|Barack Hussein Obama|
President Obama's official portrait
|Political party:||Democratic Party|
Columbia University (B.A.) Harvard Law School (J.D.)
|Born||August 4, 1961|
Barack Hussein Obama II (born August 4, 1961) was the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017, and the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.  President Obama defeated Republican nominee John McCain for the presidency in 2008 after an administration headed by George W. Bush and won a second term after defeating former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney (Who were both too wimpy and scared to really attack Obama since the Republican Establishment tends to be like that).  He was the junior United States Senator from Illinois from 2005 up until 2008. Navy seals under his watch defeated Osama Bin Laden, a feat which George W. Bush and Bill Clinton didn't manage (hehe). In addition, he has been much tougher in regards to terrorism than George W. Bush.
Barack Obama overcame racism for his mixed-race heritage and rose to become a two-term President of the United States. President Obama has shown the world that you don't have to be white to lead a diverse Western nation. He has been frequently opposed by born-again pro-family politicians. In addition, most rich Republicans are against him. Some people held racist and paranoid feelings toward President Obama. One criticism for Obama by many on the left was he was too centrist and wasn't left enough.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Elections
- 3 Health Care
- 4 Antichrist to conservatives?
- 5 Obama's Birth Certificate?
- 6 Conservative media on Obama
- 7 No success on poverty
- 8 Health Care Victory
- 9 2012 Visit to New Orleans
- 10 Pros and Cons
- 11 Gallery
- 12 See also
- 13 External links
- 14 References
Barack Obama's story is an American story — values from the heartland, hard work and education as the means of getting ahead, and the conviction that a life like his should be lived in service to others.
With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, President Obama was born in Hawaii (yes, he was.) on August 4, 1961. He was raised with help from his grandfather, who served in Patton's army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank.
After working his way through college with the help of scholarships and student loans, President Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked with a group of churches to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants.
He went on to attend law school, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduation, he returned to Chicago to help lead a voter registration drive, teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago, and remain active in his community.
President Obama's years of public service are based around his unwavering belief in the ability to unite people around a politics of purpose. In the Illinois State Senate, he passed the first major ethics reform in 25 years, cut taxes for working families, and expanded health care for children and their parents. As a United States Senator, he reached across the aisle to pass groundbreaking lobbying reform, lock up the world's most dangerous weapons, and bring transparency to government by putting federal spending online.
He was elected the 44th President of the United States on November 4, 2008, and sworn in on January 20, 2009. He was re-elected on November 6, 2012, defeating Romney 332-206 in electoral votes. He and his wife, Michelle, are the proud parents of two daughters, Malia, and Sasha. Learn more about Barack Obama's spouse, Michelle Obama.
"Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we partake in a politics of hope? [...] The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him too. [...] There is not a black America and a white America, a latino America, an Asian America. There's the United States of America. "- Obama at the 2004 DNC
Obama first stepped into the spotlight of national politics when he gave a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention on July 27, 2004. Obama told his story of being the son of an African immigrant, a black man in the 20th century and his philosophy and what he wanted for America.
After his 2004 DNC speech and John Kerry's defeat to President Bush, many viewed Obama as the next nominee for President in 2008. Obama was determined to become America's First African-American President. But there was someone else who wanted to break the Glass Ceiling, a senator with decades of experience, friends in high places and had already lived eight years in the White House.
Even if he didn't face a difficult primary, one thing Barack Obama had to ask himself: Was America ready to put a black man in the White House, even a half-black man? Had America gotten past its racist history to put him in charge of the country? Well... there was only one way to find out.
By 2008, America was no longer the envy of nations. After eight years of Bush's Reaganomics, his failure in the War on Terror, and the Great Recession, America was in turmoil. 9/11 had happened under his watch, despite a memo warning him of Bin Laden wanting attack inside the US. The US had invaded Afghanistan to destroy al-Qaeda but failed to get Bin Laden at Tora Bora. Bush had illegally invaded Iraq for oil and defense contractor donations. Patriot Act basically gutted the Bill of Rights. America was on fire and was desperate for change. 2008 was the Republican's election to lose. Post-election, even progressive podcaster Kyle Kulinski said a ham sandwich with a D on it would've beat the Republican nominee in 2008.
Senator Obama knew that his biggest challenge in the primaries would be New York Senator/Former First Lady Hillary Clinton. Senator Clinton had announced she was running for President on January 20, 2007, 10 years to the day after her husband Bill Clinton was sworn in for his second term. Being the former First Lady, she was a major frontrunner at the beginning. The Clinton campaign didn't view the freshman senator as a threat at first.
Delaware Senator Joe Biden had announced a few weeks earlier that he was also running for President. Senator Biden had previously run for POTUS in 1988 but was forced to drop out after he was accused of plagiarizing a British politician's speech.
In the spring of 2006, Senator Obama was called to a meeting with then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and New York Senator Chuck Schumer. The Party leadership had an offer for Obama that he couldn't refuse. They wanted him to run for President.
When Obama told his wife Michelle he was gonna run for President, Michelle asked him what he could provide for Americans that no other candidate could. Barack said that he would be a symbol of hope to the non-white citizens of America, that they could also be where he was gonna be. He said with a black man in the White House, the world would view American differently, and many kids, especially black kids, across the country would view themselves differently.
Obama vs Clinton
"I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America."- Obama announces his campaign
On February 10, 2007, Senator Obama announced he was seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States in Springfield, Illinois.
One of the biggest issues of the election was Dubya's illegal Iraq War. Obama had spoken out against it, Senator Clinton had voted for it. Regardless of the political climate back in 2003, by 2007 even Republicans were turning against the war. Iraq has by now become the GOP's Vietnam. Clinton tried to appear strong like Britain's Margaret Thatcher, but this was a battle they couldn't win.
On March 24, 2007, while not an official debate, Senators Clinton and Obama met in Las Vegas for a Healthcare Forum. With Clinton having campaigned for improving healthcare back during her days as First Lady, Obama looked ill-informed and without a plan. Regardless of whether you liked Obama or Hillary, Hillary won that Forum. Even Obama himself admitted to this to his team, "Hillary looked like a President up there and I didn't."
In late 2007, Obama and his team personally went door to door in Iowa to rally support before the January 3, 2008 Iowa caucus. Even people not old enough to vote worked for the campaign. Future Vice President Kamala Harris was there. The Obama campaign made caucuses like Iowa fun for the young voters, including dances and drum lines. Hillary's mistake was dismissing them as "facebook kids" instead of the future. Obama won Iowa with 28 delegates to Hillary's 14.
Five days later, Hillary had a comeback with a victory in New Hampshire.
The Campaign next went to South Carolina. During the January 21 debate in Myrtle Beach, things got heated between the two. "While I was working on those streets, watching those folks see their jobs shipped overseas, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Walmart." Yikes that's a burn. Another factor in South Carolina politics was race, which permeated everything in the first founding member of the Confederacy. The Obama campaign mainly avoided race as to not appear as a race-baiter. Similar to how then-Senator John F. Kennedy wasn't running as the Catholic candidate in 1960, Senator Obama wasn't running as the black candidate for President. Black South Carolina voters however feared that like with JFK and MLK, Obama might get assassinated for giving black folks hope. Michelle, who had more to lose than anybody if something happened to Barack, assured SC voters of Obama's safety.
On January 26, 2008, Obama won South Carolina by almost 30 points. As Obama was announcing his victory, the crowd began to chant "Race Doesn't Matter!"
But like in almost every single presidential campaign, Obama's past associations came back to bite him. On March 13, 2008, Reverend Jeremiah Wright came to national spotlight. Wright was Obama's pastor back in the day. Wright had married the Obamas and even baptized their two daughters. Wright is known for his harsh criticism of America, including one sermon where he shouted "GOD DAMN AMERICA!"
Obama realized he had to make a statement on March 18.
"Reverend Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive. Divisive at a time when we need unity. I can no more disown him than I can disown my white grandmother, who on more than one occasion uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. [...] These people are part of me and they are part of America, this country that I love."- March 18, 2008
Voters felt his vulnerability and his willingness to be honest and decided to stick with him. On June 7, 2008, Hillary Clinton conceded the nomination to Senator Obama. On August 28, 2008, in Denver, Barack Obama became the first black major party nominee for President of the United States as he accepted the nomination at the DNC. Obama picked Delaware Senator Joe Biden to be the first Catholic Vice President of the United States, who had also run against Obama.
"I will restore our moral standing so that America is once again that last best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace and who yearn for a better future."- Obama enters the endgame
Facing John McCain
The Republicans nominated Arizona Senator John McCain. Despite his war hero/POW status, Bush's horrendous presidency meant he was lagging behind Obama. At the 2008 RNC, McCain nominated lunatic Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.
Despite Palin being an absolute idiot, enough to be mocked by Saturday Night Live, the Obama campaign was concerned about her popularity among conservative women and evangelical voters. Obama had a phone call with his adviser and informed him that he had spoken with Bush's Treasury secretary Hank Paulson and said something bad was gonna happen the next day that was gonna have a dramatic impact.
And it did. On September 15, 2008, the Lehman Brothers, a global financial services firm founded in 1847, filed for bankruptcy. The market tanked shortly after. Senator McCain briefly suspended his campaign to go to Washington to deal with te situation, and recommended forgoing the first presidential debate. Obama refused to suspend his campaign.
"It's going to be part of the President's job to deal with more than one thing at one."
Senator McCain then requested a summit meeting at the White House with President Bush, Senator Obama and other Senators to talk about the financial crisis. Obama accepted. Obama seemed completely presidential during the meeting... McCain, not so much. Desperate, McCain resumed his campaign the next day and agreed to attend the first presidential debate as scheduled.
On September 26, 2008, the two candidates went to the debate. For some reason, it was held in Mississippi, a state not worthy of being mentioned. While they've changed it lately, the state flag still had the godawful Confederate battle flag on it.
In October 2008, Sarah Palin made a reference to Obama's past to smear him by associating him with Bill Ayers. During the 1960s, Ayers was a leader of the Weather Underground militant group, described by the FBI as a terrorist group. Obama had been a nearby neighbor of Ayers. After being raised by the American and British press, the connection was picked up by conservative blogs and newspapers in the United States. The matter was raised in a campaign debate by moderator George Stephanopoulos, and later became an issue for the John McCain presidential campaign. Investigations by The New York Times, CNN, and other news organizations concluded that Obama did not have a close relationship with Ayers.
While Obama denounced Ayers, the controversy added fuel to a racist whispering campaign that was picked up by the mainstream media. Racist mongoloids began making overtly racist attacks against Obama from calling him a Muslim to an immigrant to terrorist and all the low blows. Some claimed, and still do to this day, that Obama was born in Kenya and therefore ineligible to be President. Even far-right radio host Rush Limbaugh claimed Obama only won the nomination due to affirmative action. Michelle Obama was labeled the stereotypical Angry Black Woman. Some people even made the despicable analogy of Obama's name to Osama bin Laden; Obama bin Laden.
While McCain refused to resort to such tactics and did his best to defend Obama from such racist smears, bigotry in low-information voters is hard to defeat, especially with Fox News egging them on.
On November 4, 2008, it was announced that Barack Obama had won the Presidential election. Obama won 69 million popular votes to McCain's 59 million. In the Electoral College that should be abolished, Obama won 365 to McCain's 173. America would not rejoice as hard it did that night until Trump's defeat in 2020.
"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. [...] We will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there."- Obama's victory speech
On January 20, 2009, Barack Hussein Obama II became America's first African-American president.
Many commented that with ObamaCare, Bin Laden's death and other successes, Obama and Biden were destined for another four years. The 2011 Benghazi incident was the biggest issue that could hurt them.
The Republican Party nominated former Massachusetts governor (now Utah senator) Mitt Romney, the first Mormon nominee. Romney chose Wisconsin congressman (and future Speaker of the House) Paul Ryan as the Republican Party's pathetic Catholic answer to Joe Biden, the first Catholic Vice President.
While Obama was sloppy during the first 2012 debate, he absolutely slammed Mitt Romney during the second debate. Romney accused Obama of not calling the Benghazi terrorist attack as a terrorist attack. Political satirist Jon Stewart sensed a trap Obama had set when after hearing Romney's accusation, Obama simply responded "Please proceed, Governor."
"There's your first clue! When you feel you're about to spring what you, Governor Romney, think is the checkmate moment of the debate, and your debate opponent says to you, 'Please, proceed,' 'Hold on, are you trying to open that door? Let me open it wider. The door you appear to want to walk through'. You might want wonder if, a la Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner, that door your opponent your door is pointing to is merely paint on a rock."- Jon Stewart
Romney proceeded with his accusation until Obama chimed in and revealed he had called it a terrorist attack, something that was fact-checked as true by the moderator. Big oof.
Biden also clocked Paul Ryan in the VP debate. When discussing the GOP's insistent policy of cutting taxes, Ryan mentioned JFK's Revenue Act (which cut taxes for all, not just the top 1%). Referencing a line from the 1988 VP debate, Biden responded "Oh, so you're Jack Kennedy now?"
What some believe was the death blow to Romney's campaign was his September 2012 comments where to a bunch of donors, he called 47% of Americans lazy freeloaders who lived off the government. His approval rating plummeted at the very elitist richsplaining comment, which was caught on video.
President Obama won re-election, with 65 million popular votes (51.1%) to Romney's 60 million (47.2%). In the Electoral College that should be abolished, Obama won 332 votes to Romney's 206. Romney would be the last Presidential losing candidate to graciously concede like an adult.
Because Inauguration day for 2013, January 20, fell on a Sunday, Obama was sworn in for a second term privately. The next day, January 21, they had a public swearing in.
He passed Obamacare, the most right-wing healthcare plan (that Nixon had thought of implementing) instead of Medicare For All when he had a super-majority... Now... did Republicans ruin it? Yes, Bluedog Democrats/Republicans ruined it by threatening to filibuster if the bill contained a public option (it originally had a public option, but now it's an individual mandate, which isn't as good) because they took money from the private health insurance industry. But one day... The United States will "get with the times" and have Universal Health Care! Americans who are sick and can’t work won’t need to worry so much about how they will pay for medical care.
HOWEVER... Without 'Obamacare,' our health care costs would be more unsustainable. The United States spends more on healthcare per person than any other compatible country in the world because of our capitalist corporate greed. More than half of the bankruptcies in this country are based on medical expenses, and a majority of those people actually had insurance. If Obamacare were repealed, we would have millions of uninsured Americans overnight.
More importantly, the Health Care reform passed by Obama is deficit-neutral (but again, would be even more cost-effective if Universal). It is a fantastic law that will benefit everyone
if the conservatives in both parties would stop opposing it if it becomes Universal.
Antichrist to conservatives?
Neocons don't like him – because he’s a Democrat. Because he's black (according to a few really irrational Conservatives) he must be Islamic, (Conservapedia thinks he is a Muslim) and of course they imagine, because he must be Islamic he must be a terrorist.
Obama’s policies worked better than the failed policies of Bush, so Conservatives do Red-baiting. Conservatives (claim) that he is a Socialist, Communist, Fascist, a Muslim, and an Atheist, despite the fact that it is rather difficult to be all five at once; he is actually a Christian politician. Neocons also don't like Barack Obama because he is black and many Neocons are white racists.
Due to conservative hatred of Obama, he has had to put up with an unprecedented level of obstructionism from the opposition party, including a standing Republican Senatorial filibuster on literally any and all Democratic legislation but the purely routine (and even that's not safe as the Republicans voted in lockstep against raising the federal debt ceiling, something which had been purely routine before). That this has led to the Republicans being known as the "Party of No" is something conservatives seem to find a source of pride.
Obama's Birth Certificate?
Conservatives complain about anything - so long as it's not one of their own talking points. They will go on and on about stuff that either hardly matters, or doesn't matter at all.
Who has not heard the usual conservative suspects about President Obama having not yet provided a real birth certificate? Something about the one that got printed isn't right, it is said. It avoids the question about whether these people would have given a damn if one of their own paragons of moral virtue and candidates for God and Country had a glitch on his own birth certificate. They'd just say, "Does this really matter? What matters is that the candidate can lead the country!" Yes, this is correct.
Speaking of Arnold Schwarzenegger: it is incredible to see how some of these same people have been incessantly whining, "Obama can't be President! He was born in Kenya, not the US!" It'd be a safe bet that most of them really don't give a damn about the birth certificate in the first place. You may recall, a lot of them had said a few years back that they had wanted that "Born in the USA" clause to be overlooked when it was thought that the Republican movie star might want to run for President in the somewhat-near-future.
Then there was the time that a bunch of Neocons hijacked Republican Mike Castle's debate on healthcare and changed the subject from healthcare, which is a concern personally involving millions of American people, to the Obama birth certificate issue, which only should be of concern to Barack Obama. Of course, conservatives just aren't all that good at winning debates on issues that are actually important at all, and since the healthcare topic is big, complex and important, compared to the simple and trivial, one can guess why it seemed like a good idea to them to do this. (After all, it seems a lot like what their guru Karl Rove would've done.)
Recently a new certificate has been released stating he was born in Kenya; however, due to the vast number of glaring errors, it wasn't any real birth certificate. It could've been a fake document to fuel the Birthers' nonsense.
The people from Fox News and the like can only get their readers to believe them when they conveniently forget to point to the readily-available truth on this completely pointless issue. The stuff that they chose to lambaste and expose tended to be both actually true, and with some exceptions, important. At any rate, President Barack Obama's birth certificate has been available in high resolution since before the election. His mother was Ann Dunham, and his father was Barack Obama, Sr. 
Conservative media on Obama
Conservative media tried to crush Obama by calling him a socialist. This is due to the fact he was actually trying to help America and introducing Universal Health Care (something that every developed country should have). Conservatives use America's traditional fear of communism to try and crush Obama. If having a healthcare system means that a country is socialist, that means that countries like Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden are all socialist. Well, these countries are allies to the United States, do Conservatives want to be allies to countries that they think are socialist?
Firstly, few of these countries are socialist. Secondly, increasing numbers of Americans now believe that Socialism is better than Capitalism. . In fact, conservative claims that Obama is a Socialist may backfire, and increase his support, being that the days of the paranoia about the Soviet Union are far enough behind us now that the younger generations learned about Socialism and Communism from schoolbooks, rather than their dads lecturing their kids about how the Commies were the guys who were supposed to blow us all up soon with all their nuclear missiles".
In a popular YouTube video making the rounds, a documentary filmmaker from Europe interviews random Americans about various subjects
that make the panties of right-wing conservatives get squeezed up in a bunch that make Right-wing conservatives really annoyed. One of them was "Socialism." No one seemed to know a thing about it. They could identify no Socialist countries or describe one single thing about it...believing that Socialism was "just another name for Communism"--or else, they'd answer: "Something to do with Facebook." Eergh.
(To be completely fair, the liberals and Democrats in the United States, along with everyone else who disliked Bush II, certainly sent a lot of nasty comments about Dubya across the Internet. The big difference, though, is that most of the time, these referred to things which were actually true about Dubya.)
No success on poverty
The gap in income between rich and poor unfortunately increased under Obama, that makes true Liberals, Social Democrats, and Socialists unsure about him. We must not forget that Republicans controlled parts of Congress for some of that time. Obama promised to take action to improve the position of poor Americans, but, naturally, Republicans promised to fight him hard over this. 
Health Care Victory
On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court Upheld Obama's health care law. The 5-4 ruling was a victory for Obama, but will also serve as a rallying issue for Republicans calling for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act passed by Democrats in 2010. "Today's decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives are more secure because of this law," Obama said in a televised White House statement. Obama won a second term as president, which will make it harder to repeal Obamacare, though Liberal Americans still need to watch.
2012 Visit to New Orleans
On President Obama's visit to New Orleans, he finally broke his silence on gun control because of the Colorado Massacre that took place a couple of days before. The president then told an audience that such tragedies were replayed on a smaller scale in cities throughout the country on a daily basis.
"Every day and a half the number of young people we lose to violence is about the same as the number of people we lost in that movie theater," Obama said in remarks at the National Urban League Conference in New Orleans.
"But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. That they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities."
Obama did not make any new proposals on gun control in his remarks, though he said background checks for people seeking to buy firearms were more thorough since he took office. However, Obama's opponent, Mitt Romney, had opposite views on gun control.
"I don't support new gun laws in our country," Romney told CNN's Piers Morgan in an interview Thursday, adding later that "the effort to continue to look for some law to somehow make violence go away is missing the point."
Pros and Cons
While Obama certainly made a lot of progress, he certainly had his flaws. But most liberals, progressives and Democrats agree that the good Obama did outweigh the bad and is DEFINITELY better than his predecessor and successor. Kyle Kulinski gave Obama a 67% grade as President.
- First (half) Black president
- Killed Osama bin Laden
- Immigration reform executive order
- Rejected Keystone XL Pipeline
- Rejected Dakota Access Pipeline
- Banned offshore oil drilling (Arctic)
- Cut the deficit in half ($1.4 trillion to $600 billion)
- Doubled the stock market
- Tax cuts for SMALL businesses
- Raised taxes on those making $400,000 annually (aka the rich)
- Pushed for 2 years of free community college
- Affordable Care Act (better than nothing)
- Support gay marriage (after re-election)
- Gay marriage legalized nationwide
- Brought back stem cell research
- Ended "don't ask, don't tell"
- Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform (weak but better than nothing)
- Iran Deal
- Cuba Deal/Thaw
- Increased overtime pay
- Auto-industry bailout/Saved GM
- Paris Agreement
- Improved EPA regulations
- Stimulus Package
- Massive private sector job creation (12 million)
- Prevented full blown depression
- Freed more non-violent drug offenders than any president
- Had a great sense of humor
- Didn't use Twitter like a crutch
- Anti-Political Correctness
- Nominated the first Latina to the Supreme Court
- Made a great speech about the need for Climate Change Action.
- Freed non-violent drug offenders BUT didn't legalize marijuana or decriminalize it.
Started 7 Wars!That’s more than George W. Bush, oddly. True, Obama authorized bombing in 7 Countries to Bush's 4. Obama expanded the number of Countries where the US fought limited actions, while Bush involved the US in 2 major Wars.
- His ambassador to the UN voted to overthrow Qaddafi in Libya and his administration funded the Interim Government & Rojava in an attempt to overthrow Assad in Syria (policy discontinued by Trump, even he admitted that the Middle East would be better off right now if the U.S. didn't overthrow Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi and Saddam Hussein)
- Expanded NSA spying
- Didn't prosecute Bush and his cronies.
- Expanded the drone program
- ObamaCare didn't go far enough
- Didn't Close Gitmo
- Maybe some of Bush's tax cuts permanent
- Took $400,000 from Wall Street after leaving office making a pro-corporate speech
- Made an insufferable speech telling people to vote for Democrats even if they don't give the people what they want.
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- Office of the President-elect
- The Political Compass - US Presidential Election 2008
- The Political Compass - US Presidential Election 2012
- Crazy vs. Evil
- Obama the Conservative
- The Nobel Peace Prize 2009
- Election Results
- Obama wins
- Some joke that Bill Clinton was America's first Black President while Obama was America's first African-American President
- Hillary Clinton blaming everyone but herself for her 2016 loss makes her a sore loser.
- Credit AND criticism where they are due. We like Obama but we can't be sycophants
- State of the Union: Obama promises action on inequality
- Obama Suffers Amnesia During Climate Speech in Glasgow
- Obama Gives WORST Speech Of His Life By Far