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Barack Obama
ObamaBarack.jpg

Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 2005
Serving with Richard Durbin
Preceded by Peter Fitzgerald
Succeeded by Incumbent

Member of the Illinois State Senate from the 13th district
In office
1997 – 2004
Succeeded by Kwame Raoul

Born August 4 1961 (1961-08-04) (age 53)
Honolulu, USA
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michelle Obama
Alma mater Columbia University,</br> Harvard Law School
Religion Christian (United Church of Christ)
Signature Barack Obama signature.png

Barack Hussein Obama (born August 4, 1961) is the junior United States Senator from Illinois and a member of the Democratic Party. The U.S. Senate Historical Office lists him as the fifth African American Senator in U.S. history and the only African American currently serving in the U.S. Senate.[1]

Born to a black Kenyan father and a white American mother, Obama grew up in culturally diverse surroundings. He lived for most of his childhood in the majority-minority U.S. state of Hawaii and spent four of his pre-teen years in the multi-ethnic Indonesian capital city of Jakarta. A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, Obama worked as a community organizer, university lecturer, and civil rights lawyer before running for public office. He served in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, launching his campaign for U.S. Senate in 2003.

Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention while still an Illinois state legislator. He went on to win election to the U.S. Senate in November 2004 with a landslide 70% of the vote in an election year marked by Republican gains.[2][3] As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, Obama co-sponsored the enactment of conventional weapons control and transparency legislation, and made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In the 110th Congress, he has sponsored legislation on lobbying and electoral fraud, climate change, and care for returned U.S. military personnel.

He is among the Democratic Party's leading candidates for nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.[4] Since announcing his candidacy in February 2007, Obama has emphasized ending the Iraq War and implementing universal health care as campaign themes.[5][6] He married in 1992 and has two daughters. He has authored two bestselling books: a memoir of his youth titled Dreams from My Father, and The Audacity of Hope, a personal commentary on U.S. politics.[7]

Early life and careerEdit

Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to Barack Obama Sr. (born in Nyanza Province, Kenya) and Shirley Dunham (born in Wichita, Kansas).[8] His parents met while both were attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father was enrolled as a foreign student.[9] Obama's parents separated when he was two years old and later divorced.[10] His father went to Harvard University to pursue Ph.D. studies, then returned to Kenya, where he died in an auto accident when the younger Obama was twenty-one years old.[11][12] Obama's ancestors hail from seven countries: Kenya, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Also, his second cousin of his great-great-great-great-great grandfather is Gabriel Duvall.[13] He is also an eighth cousin of Vice President Dick Cheney; both are descendants of Mareen Duvall, a 17th century French immigrant. [14]

In the memoir, Obama describes his experiences growing up in his mother's American middle class family. His knowledge about his absent Luo father came mainly through family stories and photographs.[15]

After graduating from Punahou, Obama studied at Occidental College for two years, then transferred to Columbia University, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations.[16][17] He received his B.A. degree in 1983, then worked for one year at Business International Corporation[18] before moving to Chicago to take a job as a community organizer.[19]

State legislatureEdit

Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 from the state's 13th District in the south-side Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park.[20] In 2000, he made an unsuccessful Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by four-term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush.[21] He was reelected to the Illinois Senate in 1998 and 2002, officially resigning in November 2004 following his election to the U.S. Senate.[22][23] As a state legislator, Obama worked with both Democrats and Republicans in drafting successful legislation on ethics and health care reform.[24] He sponsored a law enhancing tax credits for low-income workers, negotiated welfare reform, and promoted increased subsidies for child care.[25] Obama also led the passage of legislation mandating videotaping of homicide interrogations, and a law to monitor racial profiling by requiring police to record the race of drivers they stopped.[25][26] During his 2004 general election campaign for U.S. Senate, Obama won the endorsement of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police, whose president credited him with having been "immensely helpful in working with police organizations" on death penalty reform.[27] He was criticized by a rival pro-choice candidate in the Democratic primary and by his Republican pro-life opponent in the general election for having voted either "present" or "no" on anti-abortion legislation.[24][28]

Keynote address at 2004 Democratic National ConventionEdit

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Obama addresses the 2004 Democratic National Convention as keynote speaker.[29]


Obama wrote and delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts, while still serving as a state legislator.[30] After describing his maternal grandfather's experiences as a World War II veteran and a beneficiary of the New Deal's FHA and G.I. Bill programs, Obama said:

No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

Questioning the Bush administration's management of the Iraq War, Obama spoke of an enlisted Marine, Corporal Seamus Ahern from East Moline, Illinois, asking, "Are we serving Seamus as well as he is serving us?" He continued:

When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never, ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.

Finally, he spoke for national unity:

The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, we got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.[29]

The speech was Obama's introduction to most of America. Its enthusiastic reception at the convention and widespread coverage by national media gave him instant celebrity status.[31]

Senate campaignEdit

In 2003, Obama began his run for the U.S. Senate open seat vacated by Peter Fitzgerald. In early opinion polls leading up to the Democratic primary, Obama trailed multimillionaire businessman Blair Hull and Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes.[32] However, Hull's popularity declined following allegations of domestic abuse.[32] Obama's candidacy was boosted by an advertising campaign featuring images of the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and the late U.S. Senator Paul Simon; the support of Simon's daughter; and political endorsements by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.[33][34] Obama received over 52% of the vote in the March 2004 primary, emerging 29% ahead of his nearest Democratic rival.[35] His opponent in the general election was expected to be Republican primary winner Jack Ryan. However, Ryan withdrew from the race in June 2004, following public disclosure of child custody divorce records containing sexual allegations by Ryan's ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan.[36] In August 2004, with less than three months to go before election day, Alan Keyes accepted the Illinois Republican Party's nomination to replace Ryan.[37] A long-time resident of Maryland, Keyes established legal residency in Illinois with the nomination.[38] Through three televised debates, Obama and Keyes expressed opposing views on stem cell research, abortion, gun control, school vouchers, and tax cuts.[39] In the November 2004 general election, Obama received 70% of the vote to Keyes's 27%.[3]

Senate careerEdit

Obama was sworn in as a Senator on January 4, 2005.[40] In a move considered exceptional for a first-term incoming senator, he recruited Pete Rouse, a 30-year veteran of the Washington political scene and former chief of staff to Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, as his chief of staff.[41] Karen Kornbluh, an economist who was deputy chief of staff to former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin was hired as Obama's policy adviser.[42] In July 2005, Samantha Power, Pulitzer-winning author on human rights and genocide, joined Obama's team.[43] He holds assignments on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; and Veterans' Affairs,[44] and is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.[45]

109th CongressEdit

Obama sponsored 152 bills and resolutions brought before the 109th Congress in 2005 and 2006, and cosponsored another 427.[46][47] He took an active role in the Senate's drive for improved border security and immigration reform. Beginning in 2005, Obama co-sponsored the "Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act" introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).[48] He later added three amendments to S. 2611, the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act," sponsored by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA).[49][50] S. 2611 passed the Senate in May 2006, but failed to gain majority support in the U.S. House of Representatives.[51] 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.[52] President Bush signed the Secure Fence Act into law in October 2006, calling it "an important step toward immigration reform."[53]

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Senate bill sponsors Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Obama join President Bush at the signing ceremony for the Coburn-Obama Transparency Act of 2006.[54]

Partnering first with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), and then with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Obama successfully introduced two initiatives bearing his name. "Lugar-Obama" expands the Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction concept to conventional weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles and anti-personnel mines.[55][56] The "Coburn-Obama Transparency Act" provides for a web site, managed by the Office of Management and Budget, listing all organizations receiving Federal funds from 2007 onward, and providing breakdowns by the agency allocating the funds, the dollar amount given, and the purpose of the grant or contract.[57][58] 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.[59]

As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Obama made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In August 2005, he traveled to Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan. The trip focused on strategies to control the world's supply of conventional weapons, biological weapons, and weapons of mass destruction as a first defense against potential terrorist attacks.[60] Following meetings with U.S. military in Kuwait and Iraq in January 2006, Obama visited Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. At a meeting with Palestinian students two weeks before Hamas won the legislative election, Obama warned that "the U.S. will never recognize winning Hamas candidates unless the group renounces its fundamental mission to eliminate Israel."[61] He left for his third official trip in August 2006, traveling to South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Chad. In a nationally televised speech at the University of Nairobi, he spoke forcefully on the influence of ethnic rivalries and corruption in Kenya.[62] The speech touched off a public debate among rival leaders, some formally challenging Obama's remarks as unfair and improper, others defending his positions.[63][64]

110th CongressEdit

On the first day of the newly Democratic-controlled 110th Congress, in a column published in the Washington Post, Obama called for an end to "any and all practices that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a public servant has become indebted to a lobbyist."[65] He joined with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) in strengthening restrictions on travel in corporate jets to S.1, the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007, which passed the Senate with a 96-2 majority.[66][67] Obama joined Charles Schumer (D-NY) in sponsoring 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.[68][69] Obama's energy initiatives scored pluses and minuses with environmentalists, who welcomed his sponsorship with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) of a climate change bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds by 2050, but were skeptical of Obama's support for a bill promoting liquefied coal production.[70][71] Also during the first month of the 110th Congress, Obama introduced the "Iraq War De-Escalation Act," a bill proposing to cap troop levels in Iraq, begin phased redeployment, and remove all combat brigades from Iraq before April 2008.[72][73]

Later in 2007, Obama sponsored with Kit Bond (R-MO) an amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Act adding safeguards for personality disorder military discharges, and calling for a review by the Government Accounting Office following reports that the procedure had been used inappropriately to reduce government costs.[74] He sponsored the "Iran Sanctions Enabling Act" supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran's oil and gas industry,[75] and joined Chuck Hagel (R-NE) in introducing legislation to prevent nuclear terrorism.[76] He also sponsored a Senate amendment to the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to provide one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries.[77] After passing both houses of Congress with bipartisan majorities, CHIP was vetoed by President Bush in early October 2007, a move Obama declared "shows a callousness of priorities that is offensive to the ideals we hold as Americans."[78]

Presidential campaignEdit

800px-Flickr Obama Springfield 01

Obama on stage with his wife and two daughters just before announcing his presidential campaign in Springfield, Illinois, on February 10 2007.[79]

In February 2007, standing before the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois, Obama announced his candidacy for the 2008 U.S. presidential election.[5] Describing his working life in Illinois, and symbolically linking his presidential campaign to Abraham Lincoln's 1858 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."[80] The announcement followed months of speculation on whether Obama would run in 2008.

Through the fall of 2006, Obama had spoken at political events across the country in support of Democratic candidates for the midterm elections.[81] In September 2006, he was the featured speaker at Iowa Senator Tom Harkin's annual steak fry, an event traditionally attended by presidential hopefuls in the lead-up to the Iowa caucus.[82] Speculation intensified in October 2006 when Obama first said he had "thought about the possibility" of running for president, departing from earlier statements that he intended to serve out his six-year Senate term through 2010.[83] Following Obama's statement, opinion polling organizations added his name to surveyed lists of Democratic candidates. The first such poll, taken in November 2006, ranked Obama in second place with 17% support among Democrats after Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) who placed first with 28% of the responses.[84] In December 2006, Obama spoke at a New Hampshire event celebrating Democratic Party midterm election victories in the first-in-the-nation U.S. presidential primary state.[85][86]

Obama's campaign raised US$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.[87] Small donors, those contributing in increments of less than $200, accounted for 29% of Obama's record-breaking total, more than for any other 2008 presidential campaign.[88] His campaign has reported adding over 75,000 new donors through third quarter fundraising.[88] In May 2007, Obama became the first presidential candidate to be newly assigned Secret Service protection more than 18 months before a general election.[89]

Political advocacyEdit

ObamaSouthCarolina

Obama speaking at a rally in Conway on August 23 2007.[90]

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."[91] Speaking before the National Press Club in April 2005, Obama defended the New Deal social welfare policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt, associating Republican proposals to establish private accounts for Social Security with Social Darwinism.[92] In May 2006, he joined four other Midwest farming state Senators in calling for the preservation of a US$0.54 per gallon tariff on imported ethanol.[93] Obama spoke out in June 2006 against making recent, temporary estate tax cuts permanent, calling the cuts a "Paris Hilton" tax break for "billionaire heirs and heiresses."[94] In a speech to the health care advocacy group Families USA, made shortly before announcing his presidential campaign, Obama said: "I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the next president, we should have universal health care in this country."[95]

Obama favors tying the minimum wage to inflation and has been a vocal advocate for labor rights.[96] In November 2006, he told members of Wake Up Wal-Mart, a union-backed campaign group, "You gotta pay your workers enough that they can actually not only shop at Wal-Mart, but ultimately send their kids to college and save for retirement."[97] Courting support for his presidential campaign from Iowa members of the American Federation of State in July 2007, Obama said: "We are facing a Washington that has thrown open its doors to the most anti-union, anti-worker forces we've seen in generations." At the same forum he also vowed to walk a picket line with union organizers if elected.[98] At a May 2007 AFL-CIO meeting in Trenton, New Jersey, he said: "Let’s all acknowledge that to some degree globalization is here.… The world is smaller than it used to be." Obama added, "When we negotiate trade deals, we’ve got to make sure there are strong labor and environmental provisions in those trade deals."[99]

He was an early opponent of Bush administration policies on Iraq. In the fall of 2002, before the start of the Iraq War, Obama addressed an anti-war rally in Chicago, saying:

I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars. You want a fight, President Bush? Let's finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.[100]

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.[101] In August 2007, in a speech detailing his strategy for fighting global terrorism, Obama said:

Capitol Building and Darfur Rally

Obama addressed the Save Darfur rally at the National Mall in Washington on April 30 2006.[102]

I understand that President Musharraf [of Pakistan] has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.[103]

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.[104][105] He has divested US$180,000 in personal holdings of Sudan-related stock, and has urged divestment from companies doing business in Iran.[106][107] 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."[108]

Obama has encouraged Democrats to reach out to evangelicals and other religious people, saying, "if we truly hope to speak to people where they’re at—to communicate our hopes and values in a way that’s relevant to their own—we cannot abandon the field of religious discourse."[109][110]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1988, while employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley & Austin, Obama met Michelle Robinson, who also worked there.[111] They were married in 1992 and have two daughters, Malia, born in 1999, and Natasha ("Sasha"), born in 2001.[112] The family moved from their Hyde Park condominium to a nearby US$1.6-million home in 2005.[113]

A theme of Obama's keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and the title of his 2006 book, The Audacity of Hope, was inspired by his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.[114] In Chapter 6 of the book, titled "Faith," 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 step-father as "a man who saw religion as not particularly useful." The chapter details how Obama, in his twenties, while working with local churches as a community organizer, came to understand "the power of the African American religious tradition to spur social change." Obama writes: "It was because of these newfound understandings—that religious commitment did not require me to suspend critical thinking, disengage from the battle for economic and social justice, or otherwise retreat from the world that I knew and loved—that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ one day and be baptized."[115]

Books authoredEdit

AudacityofHope2

The Audacity of Hope, with "#1 New York Times Bestseller" banner.

Obama has authored two bestselling books. The first, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, was published after his graduation from law school and before running for public 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 chapters describe his first visit to Kenya, a journey to connect with his Luo family and heritage. In his 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, as well as the fluid state of identity—the leaps through time, the collision of cultures—that mark our modern life."[116] Time magazine's Joe Klein wrote that the book "may be the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician."[117] The audio book edition earned Obama the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.[118]

His second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, was published in October 2006, three weeks before the 2006 midterm election. It was an immediate bestseller and rose to number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List by early November 2006.[119] The Chicago Tribune credits the large crowds that gathered at book signings with influencing Obama's decision to run for president.[120] Former presidential candidate Gary Hart describes the book as Obama's "thesis submission" for the U.S. presidency: "It 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."[121] 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."[122] An Italian translation was published in April 2007 with a preface by Walter Veltroni, Mayor of Rome.[123] Spanish and German editions were published in June 2007.[124]

Cultural and political imageEdit

Flickr Obama Austin 01

Supporters at a campaign rally in Austin, Texas, on February 23 2007. Obama's campaign estimates 20,000 people attended this event.[125]

Supporters and critics have likened Obama's popular image to a cultural Rorschach test, a neutral persona on which people can project their personal histories and aspirations.[126][127] Obama's own self-narrative reinforces what a May 2004 New Yorker magazine article described as his "everyman" image.[128] 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 southern Confederacy during the American Civil War.[129] Speaking to an elderly Jewish audience during his 2004 campaign for U.S. Senate, Obama linked the linguistic roots of his East African first name Barack to the Hebrew word baruch, meaning "blessed."[130] 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."[131]</blockquote>

With his Kenyan father, upbringing in Honolulu and Jakarta, and 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.[132] During his Democratic primary campaign for U.S. Congress in 2000, two rival candidates charged that Obama was not sufficiently rooted in Chicago's black neighborhoods to represent constituents' concerns.[133] 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."[134] 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. "What it really lays bare," Obama offered, is that "we're still locked in this notion that if you appeal to white folks then there must be something wrong."[135]

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.[136] Obama, who defines himself in The Audacity of Hope as "a Democrat, after all,"[137] has been criticized for his political actions by self-described progressive commentator David Sirota,[138] and complimented for his "can't we all just get along?" manner by conservative columnist George Will.[139] But in a December 2006 Wall Street Journal editorial headlined "The Man from Nowhere," former Ronald Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan advised Will and other "establishment" commentators to get "down from your tippy toes" and avoid becoming too quickly excited about Obama's still early political career.[140] 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."[141]

Recognition and honorsEdit

An October 2005 article in the British journal New Statesman listed Obama as one of "10 people who could change the world."[142] In 2005 and again in 2007, Time magazine named him one of "the world's most influential people."[143] During his first three years in the U.S. Senate, Obama received Honorary Doctorates of Law from Knox College (2005),[144] University of Massachusetts Boston (2006),[145] Northwestern University (2006),[146] Xavier University of Louisiana (2006),[147] Southern New Hampshire University (2007),[148] and Howard University (2007).[149]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Breaking New Ground: African American Senators". U.S. Senate Historical Office. http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/history/h_multi_sections_and_teasers/Photo_Exhibit_African_American_Senators.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  2. ^ Archibold, Randal C (July 29 2004). "The Illinois Candidate; Day After, Keynote Speaker Finds Admirers Everywhere". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A03E7DB103DF93AA15754C0A9629C8B63. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  3. ^ a b "America Votes 2004: U.S. Senate / Illinois". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/IL/S/01/index.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  4. ^ Malone, Jim (May 18 2007). "2008 US Presidential Campaign in Full Swing". Voice of America. http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-05-18-voa37.cfm. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  For national polling data, see: "White House 2008: Democratic Nomination". Polling Report. http://www.pollingreport.com/wh08dem.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  "2008 National Democratic Presidential Primary". Pollster.com. http://www.pollster.com/08-US-Dem-Pres-Primary.php. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  5. ^ a b "Obama Launches Presidential Bid". BBC News. February 10 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6349081.stm. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  Video at Brightcove.com.
  6. ^ Toner, Robin (May 30 2007). "Obama Calls for Wider and Less Costly Health Care Coverage". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/us/politics/30obama.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  Galloway, Angela (June 2 2007). "Obama Fires Up Crowd in Seattle". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/318258_obama02.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  7. ^ Memmott, Carol (January 30 2007). "Obama's Books Drive Talk of '08 Presidential Run". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2007-01-29-obama-prez-books_x.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  8. ^ "Meet Barack". BarackObama.com. http://www.barackobama.com/about/. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  See also: Obama (1995), Chapter 1. Throughout his early years, Obama was commonly known at home and school as "Barry Obama." Scharnberg, Kirsten; Kim Barker (March 25 2007). "The Not-So-Simple Story of Barack Obama's Youth". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/chi-070325obama-youth-story,0,5069625.story. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  9. ^ Obama (1995), pp. 9–10. For book excerpts, see "Barack Obama: Creation of Tales". East African. November 1, 2004. http://www.nationmedia.com/EastAfrican/01112004/Features/PA2-2212.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  10. ^ Obama (1995), pp. 125–126. See also: Jones, Tim (March 27 2007). "Obama's Mom: Not Just a Girl from Kansas". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/chi-0703270151mar27,1,3372079.story?coll=chi-news-hed. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  11. ^ Obama (1995), pp. 3–5, 9–10. See also: Ochieng, Philip (November 1 2004). "From Home Squared to the US Senate: How Barack Obama Was Lost and Found". East African. http://www.nationmedia.com/EastAfrican/01112004/Features/PA2-11.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  12. ^ In August 2006, Obama flew his wife and two daughters from Chicago to join him in a visit to his father's birthplace, a village near Insight
  13. ^ http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/local_story_251131459.html
  14. ^ http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071016/pl_nm/usa_politics_cheney_obama_dc
  15. ^ Obama writes: "He was an African, I would learn, a Kenyan of the Luo tribe, born on the shores of [[Lake Victoria|]]
  16. ^ "Oxy Remembers "Barry" Obama '83". Occidental College. January 29 2007. http://www.oxy.edu/x10722.xml. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  See also: Gordon, Larry (January 29, 2007). "Occidental Recalls 'Barry' Obama" (in paid archive). Los Angeles Times. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/1204378961.html?dids=1204378961:1204378961&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Jan+29%2C+2007&author=Larry+Gordon&pub=Los+Angeles+Times&edition=&startpage=B.1. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  17. ^ Boss-Bicak, Shira (January 2005). "Barack Obama ’83: Is He the New Face of The Democratic Party?". Columbia College Today. http://www.college.columbia.edu/cct/jan05/cover.php. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  18. ^ "Curriculum Vitae". University of Chicago Law School. http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/obama/cv.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  See also: Obama (1995), pp. 135–136.
  19. ^ As Director of the Developing Communities Project, Obama worked "alongside low-income residents in the Altgeld Gardens
  20. ^ Jackson, David; Ray Long (April 3 2007). "Obama Knows His Way Around a Ballot". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-070403obama-ballot,1,57567.story. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  21. ^ Scott, Janny (September 9 2007). "A Streetwise Veteran Schooled Young Obama". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/09/us/politics/09obama.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  22. ^ "13th District: Barack Obama". Illinois State Senate Democrats. August 24 2000. Archived from the original on 2000-08-24. http://web.archive.org/web/20000824102110/http://www.senatedem.state.il.us/obama/index.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  "13th District: Barack Obama". Illinois State Senate Democrats. October 9 2004. Archived from the original on 2004-10-09. http://web.archive.org/web/20041009213335/http://www.senatedem.state.il.us/obama/index.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  23. ^ Cohen, Jodi S (November 7 2004). "Obama's Springfield Seat Goes to Lawyer". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/elections/chi-0411070178nov07,1,94275.story. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  24. ^ a b Slevin, Peter (February 9, 2007). "Obama Forged Political Mettle in Illinois Capitol". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/08/AR2007020802262.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  See also: "Obama Record May Be Gold Mine for Critics". Associated Press (CBS News). January 17 2007. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/17/politics/main2369157.shtml. Retrieved 2007-08-16.  "In-Depth Look at Obama's Political Career". CLTV (Chicago Tribune). February 9, 2007. http://video.chicagotribune.com/global/video/popup/pop_player.asp?clipid1=1226539. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  (video)
  25. ^ a b Scott, Janny (July 30 2007). "In Illinois, Obama Proved Pragmatic and Shrewd". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/30/us/politics/30obama.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  26. ^ See also: Pearson, Rick; Ray Long (May 3 2007). "Careful Steps, Looking Ahead". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/chi-0705030101may03,1,7439904.story. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  27. ^ Youngman, Sam; and Aaron Blake (March 14 2007). "Obama’s Crime Votes Are Fodder for Rivals". The Hill. http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/obamas-crime-votes-are-fodder-for-rivals-2007-03-13.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  28. ^ Chase, John (October 4 2004). "A Big Split Over Abortion, Stem Cells". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/elections/chi-0410040132oct04,1,5739543.story. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  See also: Youngman, Sam (February 15 2007). "Abortion Foes Target Obama Because of His Vote Record on Illinois Legislation". The Hill. http://thehill.com/campaign-2008/abortion-foes-target-obama-because-of-his-vote-record-on-illinois-legislation-2007-02-15.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  29. ^ a b Obama, Barack (July 27 2004). "Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention". BarackObama.com. http://www.barackobama.com/2004/07/27/keynote_address_at_the_2004_de.php. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  Video at Brightcove.com.
  30. ^ For details about the speech's genesis and delivery, see: Boss-Bicak, Shira (January 2005). "Barack Obama ’83: Is He the New Face of The Democratic Party?". Columbia College Today. http://www.college.columbia.edu/cct/jan05/cover.php. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  See also: Bernstein, David (June 2007). "The Speech". Chicago Magazine. http://www.chicagomag.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=8642F5EFCEA14A939100AB7214F31861&nm=Archives&type=PubPagi&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle+Title&mid=61BFC65300D24DB58350C761094153A1&tier=4&id=864D9B81ECE746529042D982A9FED8A3. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  31. ^ Wolf, Richard (October 22, 2006). "Illinois' Obama Revisits Idea of 2008 Run for White House". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-10-22-obama-president_x.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  32. ^ a b Mendell, David (March 17, 2004). "Obama Routs Democratic Foes; Ryan Tops Crowded GOP Field". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/elections/chi-0403170332mar17,1,1737252.story?coll=chi-news-hed. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  33. ^ Fornek, Scott (March 18, 2004). "Obama's Appeal Spans Racial Lines". Chicago Sun-Times (at Find Articles). http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20040318/ai_n12537351. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  34. ^ Hayes, Christopher (March 17, 2004). "Check Bounce". TNR Online. http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=express&s=hayes031704. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  (alternate site)
  35. ^ Davey, Monica (May 17 2004). "From Crowded Field, Democrats Choose State Legislator to Seek Senate Seat". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9400E4D61431F934A25750C0A9629C8B63. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  See also: Jackson, John S (August 2006). "The Making of a Senator: Barack Obama and the 2004 Illinois Senate Race". Occasional Paper of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute (Southern Illinois University). http://www.siu.edu/~ppi/PDF/papers/Obama.pdf. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  36. ^ "Ryan Drops Out of Senate race in Illinois". CNN. June 25, 2004. http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/06/25/il.ryan/. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
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  39. ^ For debate transcripts and video, see Alan Keyes Archives: "Alan Keyes and Barack Obama debate, hosted by Illinois Radio Network". October 12 2004. http://www.keyesarchives.com/transcript.php?id=367.  "U.S. Senate debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters in Illinois". October 21 2004. http://www.keyesarchives.com/transcript.php?id=370.  "Debate sponsored by WTTW and the City Club of Chicago". October 26 2004. http://www.keyesarchives.com/transcript.php?id=373. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
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  45. ^ "Member Info". Congressional Black Caucus. http://www.house.gov/kilpatrick/cbc/member_info.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  See also: Zeleny, Jeff (June 26 2005). "When It Comes to Race, Obama Makes His Point—With Subtlety". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-050626obama-race,1,7205709.story. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
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  52. ^ "Latinos Upset Obama Voted for Border Fence". CBS 2 (Chicago). November 20 2006. http://cbs2chicago.com/local/local_story_324192245.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
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  56. ^ "Lugar-Obama Nonproliferation Legislation Signed into Law by the President". Richard Lugar U.S. Senate Office. January 11, 2007. http://obama.senate.gov/press/070111-lugar-obama_non/. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  The Lugar-Obama initiative subsequently received $48 million in funding. "Obama, Lugar Secure Funding for Implementation of Nonproliferation Law". Richard Lugar U.S. Senate Office. June 28 2007. http://lugar.senate.gov/press/record.cfm?id=278019. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
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  61. ^ Goudie, Chuck (January 12, 2006). "Obama Meets with Arafat's Successor". ABC 7 News (Chicago). http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=local&id=3806933. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
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  68. ^ Stern, Seth (January 31 2007). "Obama-Schumer Bill Proposal Would Criminalize Voter Intimidation". CQPolitics.com (Congressional Quarterly). http://www.cqpolitics.com/2007/01/obamaschumer_bill_proposal_wou.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
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  70. ^ H. Josef, Hebert (January 29 2007). "Congress Begins Tackling Climate Issues". Associated Press (CBS News). http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/29/ap/politics/mainD8MV8LBG0.shtml. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  71. ^ Williamson, Elizabeth (January 10, 2007). "The Green Gripe With Obama: Liquefied Coal Is Still . . . Coal". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/09/AR2007010901503.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  72. ^ Krystin, E. Kasak (February 7, 2007). "Obama Introduces Measure to Bring Troops Home". Medill News Service (nwi.com). http://nwitimes.com/articles/2007/02/07/news/illiana/doc65cc98d8dc6506b28625727b0011edb5.txt. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
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  74. ^ "Obama, Bond Hail New Safeguards on Military Personality Disorder Discharges, Urge Further Action". Kit Bond U.S. Senate Office. October 1 2007. http://bond.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.NewsReleases&ContentRecord_id=5C1EBFEB-1321-0E36-BA7D-04630AEFAD31. Retrieved 2007-10-14.  See also: Dine, Philip (September 30 2007). "Many Soldiers Get Boot for 'Pre-Existing' Mental Illness". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/washington/story/B8F5491DEDE1CF2C8625736500190F67?OpenDocument. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
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  76. ^ U.S. Senate, 110th Congress, 1st Session (August 2 2007). "S. 1977, Nuclear Weapons Threat Reduction Act". Thomas. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:S1977:. Retrieved 2007-10-14.  A provision from the Obama-Hagel bill was passed by the Senate in September 2007 as an amendment to the State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill. "Senate Passes Obama-Hagel Provision Aimed at Preventing Nuclear Terrorism". Barack Obama U.S. Senate Office. September 18 2007. http://obama.senate.gov/press/070918-senate_passes_o_2/. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  77. ^ "Senate Passes Obama, McCaskill Legislation to Provide Safety Net for Families of Wounded Service Members". Barack Obama U.S. Senate Office. August 2 2007. http://obama.senate.gov/press/070802-senate_passes_o_1/. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  78. ^ Pugh, Tony; Margaret Talev (October 4 2007). "Battles Set After Health Bill Veto". Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/front_page/20071004_Battles_set_after_health_bill_veto.html. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  79. ^ For other photos of this event, see: "Presidential Campaign Announcement". Barack Obama, Flickr. February 10 2007. http://www.flickr.com/photos/barackobamadotcom/sets/72157594528136270/show/. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
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  89. ^ Sen. Hillary Clinton was already under Secret Service protection because of her status as wife of former President [[Bill Clinton|]]
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  125. ^ Slater, Wayne (February 24 2007). "Obama Reels in Austin Crowd". Dallas Morning News. http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/022407dntexobama.10794.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  See also: Elliott, Philip (May 28 2007). "Obama Measuring Campaign Success not Just in Cash, but Crowds Too". Associated Press (Boston Globe). http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/05/28/obama_measuring_campaign_success_not_just_in_cash_but_crowds_too/. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  126. ^ Enda, Jodi (February 5 2006). "Great Expectations". The American Prospect. http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewPrint&articleId=10828. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  See also: Graff, Garrett M. (November 1 2006). "The Legend of Barack Obama". Washingtonian. http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/mediapolitics/1836.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  127. ^ Podhoretz, John (December 12 2006). "Obama: Rorschach Candidate". New York Post. http://www.nypost.com/seven/12122006/postopinion/opedcolumnists/obama__rorschach_candidate_opedcolumnists_john_podhoretz.htm?page=0. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  128. ^ Finnegan, William (24 May 2004). "The Candidate: How the Son of a Kenyan Economist Became an Illinois Everyman". New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/040531fa_fact1. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  See also: Tilove, Jonathan (February 8 2007). "In Obama Candidacy, America Examines Itself". Times-Picayune (New Orleans). http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/index.ssf?/base/news-7/1170922945129720.xml&coll=1&thispage=1. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  129. ^ Obama (1995), p. 13. See also: Nitkin, David; Harry Merritt. "A New Twist to an Intriguing Family History". Baltimore Sun. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/politics/bal-te.obama02mar02,0,3453027.story. Retrieved 2007-09-30.  Jordan, Mary (May 13 2007). "Tiny Irish Village Is Latest Place to Claim Obama as Its Own". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/12/AR2007051201551.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  130. ^ Kampeas, Ron (August 6 2004). "Obama, Democrats’ Rising Star, Known for Harmony with Jews". Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/23183/edition_id/462/format/html/displaystory.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
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United States Senate
Preceded by
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Senator from Illinois (Class 3)
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Persondata
NAME Obama, Barack, Jr.
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION US Jr. Senator from Illinois
DATE OF BIRTH August 4, 1961
PLACE OF BIRTH Honolulu, Hawaii
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH

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