Barack Hussein Obama II ( born August 4, 1961) is an American politician and the President-elect of the United States.
The first African American to be elected President of the United States, Obama was elected to be the junior United States Senator from Illinois in 2004 and served until his resignation on November 16, 2008, following his election to the Presidency. His term of office as the forty-fourth U.S. president will begin on January 20, 2009.
He is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Obama worked as a community organizer and practiced as a civil rights attorney in Chicago before serving three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.
Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, Obama was elected to the Senate in November 2004. Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004.
As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, Obama helped create legislation to control conventional weapons and to promote greater public accountability in the use of federal funds. He also made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
During the 110th Congress, he helped create legislation regarding lobbying and electoral fraud, climate change, nuclear terrorism, and care for U.S. military personnel returning from combat assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
2008 presidential campaign
On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois. The choice of the announcement site was symbolic because it was also where Abraham Lincoln delivered his historic “House Divided” speech in 1858. Throughout the campaign, Obama emphasized the issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care.
During both the primary process and the general election, Obama’s campaign set numerous fundraising records, particularly in the quantity of small donations. On June 19, Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976.
A large number of candidates initially entered the Democratic Party presidential primaries. After a few initial contests, the field narrowed to a contest between Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton, with each winning some states and the race remaining close throughout the primary process.
On May 31, the Democratic National Committee agreed to seat all of the disputed Michigan and Florida delegates at the national convention, each with a half-vote, narrowing Obama’s delegate lead.
On June 3, with all states counted, Obama passed the threshold to become the presumptive nominee. On that day, he gave a victory speech in St. Paul, Minnesota. Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed him on June 7. From that point on, he campaigned for the general election race against Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee.
On August 23, 2008, Obama selected Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate. At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Obama’s former rival Hillary Clinton gave a speech in support of Obama’s candidacy and later called for Obama to be nominated by acclamation as the Democratic presidential candidate.
On August 28, Obama delivered a speech to the 84,000 supporters in Denver. During the speech, which was viewed by over 38 million people worldwide, he accepted his party’s nomination and presented his policy goals.
After McCain was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate, there were three presidential debates between Obama and McCain in September and October 2008.
In November, Obama won the presidency with 53% of the popular vote and a wide electoral college margin. His election sparked street celebrations in numerous cities in the United States and abroad.
President-elect of the United States
On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama defeated John McCain in the general election with 365 electoral votes to McCain’s 173 and became the first African American to be elected President of the United States.
In his victory speech, delivered before a crowd of hundreds of thousands of his supporters in Chicago’s Grant Park, Obama proclaimed that “change has come to America”.
President-elect Obama is scheduled to be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States at midday on January 20, 2009. His assigned Secret Service codename is “Renegade”.
source : Wikipedia