BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA II Barack Obama is the son of an African man and an American woman. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was born in a small village in Kenya. His father grew up herding goats in Africa, eventually earning a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams of college in Hawaii. Ann Dunham, the mother of Barack Jr., was born in a small town in Kansas. Barack Sr. and Ann met in Hawaii. He was attending the University of Hawaii on scholarship, and her family had moved there after her father had returned from fighting in World War II. Barack Jr. was born on August 4, 1961. Because Barack and his dad had the same name, this was really confusing when he was little. No one knew if they were talking about Barack the son or Barack the dad. To make things easier, Barack's parents started calling him Barry. CHILDHOOD/HIS PARENTS DIVORCE Barry's parents divorced when he was young. Later his mom married a man from Indonesia. Soon his family moved there. Barry had many neat pets when he lived in Indonesia . He had baby crocodiles, chickens, and ducks. He even had a pet monkey! Barack's parents divorced when he was very young. When he was six, his mom got remarried. She married a man from Indonesia. Soon after the wedding, Barack and his family moved to this Asian country. Not long after that, Ann, Barack, and Maya moved back to Hawaii. Barack's grandparents lived in Hawaii too. They helped to rear him. He called his grandpa "Gramps." He called his grandma "Toot." That is a Hawaiian word for grandparent. FROM BARRY TO BARACK When he was growing up, Barack's family did not have a lot of money. Still, they really wanted him to have a great education. They worked very hard to send him to an expensive, private school. Barack got good grades in school. After his parents were divorced, Barack Sr. returned to Kenya, and Ann reared Barack Jr. by herself. It was hard for Barry to grow up without his father. Because his father was well-educated, he wanted to make him proud. Barry was also a great basketball player like his father. After high school he moved to California to go to college. Eventually he moved to New York and attended Columbia University. Barry attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, then moved to New York and ended up graduating with a political science degree from Columbia University, in 1983, one year after his father died in a car crash. When he was older, Barry began to study his African roots. He wanted to learn more about his culture. He learned a lot about his father's family. He wanted to honor them. Barry decided that he wanted people to start calling him Barack again. LIFE AFTER COLLEGE After he graduated from Columbia, Barack moved to Chicago, Illinois. He got a job at a law firm as community organizer and director of the Developing Communities Project, a church-based group formed to improve living conditions for people in poor neighborhoods. This job helped him meet many people. During a summer work study in Chicago in 1989, Obama had as his adviser a woman named Michelle Robinson. They worked together for a few months and began dating after awhile. They were engaged in 1991 and married in 1992. A few years later, he went back to school, earning his law degree in 1991, from Harvard. He was the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Barack really wanted to help his community and country. In 1996 he became a state senator. Then in 1999 he ran for Congress. Barack did not win. He did not become a congressman, but he did not give up! Their first child, Malia, was born in 1998. Natasha, their second child, was born in 2001. In his free time, President Obama still likes to play basketball. He plays as often as he can. He also likes to spend time with his two daughters and cook chili. A SEAT IN THE SENATE In November of 2004, Barack was elected to the U.S. Senate. He represented the state of Illinois. When he won this seat, Barack also won the attention of many citizens and politicians. Many people thought that he could someday be a great president. Many people noticed Mr. Obama. They thought that he was a great leader. They also thought that he'd make a great president. In 2007, Mr. Obama decided to run for president. On June 3, 2008 he won the Montana primary election giving him enough delegates to become the first Black American presidential candidate to win a major political party's presumptive nomination for the office of President of the United States. FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN PRESIDENT In February 2007, Obama made headlines when he announced his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. He was locked in a tight battle with former first lady and then-U.S. Senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton. On June 3, 2008, however, Obama became the presumptive nominee for the Democratic party, and Senator Clinton delivered her full support to Obama for the duration of his campaign. On November 4th, 2008, Barack Obama defeated Republican presidential nominee John McCain for the position of U.S. President, 52.9 percent to 45.7 percent. On January 20, 2009, Obama became the 44th president of the United States—and the first African-American to hold this office. Many people had dreamed of the day when an African American man would be president. Finally, that dream had come true. THE FIRST 100 DAYS During his first 100 days, President Obama also undertook a complete overhaul of America's foreign policy. He reached out to improve relations with Europe, China, Russia and open dialogue with Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba. He lobbied allies to support a global economic stimulus package. He committed an additional 21,000 troops to Afghanistan and set an August 2010 date for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. In more dramatic incidents, he took on pirates off the coast of Somalia and prepared the nation for an attack of the Swine Flu. For his efforts, he was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. FACTS ABOUT OBAMA He is a die-hard Chicago White Sox fan. The first American president to be born in Hawaii. Was the 27th lawyer to be elected American president. Presidential campaign slogan: "Change we can believe in". Is primarily of Kenyan, Irish, and English ancestry. First ever US President to address a Muslim community at an inaugural speech. Eighth left-handed US President First United States Senator to be elected President since John F. Kennedy. October 2009, won the Nobel Peace Prize. (Fourth US President to do so) Obama's appearance on "The View" (1997) (29 July 2010) made him the first ever sitting US President to appear as a guest on a daytime TV talk show. His first name comes from the word that means "blessed by God" in Arabic. Nicknames: Barry, Bama, Rock, The One, No Drama Obama Height: 6' 1 PRESIDENT OBAMA’S BELIEFS Education 1. He opposes vouchers being used at private schools because he believes they undermine public schools. 2. Calls for higher pay for teachers and pay based on merit as well. Healthcare Fully supports a universal health care plan and has stated that we require a plan with "everybody in, nobody out. A single- payer health care plan, a universal health care plan." Taxes 1. Proposed an $80 million dollar tax cut for the poor and middle class 2. Spoke out against estate tax cuts Budget Deficit 1. Eliminate tax credits that are no longer useful 2. Clost corporate tax loophole 3. Restore the PAYGO policy, which does not allow federal spending without a plan to make up for lost revenue. Foreign Policy 1. Hopes to bring a "responsible" end to the war in Iraq as soon as possible. 2. Rebuild and construct alliances worldwide in order to battle such problems as global warming 3. Invest in "humanity" by providing foreign aid. 4. Called for an expansion on the United States Armed Forces Immigration 1. Implement a guest worker program, providing a path towards citizenship for all undocumented workers. 2. Supports granting drivers licenses to illegal immigrants 3. Voted for the Secure Fence Act, which would allow 700 miles of fence to be built along the United States-Mexico border. Abortion 1. Abortions should be legal according to Roe vs. Wade. 2. Female contraceptives should be covered by health insurance Gun Control 1. Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic weapons while increasing restrictions on purchasing of firearms. 2. Supports child-safety locks on firearms.
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