- Full name: Barack Hussein Obama II
- Years in office: 2009–2017
- Political party: Democratic
- Vice president: Joseph Biden
- Age at inauguration: 47
- Nicknames: “Barry,” “No Drama Obama”
- A Swahili name: Barack means, “one who is blessed,” in Swahili.
Birth & Death
- Birthday: August 4, 1961
- Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii
- Death: Still living
- Father: Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. (1936–1982); Kenyan governmental economist
- Mother: Stanley Ann Dunham (1942–1995)
- Wife: Michelle LaVaughn Robinson (1964 –)
- Marriage: October 3, 1992 in Illinois
- Kids: Two
- Malia Ann (1998–)
- Natasha (Sasha) (2001–)
- Home: Chicago, Illinois
- Height: 6’1″
- Eye color: Brown
- Ancestry: Kenyan, English, Irish, African-American
- Religion: Congregationalist
- Born in a log cabin: No
- Owned enslaved people: No
- Freemason: No
- College degree: Yes
- College: Occidental College (1979–1981); Columbia (graduated with B.A. 1983); Harvard Law School (graduated with J.D. 1991)
- Military Service: No
- Lawyer: Yes
- Community Organizer, Chicago (1985–1988)
- Civil Rights Attorney, Chicago
- University of Chicago Law School Faculty (1992–2004)
- Member of the Illinois Senate (1997–2004)
- Member of the U.S. Senate (2005–2008)
- President (2009–)
- Dreams from My Father
- The Audacity of Hope
- Change We Can Believe In
In the election of 2008, Illinois senator Barack Obama faced off against Arizona senator John McCain.
Obama campaigned on change, using a grassroots approach to encourage first time voters. McCain displayed himself as a senator willing to push the envelope in Washington. And, he selected a woman, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, as his running mate. The economy was the hot button issue of the day with mortgage-backed securities causing a major downturn in the financial sector.
Obama won with 68% of the electoral votes, becoming our first African-American president.
In 2012, the incumbent, Barack Obama, faced the former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney. Obama entered election season with a low approval rating of just 40%. Compounding the low approval rating was a high unemployment rate around 8%. As such, it would not be an easy campaign start for the president.
By the end of the campaign, however, unemployment had lowered, and the president gained favor for his response to a terrible natural disaster, Hurricane Sandy. Obama would use these successes to win the election, obtaining 62% of the electoral votes.
Hope, color screenprint by Shepard Fairey, 2008
(Library of Congress)
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