Biographyof Barack Obama
BarackObama distinctive biography and successful campaign for the UnitedStates presidency have ushered a new chapter in the U.S. politics.President Barack Obama, the first African-American president of theUnited States, bring a chronicle unlike that of any preceding leaderin America. The biracial child of a black father from Kenya and whitemother from American heartland, Barack shot tonational prominencewith a well received speech at the Democratic National Convention inthe year 2004, the same year he was voted into the U.S Senate fromthe state of Illinois. Four years along the line, Obama rose to thetop of a turf crowded with Democratic heavyweights to clinchnomination for the White House and win the presidential electionagainst an elderly Republican candidate senator John McCain (Domenicketal,2009).
Witha capability of pulling the masses, command of eloquent, upliftingrhetoric and polished speaking style, the ability to stir theenthusiasm particularly of the young voters, and the sophisticatedapplication of the internet as campaign instrument, Obama was verymuch a 21stcentury candidate (Domenick etal,2009). In his campaigns he emphasized the importance of changing thetraditional way in which Washington conducted affairs and called uponAmericans from different racial and social background, and diverseideologies to come together for a common good. His parents came fromvery diverse backgrounds. His mother, Ann Dunham wasbornandbredat Wichita, as small town in thestateof Kansas. After the Dunham family moved from Kansas to the Hawaiianisles, Ann met Barack Obama senior, a Kenya scholarship studentenrolled at the University of Hawaii. Obama Sr. and Ann Duham marriedin 1959 and two years later Barack Obama Jr. was born in Honolulu.After only two year Obama senior left the family for graduate studyat the Harvard school and then for a job as an economist for thegovernment of Kenya. Barack Obama Jr. met his father again only once,when he was 10 years. His mother remarried an Indonesian oilexecutive when Obama was six years and the family moved to Indonesia,where he spent four years attending school. Obama eventually returnedto Hawaii and where he lived with his maternal grandparents. Withtheaidofgovernmentscholarship,Obamawasableto attendPunahou School until hecompletedhighschooleducation.He left Hawaii to attend Occidental College in Los Angeles for twoyears before transferring to the University of Columbia in New York,where he attained a bachelor’s degree in arts. He worked oneyearat theBusiness International Corporation. After working at the BusinessInternational Corporation fro two years he returned to Chicago in1985 (Domenick etal,2009). There, Obama worked as a community organizer with low –incomeresidents in Roseland Community and at the Altgeld Gardens publichousing project on the city’s south side. Obama viewed hisfundamental role as a community organizer as that of a catalystrallying ordinary citizens in a bottom-up effort to create indigenousstrategies for economic and political development. After serving inthis position for about three years he conclude that in order to bein a position to bring true empowerment and improvement in suchpoverty stricken societies he required involvement at a higher level,in the sphere of politics and law.
AccordinglyObama attended Harvard Law School, where he distinguished himself bybeing elected as the first American of African origin to be presidentof the prestigious Harvard Law Review. He graduated with a law degreeand returned to Chicago where he taught law at Havrad School of Lawand practiced civil rights law. In 1992 Obama married MichelleRobinson another law graduate from Harvard Law School (Domenick etal,2009).
LegislativeCareer 1997-2004 State Senate
In1996,Barrackwaselectedto representIllinois 13th District at thestatesenate.There, hegainedsupportfrom bothsidesof thedivide forinitiating legislationsthat restructured thehealthcareandethicslaws.Obama initiateda lawthataugmented taxcreditsforworkersin thelowestincomebracketpromotedimprovedsubsidiesforchildrenandbargainedwelfarereforms.In theyear2001 whileservinga co-chairman of theCommittee forAdministrative Rules, He supportedlegislationinitiatedby a Republican Governor, popularlyreferredto as payday loanregulations.Thisregulationwasaimedat preventingforeclosures of homesforthelowincomeearners (Rudin,2009).In 1998,Barrackwaselectedforthesecondtermin thestatesenatewhereheconvincingly defeateda republicancontender Yehudah Yesse.In 2000,hewasdefeatedin theprimaries in theraceto House of Representatives. At thebeginningof 2013 Democrats regaineda majorityin thestatesenateandObama waselectedto serveas thechairperson of theHealth andHuman Service Committee of theIllinois Senate. InthiscapacityObama initiateda legislationthat receiveda bipartisan supportfrom thesenate,that would coercethepoliceto recordtheraceof thedriverstheyarrestedin a moveto monitorracialprofiling.Illinois becamethefirststatein thehistoryof theUS to passsuchlegislationthat alsorequiredthevideotaping of allhomicide interrogations.In his submissionto becomea senatorforthestateof Illinois Obama wascreditedby lawenforcementorganizationforenablingtheenactmentof thedeathpenaltyreforms.After his electionin theUS senate,herelinquishedhis Illinois statepositionas requiredby theconstitutionof theland.
IntheUS Senate,Obama introduceda numberof importantlegislation.In 2006,heinitiatedtheFederal Funding Accountability andTransparency Act andtheOrderly Immigration Act. Theformerpavedwayforthecreationof a governmentwebsite whereallcitizenswould be ableto viewhowgovernmentwasspendingtaxpayer’s money(Rudin,2009)..Before heresignedas a senator,togetherwith senatorsJohn McCain, Tom Carper andCoburn theyintroducedanotherlegislationthat wasmeantto supporttheTransparency andAccountability Act.
BarrackObama sponsored otherkeylegislationthoughmostof them didnot attainpresidentialassent.Forinstance,heinitiatedthelegislationthat would havecompellednuclearplantpromoters to informthestateandlocalgovernmentsof radioactiveleakages. HealsosupportedtheClass Action Act of 2005 andtheNSA Warranty less wiretapping that soughtto giveimmunityfromthe civilclaimto telecommunication firms complicit with NSA. Thefirstbillsponsored by Obama to attainpresidentialassentwastheDemocratic Republic of Congo Relief, Security andDemocracy Promotion Act, passedin 2006 andratifiedby President George Bush.
FirstTerm as President
PresidentBarrack Obama tookofficeas the44th presidentof theUnited Statesof America in January 2009. His firstexecutivedutywasissuinga directive to theMilitary of theUnited States to developstrategiesto facilitatewithdrawof US militaryfrom Iraq. Hesoonorderedtheclosureof theUS detentioncampat Guantanamo,buthis effortswerefrustratedby Congress by denyinghim fundsto undertakethemove.Congressalsovehemently refusedto allowthemoving of thedetaineesat thecampinto thecountryoranyotherstate(Whitehouse, 2014).
Astheholderof thehighestseatin theUnited States Obama has signedinto lawa numberof crucialbillsthat havepavedwayforthetransformationof thehealthsectorandeconomicrevivification. In 2009,hesignedinto lawtheHate Crime Prevention Act thatexpandedthescopeof hatecrimelawto encompasscrimespropelledby a victim’ssexorientation,disabilityandgender.In thefollowingyear,Obamasignedinto lawtheHealth Care andEducation Reconciliation Act thatsignaledtheendof subsidiesby thenationalgovernmentto privateownedbanks,andthatmadecrucialchangesin theAffordable Care andPatient Protection Act (Governmentof the United States of America, 2013).
TheUS wasundergoingthrough verychallenging economic handles,when Barrack Obama took office in 2009.Unemploymentwassoaringandwasin doubledigit,andbanksandbigfirms especiallyin theautomobileindustrywereon their knees.Obama signedtheReinvestment andrecoveryAct, which injected$787 billion into theeconomy.ThisstimulusAct wasmeantto revivify theeconomy,increasefederalgovernmentspending in varioussectorsin thecountrysuchas health,Infrastructure andeducation.TheAct alsopavedwayforgovernmentincentivesanddirectassistanceto privatebusiness,andnumeroustaxbreaks.Thisstimuluspackagewould bedistributedover a longperiod(Rudin,2009).
Obamaalsogaveloansto thebeleaguered automobileindustrysuchas Chrysler andtheGeneral Motors to supportoperationandcounter therisingunemployment.Monthsafter takingofficeObama wasdissatisfiedwith theslowpacethattheeconomywasrecoveringandhesignedinto lawtheCar Allowance Rebate System billinto lawto furtherboosttheailing economy(Rudin,2009).
Healthreformsweretoppriorityin presidentObama’s manifestoduring thepresidentialcampaignof 2008. Immediatelyafter takingoffice,hecalledupon Congress to passlegislationto reformthehealthsectorin thecountry.Obama initiatedlegislationthat would expandthehealthinsurancecoverage in theUnited States. Obamacareaccordedmiddleincomehouseholdhealthinsurancecoverage theyrequiredandthattheycould afford.Thelegislationalsocompelledinsurers to operateunder theguidelinesas prescribedin thelaw,includingtheclausethat barsthem from discriminatingagainst workingAmericans becauseof a preexisting healthcondition(Governmentof the United States of America, 2013).
Theaffordable healthAct alsobarredinsurers from disqualifying individualswhenthelostorchangedjobs.Insurers arerequiredby thelawto coverevenpreventivehealthcare forallAmericans. TheLaw increasinglyexpandedthescopeandstrengtheningexistingMedicaid program.ManyAmerican whocould not affordinsurancecoverhavebeenableto accesscoverage andsignificantly reducetheir healthcare expense(Governmentof the United States of America, 2013).
Obamahas beenveryvibranton theguncontrolin theUS andin2013, a monthafter a fatalmassshootingat an elementaryschoolhedelineateda numberof proposalin relationto control.Obama urgedCongress to passlegislationto introducea backgroundassessmentby policebefore allgunsaresold,andbansaleandpossessionof armorpiercingbullets(Whitehouse, 2014).Obamacalledforequalityforgaycoupleduring his inaugural addressafter hedefeatedRepublican candidateMitt Romney. Obamabecamethefirstpresidentin thehistoryofUS to publiclyshowsupportforsamesexmarriage.Obama has filedbriefscallingupon Supreme courtstorulein favorof gaymarriagesandhas supportedtheamendmentof Defense andMarriage Act.
PresidentBarrack Hussein Obama has beenshapedby untiring beliefin theneedto uniteallAmericans around thepoliticsof purpose.Asaforementioned whenObama servedas a senatein thestateof Illinois heinitiatedmajorethicalchangesin the state,reducedtaxesforthepoorworkingfamiliesandexpandedthehealthcare program,foryoungchildren.In theUS senatehesponsored groundbreaking legislationsuchas theFederal Funding Accountability andTransparency Actthatsoughtto increaseaccountabilityandtransparencyin thefederalgovernmentspending. In 2010,Obamarejectedthebombingof al-Qaida kingpin Osama binLaden, andordereda raidon his compoundthat ledto thedeathof themostwantedmanin theworld.Obama foreignpolicyhas usherednewrelationswith Russia andMiddle East nations.Obama has succeedingwithdrawingAmericans troopsfrom Iraq, increasedtheUS militarypresencein unstableAfghanistan andplayeda keyfunctionin theouster of Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, andHussein Mubarak of Egypt. US has alsomaintaineda hardlineagainst thedictatorialgovernmentsof Syria.
PresidentObama’s time as president of United States of America has been metwith both criticism and praise. Key and contentious legislationsinclude the Health care Reform and Economic Stimulus package. Obamahas gained some praise from the international community for hisconcern in reaching out to the Arab nations. In his first time he wasawarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, though issues such astransparency, national security and government incursion in issuessuch as deficit spending and health care reforms has dipped approvalrating for president Obama.
DomenickS, Pitts, D. and Bronk, K. (2009). BarackObama,44thPresident of the United States.Retrieved from:http://photos.state.gov/libraries/jerusalem/328666/obama_pdfs/obamaen.pdf
Governmentof the United States of America. (2013). AffordableCare Act: The New Health Care Law at Two Years.Retrieved on 5 April from:http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/careact.pdf
Rudin,K. (2009). Today`sJunkie segment on TOTN: a political review of 2009.Talkof the Nation.Retrievedfrom:http://millercenter.org/president/obama/essays/biography/1
WhiteHouse (2014). PresidentBarrack Obama.Retrieved from: