp. 202–208. Portions excerpted in: Obama, Barack (October 23 2006). "My Spiritual Journey", Time. Retrieved on 2008-04-28.
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