A Long Time Coming, The Inspiring, Combative 2008 Campaign and the Historic Election of Barack Obama
Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States on Nov. He prevailed over Sen. John McCain in what was probably the most pivotal U. He took the oath of office on Jan. Four years later, on Nov. On his second day in office in January , President Barack Obama signed executive orders to suspend military tribunals of terror suspects, close all secret prisons and detention camps run by the CIA—including the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison—and ban coercive interrogation methods. He, however, did not rule out the use of tribunals, saying he would review the Bush administration's policies on handling detainees.
In March , Obama reversed course on two fronts, allowing military tribunals to move forward at Guantanamo, thus admitting that the prison will remain open for the foreseeable future.
His decision followed legislation passed in that prevents prisoners from being transferred from the prison to the U. Obama's orders also said that the C.
"A long time coming"
The move ended Bush's policy of allowing the CIA to use methods that were not permitted by the military. In October , Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. In his acceptance speech in December, Obama acknowledged the apparent irony that he was given a prize for peace while leading a country fighting in two wars, but claimed that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are both necessary and just. He agreed, however, that he had a lot of work ahead of him to improve the lives of Americans and the others around the world.
By taking advantage of the Internet and the power of text messaging on mobile phones, Obama ran an innovative campaign that appealed to young voters. Shunning public financing for his election, Obama raised an unprecedented amount of money, much of it from small donors. Prior to the financial crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan dominated the campaign.
Obama presented himself as the candidate for change and stressed that a McCain presidency would mirror the policies of the Bush administration. As a political newcomer, Obama faced an uphill battle in convincing voters that he would be ready to lead the nation. Indeed, throughout the long and often bitter campaign for the Democratic nomination, he and Sen.
Hillary Clinton ran neck-and-neck in the primaries and caucuses. Obama and Clinton competed fiercely for the support of working-class voters, and each candidate tried to paint the other as elitist. Obama met sharp criticism for his association with his former pastor, the combative and controversial Rev.
Jeremiah Wright. Obama denounced Wright after several of his divisive sermons popped up in the media. Wright's charged statements prompted Obama to address the race issue, and he earned wide praise for his speech on race relations, "A More Perfect Union.
Running as the candidate of change, Obama made hope the center of his campaign. His platform focused on advocating for working families and poor communities, education, caring for the environment, and ethics reform. Obama was born in Hawaii to a Kenyan father and American mother. His father was raised in a small village in Kenya where he herded goats until he earned a scholarship to study in America.
Book Review | Books About the Rise of Barack Obama - The New York Times
After his parents divorced, Obama's Harvard-educated father then returned to Kenya, where he worked in the economics ministry. Obama was raised by his mother in both Hawaii and Jakarta, Indonesia. He later moved to New York City to attend Columbia University, where he earned his undergraduate degree. Obama moved to Chicago after college and worked extensively in the inner city to improve living conditions and reduce the unemployment rate in high-crime neighborhoods. After receiving his degree from Harvard Law School, he returned to Chicago and practiced as a civil rights lawyer.
Barack and Michelle met in Chicago, where they both worked for the law firm Sidley and Austin. Michelle worked in corporate law for three years before pursuing a career in public service. She has worked for the city of Chicago, and she co-founded Public Allies, which helps young adults acquire skills to work in the public sector. In she was appointed vice president of community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
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Barack and Michelle have two daughters, Malia Ann and Sasha. His advocacy work on the local level in Chicago led to a run for the Illinois State Senate. He also generated an expansion in early childhood education and worked to pass legislation that requires all interrogations and confessions in capital cases to be videotaped. Obama's eloquent keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention earned him wide praise him and cemented his reputation as one of the party's freshest and most inspirational new faces.
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