By Jueseppi B.
We all know the current story of POTUSA Barack Hussein Obama, He stands for Women, the LGBTQA1 community, the Poor, Veterans, Students, Youth, the Disadvantaged, and the Uninsured. Barack is a President Of The United States Of ALL Americans. Whether you like and voted for him or not.
Here is how he began.
FRONTLINE | The Choice 2008 (full episode) | PBS
Barack Hussein Obama II ( born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States, and the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.
In 2004, Obama received national attention during his campaign to represent Illinois in the United States Senate with his victory in the March Democratic Party primary, his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July, and his election to the Senate in November. He began his presidential campaign in 2007, and in 2008, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won sufficient delegates in the Democratic Party primaries to receive the presidential nomination. He then defeated Republican nominee John McCain in the general election, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. Nine months after his election, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
During his first two years in office, Obama signed into law economic stimulus legislation in response to the Great Recession in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Other major domestic initiatives in his first term include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare”; the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010. In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.
In November 2010, the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives as the Democratic Party lost a total of 63 seats, and after a lengthy debate over federal spending and whether or not to raise the nation’s debt limit, Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
Obama was re-elected president in November 2012, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2013. During his second term, Obama has promoted domestic policies related to gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, has called for full equality for LGBT Americans, and his administration filed briefs which urged the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 and California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. In foreign policy, Obama has continued the process of ending U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.
C-SPAN: Barack Obama Speech at 2004 DNC Convention
Published on Oct 17, 2012
Barack Obama’s Speech – 2008 Democratic National Convention
Barack Hussein Obama was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapiʻolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital (now Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children) in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is the first President to have been born in Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita, Kansas, and was of mostly English ancestry. His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Kenya. Obama’s parents met in 1960 in a Russian class at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship.
In 1963, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian East–West Center graduate student in geography at the University of Hawaii, and the couple were married on Molokai on March 15, 1965. After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Lolo returned to Indonesia in 1966, followed sixteen months later by his wife and stepson in 1967, with the family initially living in a Menteng Dalam neighborhood in the Tebet sub-district of south Jakarta, then from 1970 in a wealthier neighborhood in the Menteng sub-district of central Jakarta. From ages six to ten, Obama attended local Indonesian-language schools: St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School for two years and Besuki Public School for one and a half years, supplemented by English-language Calvert School homeschooling by his mother.
In 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, and with the aid of a scholarship attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979. Obama lived with his mother and sister in Hawaii for three years from 1972 to 1975 while his mother was a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Hawaii. Obama chose to stay in Hawaii with his grandparents for high school at Punahou when his mother and sister returned to Indonesia in 1975 to begin anthropology field work. His mother spent most of the next two decades in Indonesia, divorcing Lolo in 1980 and earning a PhD in 1992, before dying in 1995 in Hawaii following treatment for ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.
Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, “That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind.” He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage. Reflecting later on his years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: “The opportunity that Hawaii offered—to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect—became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear.” Obama has also written and talked about using alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine during his teenage years to “push questions of who I was out of my mind”. Obama was also a member of the “choom gang”, a self-named group of friends that spent time together and occasionally smoked marijuana.
Parents’ background and meeting
President Barack Obama’s parents met in September 1960 while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Obama’s father, Barack Obama, Sr., the university’s first foreign student from an African nation, hailed from Kanyadhiang, Rachuonyo District, Nyanza Province in Kenya. Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, known as Ann, was born in Wichita. They married on the Hawaiian island of Maui on February 2, 1961. Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961 at the old Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital at 1611 Bingham Street (a predecessor of the Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children at 1319 Punahou Street) and named for his father. His birth was announced in The Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Soon after their son’s birth, while Obama’s father continued his education at the University of Hawaii, Ann Dunham took the infant to Seattle, Washington, where she took classes at the University of Washington from September 1961 to June 1962. She and her son lived in an apartment in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. After graduating from the University of Hawaii with a B.A. in economics, Obama, Sr. left the state in June 1962, moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts for graduate study in economics at Harvard University that fall.
Ann Dunham returned with her son to Honolulu and, in January 1963, resumed her undergraduate education at the University of Hawaii. In January 1964, Dunham filed for divorce, which was not contested. Barack Obama, Sr. later graduated from Harvard University with an A.M. in economics and in 1965 returned to Kenya.
During her first year back at the University of Hawaii, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro. He was one year into his American experience, after two semesters on the Manoa campus and a summer on the mainland at Northwestern and the University of Wisconsin, when he encountered Dunham, then an undergraduate interested in anthropology. A surveyor from Indonesia, he had come to Honolulu in September 1962 on an East-West Center grant to study at the University of Hawaii. He earned a M.A. in geography in June 1964.
Dunham and Soetoro married on March 15, 1965, on Molokai. They returned to Honolulu to live with her son as a family. After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Soetoro returned to Indonesia on June 20, 1966. Dunham and her son moved in with her parents at their house. She continued with her studies, earning a B.A. in anthropology in August 1967, while her son attended kindergarten in 1966–1967 at Noelani Elementary School.
In October 1967, Obama and his mother moved to Jakarta to rejoin his stepfather. The family initially lived in a newly built neighborhood in the Menteng Dalam administrative village of the Tebet subdistrict in South Jakarta for two and a half years, while Soetoro worked on a topographic survey for the Indonesian government. From January 1968 to December 1969, Obama’s mother taught English and was an assistant director of the U.S. government-subsidized Indonesia-America Friendship Institute, while Obama attended the Indonesian-language Santo Fransiskus Asisi (St. Francis of Assisi) Catholic School around the corner from their house for 1st, 2nd, and part of 3rd grade.
In 1970, Soetoro took a new job at higher pay in Union Oil Company‘s government relations office. From January 1970 to August 1972, Obama’s mother taught English and was a department head and a director of the Institute of Management Education and Development. Obama attended the Indonesian-language government-run Besuki School, one and half miles east in the exclusive Menteng administrative village, for part of 3rd grade and for 4th grade. By this time, he had picked up on some Indonesian in addition to his native English. He also joined the Cub Scouts.
In the summer of 1970, Obama returned to Hawaii for an extended visit with his maternal grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham. His mother had also arranged an interview for possible admission to the Punahou School in Honolulu, one of the top private schools in the city. On August 15, 1970, Dunham and Soetoro celebrated the birth of their daughter, Maya Kassandra Soetoro.
Following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles in 1979, where he studied at Occidental College for two years. On February 18, 1981, he made his first public speech, calling for Occidental’s divestment from South Africa. In the summer of 1981, Obama traveled to Jakarta to visit his mother and half-sister Maya, and visited the families of Occidental College friends in Hyderabad (India) and Karachi for three weeks.
He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations. Obama lived off campus in a modest rented apartment at 142 West 109th St. He graduated with a A.B. from Columbia in 1983, then worked at Business International Corporation and New York Public Interest Research Group.
Early career in Chicago
After four years living in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer. He worked for three years from June 1985 to May 1988 as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale) on Chicago’s far South Side. During his three years as the DCP’s director, its staff grew from 1 to 13 and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000, with accomplishments including helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in Altgeld Gardens. Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute. In the summer of 1988, he traveled for the first time to Europe for three weeks then to Kenya for five weeks where he met many of his paternal relatives for the first time.
Harvard Law School
Obama entered Harvard Law School in late 1988. In an interview with Ebony in 1990, he stated that he saw a degree in law as a vehicle to facilitate better community organization and activism: “The idea was not only to get people to learn how to hope and dream about different possibilities, but to know how the tax structure affects what kind of housing gets built where.” At the end of his first year he was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review based on his grades and a writing competition. In February 1990, his second year at Harvard, he was elected president of the law review, a full-time volunteer position functioning as editor-in-chief and supervising the law review’s staff of 80 editors. Obama’s election as the first black president of the law review was widely reported and followed by several long, detailed profiles.
He got himself elected by convincing a crucial swing bloc of conservatives that he would protect their interests if they supported him. Building up that trust was done with the same kind of long listening sessions he had used in the poor neighborhoods of South Side, Chicago. Richard Epstein, who later taught at the University of Chicago Law School when Obama later taught there, said Obama was elected editor “because people on the other side believed he would give them a fair shake.”
While in law school he worked as an associate at the law firms of Sidley & Austin in 1989, where he met his wife, Michelle, and where Newton N. Minow was a managing partner. Minow later would introduce Obama to some of Chicago’s top business leaders. In the summer of 1990 he worked at Hopkins & Sutter. Also during his law school years, Obama spent eight days in Los Angeles taking a national training course on Alinsky methods of organizing. He graduated with a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991 and returned to Chicago.
Settling down in Chicago
The publicity from his election as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review led to a contract and advance to write a book about race relations. In an effort to recruit him to their faculty, the University of Chicago Law School provided Obama with a fellowship and an office to work on his book. He originally planned to finish the book in one year, but it took much longer as the book evolved into a personal memoir. In order to work without interruptions, Obama and his wife, Michelle, traveled to Bali where he wrote for several months. The manuscript was finally published as Dreams from My Father in mid-1995.
He married Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in 1992 and settled down with her in Hyde Park, a liberal, integrated, middle-class Chicago neighborhood with a history of electing reform-minded politicians independent of the Daley political machine. The couple’s first daughter, Malia Ann, was born in 1998; their second, Natasha (known as Sasha), in 2001.
One effect of the marriage was to bring Obama closer to other politically influential Chicagoans. One of Michelle’s best friends was Jesse Jackson‘s daughter, Santita Jackson, later the godmother of the Obamas’ first child. Michelle herself had worked as an aide to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Marty Nesbitt, a young, successful black businessman (who played basketball with Michelle’s brother, Craig Robinson), became Obama’s best friend and introduced him to other African-American business people. Before the marriage, according to Craig, Obama talked about his political ambitions, even saying that he might run for president someday.
Obama directed Illinois Project Vote from April to October 1992, a voter registration drive, officially nonpartisan, that helped Carol Moseley Braun become the first black woman ever elected to the Senate. He headed up a staff of 10 and 700 volunteers that achieved its goal of 400,000 registered African Americans in the state, leading Crain’s Chicago Business to name Obama to its 1993 list of “40 under Forty” powers to be. Although fundraising was not required for the position when Obama was recruited for the job, he started an active campaign to raise money for the project. According to Sandy Newman, who founded Project Vote, Obama “raised more money than any of our state directors had ever done. He did a great job of enlisting a broad spectrum of organizations and people, including many who did not get along well with one another.”
The fundraising brought Obama into contact with the wealthy, liberal elite of Chicago, some of whom became supporters in his future political career. Through one of them he met David Axelrod, who later headed Obama’s campaign for president. The fundraising committee was chaired by John Schmidt, a former chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley, and John W. Rogers Jr., a young black money manager and founder of Ariel Capital Management. Obama also met much of the city’s black political leadership, although he didn’t always get along with the older politicians, with friction sometimes developing over Obama’s reluctance to spend money and his insistence on results. “He really did it, and he let other people take all the credit”, Schmidt later said. “The people standing up at the press conferences were Jesse Jackson and Bobby Rush and I don’t know who else. Barack was off to the side and only the people who were close to it knew he had done all the work.”
Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years, as a Lecturer for four years (1992–1996), and as a Senior Lecturer for eight years (1996–2004). During this time he taught courses in due process and equal protection, voting rights, and racism and law. He published no legal scholarship, and turned down tenured positions, but served eight years in the Illinois Senate during his twelve years at the university.
In 1993 Obama joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 12-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development, where he was an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004, with his law license becoming inactive in 2007. The firm was well-known among influential Chicago liberals and leaders of the black community, and the firm’s Judson H. Miner, who met with Obama to recruit him before Obama’s 1991 graduation from law school, had been counsel to former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, although the law firm often clashed with the administration of Mayor Richard M. Daley. The 29-year-old law student made it clear in his initial interview with Miner that he was more interested in joining the firm to learn about Chicago politics than to practice law. During the four years Obama worked as a full-time lawyer at the firm, he was involved in 30 cases and accrued 3,723 billable hours.
Obama was a founding member of the board of directors of Public Allies in 1992, resigning before his wife, Michelle, became the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago in early 1993. He served on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund Obama’s DCP, from 1993–2002, and served on the board of directors of The Joyce Foundation from 1994–2002. Membership on the Joyce and Wood foundation boards, which gave out tens of millions of dollars to various local organizations while Obama was a member, helped Obama get to know and be known by influential liberal groups and cultivate a network of community activists that later supported his political career.
Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995–2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995–1999. He also served on the board of directors of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Lugenia Burns Hope Center. In 1995, Obama also announced his candidacy for a seat in the Illinois state Senate and attended Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March in Washington, DC.
Family and personal life
In June 1989, Obama met Michelle Robinson when he was employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin. Assigned for three months as Obama’s adviser at the firm, Robinson joined him at several group social functions, but declined his initial requests to date. They began dating later that summer, became engaged in 1991, and were married on October 3, 1992.
The couple’s first daughter, Malia Ann, was born on July 4, 1998, followed by a second daughter, Natasha (“Sasha”), on June 10, 2001. The Obama daughters attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. When they moved to Washington, D.C., in January 2009, the girls started at the private Sidwell Friends School. The Obamas have a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo, a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy.
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