American Politics:


Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.

(b. 1961)


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American Politics

Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.

(b. 1961)

Barack Obama in front of the Capitol




American Politics

Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. (b. August 4, 1961) is an American politician currently representing the state of Illinois in the United States Senate. Obama announced on February 10, 2007 that he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. On Nov. 4, 2008, Barack Obama won the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election by defeating Senator John McCain. Obama became the first African-American to win the presidency in America's history.

Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, August 4, 1961. His father was a professor from Kenya and his mother an American. He obtained his early education in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Hawaii, and went on to Occidental College in Los Angeles, later transferring to Columbia University in New York City. After graduating from Columbia, Obama studied law at Harvard University, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, and received his J.D. in 1992. He served as a lecturer on constitutional law at the University of Chicago until winning a seat in the Illinois State Senate in 1996. He served in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, until he was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in 2004. He began his first term in the U.S. Senate on January 3, 2005.

In January, 2007, Obama announced the formation of his Presidential Exploratory Committee, which is the first step to formally declaring his candidacy for the presidency. Soon thereafter, a controversy began related to what kind of schools he attended while living in Indonesia in the 1960s. Fox News reported that Obama attended an Islamic madrassa school called the Basuki school, that preached a radical version of Islam. CNN reported that Obama attended a secular public school. See also: Obama Education/Madrassa Controversy

On February 10, 2007, Senator Obama formally declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

Obama won the first contest in the Democratic nomination battle with his victory over Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and the other candidates in the Iowa Caucuses. Clinton then won the New Hampshire Primary, presaging the tight and sometimes hot battle between Obama and Clinton as they each vied for the Democratic Nomination.

Controversy over remarks made by Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, led Senator Obama to make an important speech on race and religion in America. (See the YouTube video below).

Barack Obama's message of change and hope eventually propelled him past Hillary Clinton and won him the Democratic nomination. As the 2008 Presidential campaign sped on toward its November 4 conclusion, McCain and Obama each spent millions of dollars, mostly on television ads, attacking each other.

On Nov. 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama defeated Republican Senator John McCain in a decisive Electoral College victory. After the major media outlets declared that Obama had won over 270 Electoral Votes, following the close of voting on the West Coast, President-Elect Obama and his family, along with Vice-President-Elect Joseph Biden, appeared before a huge crowd of supporters in Grant Park, Chicago. There, Obama gave an inspiring victory speech in which he declard that he will be the President of all Americans, not just those who voted for him.



Published Works:

Obama, Barack.Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. New York: Times Books, 1995. Reprint 2004.

Obama, Barack.The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. New York: Crown Publishers, 2006.


Obama Videos:

Obama Victory Speech, Nov. 4, 2008

Obama Speech on Race and Religion

Published Works:

Obama, Barack.Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. New York: Times Books, 1995. Reprint 2004.

Obama, Barack.The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. New York: Crown Publishers, 2006.


Copyright 1998-2008 Roger A. Lee and History Guy Media; Last Modified: 11.05.08


Lee, R. "American Politics: Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. (b. 1961)"  

Family, Career, and Personal Highlights

Barack Hussein Obama, Sr --Father

Ann Dunham --Mother

Michelle Obama (b. 1964) --Wife


Malia (b. 1999)--Daughter

Sasha (b. 2001)--Daughter


United Church of Christ


1983: BA Political Science, Columbia University.

1991: J.D., Harvard Law School



1997-2004: Illinois State Senate (D)

2004: Delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

2005-Present: U.S. Senator from Illinois (D)

Elections involving Barack Obama

2008 general election for U.S. President

Barack Obama (D), 349 Electoral Votes

John McCain (R), 147 Electoral Votes

Bob Barr (L),

Ralph Nader (I),

2004 general election for U.S. Senate

Barack Obama (D), 70%

Alan Keyes (R), 27%

Albert J. Franzen (I), 2%

Jerry Kohn (L), 1%

2000 Democratic primary for U.S. House of Representatives—Illinois 1st District

Bobby Rush (D), 61%

Barack Obama (D), 30%

Donne Trotter (D), 7%

Links and Resources on Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.

Barack Obama - U.S. Senator for Illinois. Official Senate site

Barack Obama--Wikipedia Article

Senator Barack Obama Seeks to Become First Black U.S. President -Feb. 10, 2007 ) -- Illinois Senator Barack Obama, standing in front of the building where Abraham Lincoln gave his ``House Divided'' speech in 1858 opposing slavery, told Americans he will embrace a new kind of politics as he made his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination official.


Barack Obama formally announces bid for president --Los Angeles Times - Feb. 10, 2007--Illinois Sen. Barack Obama formally announced his presidential candidacy today with an invocation of Abraham Lincoln and a call to end the war in Iraq and "the smallness of our politics" that perpetuates so many of the problems the nation faces.


Transcript of Barack Obama's Speech

CBS News - February 10, 2007--Complete text of Sen. Barack Obama's speech before the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., in which the Illinois Democrat officially announced he was running for president.

Barack Obama Presidential Exploratory Committee--Official website of the Obama Exploratory Committee.

Commencement Address Commencement Address of Senator Barack Obama at Knox College on June 4, 2005.

Obama 2010 Senate Re-Elect Website

Senate bills sponsored by Barack Obama

Senate bills co-sponsored by Barack Obama

A Bit More on Barack--Harper's Magazine, October 26, 2006

Obama's Game--CounterPunch, April 24, 2006

Five Minutes With: Sen. Barack Obama--Campus Progress, March 28, 2005

Deep Inside the Obama Effect--Vermont Daily Briefing, March 11, 2006

Barack Obama made smashing national debut--The Progressive, July 28, 2004

Times Topics: Obama, Barack--New York Times

Obama in Africa--Chicago Tribune

Barack Obama in Africa--Chicago Sun-Times

Obama Wiki

Obama's Appeal to Blacks Remains an Open Question--By Michael A. Fletcher,Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, January 25, 2007; Page A01

Draft Obama Sites

Draft Obama: America is Ready

Barack Obama - Now!

Power Ranking the Presidential Candidates: The Big


Madrassa Controversy

CNN Debunks False Report About Obama--

Hillary Clinton Drops Madrassa Bomb on Barack Obama--Fox News

Indonesia academics dispute report Sen. Obama attended radical Islamic school--International Herald Tribune

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