On November 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois defeats Senator John McCain of Arizona to become the 44th U.S. president, and the first African American elected to the White House. The 47-year-old Democrat garnered 365 electoral votes and nearly 53 percent of the popular vote, while his 72-year-old Republican challenger captured 173 electoral votes and more than 45 percent of the popular vote. Obama’s vice-presidential running mate was Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, while McCain’s running mate was Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, the first female Republican ever nominated for the vice presidency.
Obama, who was born in 1961 in Hawaii to a white woman from Kansas and a Black man from Kenya, graduated from Harvard Law School and was a law professor at the University of Chicago before launching his political career in 1996, when he was elected to the Illinois State Senate. He was re-elected to that post in 1998 and 2000. In March 2004, he shot to national prominence by winning the U.S. Senate Democratic primary in Illinois, and that July he gained further exposure when he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, which included his eloquent call for unity among “red” (Republican) and “blue” (Democratic) states. That November, Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate in a landslide.
On February 10, 2007, in Springfield, Illinois, Obama officially announced his candidacy for president. A victory in the Iowa caucuses in January 2008 made him a viable challenger to the early frontrunner, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, whom he outlasted in a grueling primary campaign to claim the Democratic nomination in early June 2008.
During the general-election campaign, as in the primaries, Obama’s team worked to build a following at the grassroots level and used what his supporters viewed as the candidate’s natural charisma, unique life story and inspiring message of hope and change to draw large crowds to his public appearances, both in the United States and on a campaign trip abroad. His team also worked to bring new voters—many of them young or Black, both demographics they believed favored Obama—to become involved in the election. Additionally, the campaign was notable for its unprecedented use of the Internet for organizing constituents and fundraising. According to The Washington Post: “3 million donors made a total of 6.5 million donations online adding up to more than $500 million. Of those 6.5 million donations, 6 million were in increments of $100 or less.”
In terms of campaign issues, Obama pledged to get the United States out of the war in Iraq and expand health care, among other promises. A crushing national financial crisis in the months leading up to the election shifted the country’s focus to the economy, and Obama and McCain each attempted to show he had the best plan for economic improvement.
On November 4, more than 69.4 million Americans cast their vote for Obama, while some 59.9 million voters chose McCain. (Obama was the first sitting U.S. senator to win the White House since John F. Kennedy in 1960.) Obama captured some traditional Republican strongholds (Virginia, Indiana) and key battleground states (Florida, Ohio) that had been won by Republicans in recent elections. Late that night, the president-elect appeared before a huge crowd of supporters in Chicago’s Grant Park and delivered a speech in he which acknowledged the historic nature of his victory (which came 143 years after the end of the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery): “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer…It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America.”
Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. On November 6, 2012, he defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney to win a second term in the White House. He left office in January, 2017.
Electoral history of Barack Obama
This is the electoral history of Barack Obama. Obama served as a United States Senator from Illinois (2005–2008) and the 44th President of the United States (2009–2017).
A member of the Democratic Party, Obama was first elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996 representing the 13th district, which covered much of the Chicago South Side. In 2000, Obama ran an unsuccessful campaign for Illinois's 1st congressional district against four-term incumbent Bobby Rush. In 2004, Obama campaigned for the U.S. Senate, participating in the first Senate election in which both major party candidates were African American, the other being Alan Keyes. Obama won the election, gaining a seat previously held by a Republican.
In 2008, Obama entered the Democratic primaries for the U.S. presidential election. Numerous candidates entered initially, but over time the field narrowed down to Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton from New York. The contest was highly competitive between the two, with neither being able to reach a majority of delegates without the addition of unpledged delegates. Eventually, Clinton ended her campaign, endorsing Obama for the nomination, prompting his victory. He went on to face Senator John McCain from Arizona as the Republican nominee, defeating him with 365 electoral votes to McCain's 173.
Obama sought re-election for a second term in 2012, running virtually unopposed in the Democratic primaries. His opponent in the general election was former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney. Obama won 332 electoral votes, defeating Romney who gained 206. After this election, he became the first president since Ronald Reagan to receive a majority of the popular vote twice.
Barack Obama elected as America’s first Black president - HISTORY
Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4th, 1961. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was born and raised in a small village in Kenya, where he grew up herding goats with his own father, who was a domestic servant to the British.
Barack's mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in small-town Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs during the Depression, and then signed up for World War II after Pearl Harbor, where he marched across Europe in Patton's army. Her mother went to work on a bomber assembly line, and after the war, they studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program, and moved west to Hawaii.
It was there, at the University of Hawaii, where Barack's parents met. His mother was a student there, and his father had won a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams in America.
Barack's father eventually returned to Kenya, and Barack grew up with his mother in Hawaii, and for a few years in Indonesia. Later, he moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1983.
Remembering the values of empathy and service that his mother taught him, Barack put law school and corporate life on hold after college and moved to Chicago in 1985, where he became a community organizer with a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued with crime and high unemployment.
The group had some success, but Barack had come to realize that in order to truly improve the lives of people in that community and other communities, it would take not just a change at the local level, but a change in our laws and in our politics.
He went on to earn his law degree from Harvard in 1991, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Soon after, he returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer and teach constitutional law. Finally, his advocacy work led him to run for the Illinois State Senate, where he served for eight years. In 2004, he became the third African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
It has been the rich and varied experiences of Barack Obama's life -- growing up in different places with people who had differing ideas -- that have animated his political journey. Amid the partisanship and bickering of today's public debate, he still believes in the ability to unite people around a politics of purpose -- a politics that puts solving the challenges of everyday Americans ahead of partisan calculation and political gain.
In the Illinois State Senate, this meant working with both Democrats and Republicans to help working families get ahead by creating programs like the state Earned Income Tax Credit, which in three years provided over $100 million in tax cuts to families across the state. He also pushed through an expansion of early childhood education, and after a number of inmates on death row were found innocent, Obama worked with law enforcement officials to require the videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases.
In the U.S. Senate, he focused on tackling the challenges of a globalized, 21st century world with fresh thinking and a politics that no longer settles for the lowest common denominator. His first law was passed with Republican Tom Coburn, a measure to rebuild trust in government by allowing every American to go online and see how and where every dime of their tax dollars is spent. He has been the lead voice in championing ethics reform that would root out Jack Abramoff-style corruption in Congress.
As a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, Obama fought to help veterans get the disability pay they were promised, while working to prepare the VA for the thousands of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Recognizing the terrorist threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, he traveled to Russia with Republican Dick Lugar to begin a new generation of non-proliferation efforts designed to find and secure deadly weapons around the world. And knowing the threat we face to our economy and our security from America's addiction to oil, he worked to bring auto companies, unions, farmers, businesses, and politicians of both parties together to promote the greater use of alternative fuels and higher fuel standards in our cars.
His presidential campaign began in February 2007, and after a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party's nomination. In the 2008 presidential election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. In October 2009, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
As president, Obama signed economic stimulus legislation 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 domestic policy initiatives include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 and the Budget Control Act of 2011. In foreign policy, he ended the war in Iraq, increased troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered US involvement in the 2011 Libya military intervention, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. In April 2011, Obama is seeking re-election in the 2012 presidential election.
Whether it's the poverty exposed by Katrina, the genocide in Darfur, or the role of faith in our politics, Barack Obama continues to speak out on the issues that will define America in the 21st century. But above all his accomplishments and experiences, he is most proud and grateful for his family: his wife, Michelle, and his two daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, live on Chicago's South Side.
Barack Obama, the First Black President of America
On November 4 th , 2008 American culture would change forever. History was made Barack Hussein Obama, was elected as the first African-American president of the United States. People of all ages & races cheered as an African-American man was elected president of a country known to have a history of racism & prejudice. Barack Obama & the country doubted that he would be elected, he himself even had two speeches ready, one if he won & one if he lost. It wasn’t just an achievement for himself, but an achievement for the White house, putting the first African-American family ever, in the “Executive Mansion”, another phrase for the White House. Michelle, Malia & Sasha now called 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, home. We have gathered some really interesting Barack Obama facts for kids that will give your further more in sights about Barack Hussein Obama.
Barack Obama II, was born on August 4, 1961 in Oahu, Hawaii at Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital to a Caucasian mother & a Kenyan father Barack & Ann. The birthplace of Obama would later be questioned. It’s been said his birth records are false & corrupted. Obama’s parents divorced when he was a young age, his father moved to Kenya where he was killed in a car accident. His mother married a man named Lolo Soetoro, he was a student from the University of Hawaii he then took Barack & his mother Ann to live in Indonesia.
Obama graduated from Columbia University in 1983 with a major in political science, then he went to go work as an advocate for poor people in Chicago, also he was a community organizer for a Catholic charitable organization also in Chicago. After working with the poor and needy, he went to Harvard Law School to get a law degree where he obtained his law degree graduating with academic honors. After having experience with law from being an attorney at a law firm, he became a Civil Rights lawyer, then he became a professor of law at the University of Chicago. During all this time in Chicago he was spending a lot of time socializing and dating with Michelle Obama, then known as Michelle Robinson. Obama was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, this is where he got the ideals to become the senator of Illinois and the president of the United States. Before getting into politics he was a bestselling author. Fun fact unknown about him was that he was able to do all of this while still smoking marijuana.
History as Obama elected America's first black president
Americans emphatically elected Democrat Barack Obama as their first black president, in a historic election which will reshape US politics and the US role on the world stage.
"Tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America," Obama told a euphoric 240,000 strong crowd of tearful supporters after defeating Republican John McCain.
Obama, 47, will be inaugurated the 44th US president on January 20, 2009, and inherit an economy mired in the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and a nuclear showdown with Iran.
"The road ahead will be long, our climb will be steep, we may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there," Obama said in his hometown of Chicago.
"I promise you -- we as a people will get there."
Television networks projected Obama's win over McCain after Senator Obama solidified traditional Democratic states and cut deep into the Republican territory which his rival needed to control to win the White House.
Obama's win was greeted with euphoria across the United States and reverberated around the world .
New York's Times Square exploded in joy at a moment of healing for America's racial scars and a crowd gathered outside the White House. In Kenya, where Obama's father was born, President Mwai Kibaki called his win "momentous."
Democrats also made huge strides in Congress, and will hold an unshakeable monopoly in power in Washington after a rare generational and political realignment.
After a bilious campaign, McCain was gracious in defeat, and noted that his election was a moment to cherish for African Americans.
"The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly. A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love," he said.
"Though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours," he told a crowd of supporters in Phoenix in his home state of Arizona.
President George W. Bush who has steered his country through eight turbulent years also congratulated Obama.
"Mr President-elect, congratulations to you," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino quoted the president as saying in a phone call to Obama.
"What an awesome night for you, your family and your supporters. Laura and I called to congratulate you and your good bride."
Obama's inauguration will complete a stunning ascent to the pinnacle of US and global politics from national obscurity just four years ago and close an eight year era of turbulence under Bush.
Obama is promising to renew bruised ties with US allies , and to engage some of the most fierce US foes like Iran and North Korea. He has vowed to tackle climate change and provide health care to all Americans.
His presidency also marks a stunning social shift, with Obama, the son of Kenyan father and white mother from Kansas, the first African American president of a nation still riven by racial divides.
Forty-five years after civil rights icon Martin Luther King laid out his "dream" of racial equality, Obama's election broke new barriers and may have helped heal the moral wounds left by slavery and the US civil war.
When he launched his campaign on a chilly day in Illinois in February 2007, Obama forged a mantra of change which powered him throughout the longest, most costly US presidential campaign in history.
Early on on Tuesday he captured the state of Pennsylvania, the key battleground which McCain needed to win to keep his long-shot hopes of victory alive.
And in a sweet moment for Democrats, he also seized the midwestern battleground of Ohio and captured New Mexico and Iowa, two states won by Bush in 2004 to close out McCain's possible route towards the White House.
McCain had argued Obama was too inexperienced to be US commander in chief and would pursue "socialist" redistribution policies that would leave the economy mired in recession.
McCain, 72, an Arizona senator, would have been the oldest man ever inaugurated for a first term in the White House.
Obama gave early notice of the way the night would unfold by capturing the key northeastern state of Pennsylvania -- McCain's best hope of winning a Democratic state and stopping his rival from claiming the White House.
He later added Ohio, the decisive state which swept Bush to victory in 2004 and another Republican state, Virginia, which had not voted Democrat since 1964.
He also won Florida, ground zero of the 2000 recount debacle and captured other Republican states including New Mexico and Iowa.
So far he had won 28 states including his home turf of Illinois for 349 electoral votes.
McCain had won 20 states but had not broken out of the Republican heartland and the south for 159 electoral votes.
In the Senate , Democrats wrested control of five Republican seats including in the traditionally Republican state of Virginia, followed by New Hampshire, North Carolina and New Mexico.
Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell clung on in Kentucky, meaning Democrats were unlikely to win the 60 seats they need in the 100-seat chamber needed to frustrate Republican obstruction tactics.
Democrats were also projected to widen their majority in the House of Representatives
Barack Obama to be America's first black president
Americans placed their faith in Barack Obama today, turning their backs on a past of slavery and segregation and electing the first African-American to the US presidency.
The significance and scale of his victory was recognised today by the outgoing president and commander in chief, George Bush.
"No matter how they cast their ballots, all Americans can be proud of the history that was made yesterday," he said, adding that Obama's "journey represents a triumph of the American story".
In a brief address, Bush said it would be a "striking" sight when Obama and his family came to the White House, and that he had already invited him to visit.
Bush's words came hours after Obama's election party in Chicago, where there were raucous celebration and tears of joy when the US TV networks declared just after 11pm ET (4am GMT) that the Democratic candidate had been voted America's 44th president.
He was carried to victory by record voter turnout across the country, giving him a wider margin over his opponent, John McCain, than any other president in the past two decades.
At least 134 million Americans participated in the election, according to early estimates, representing more than 60% of eligible voters and shattering the previous record of 122 million.
Obama, accompanied to the podium in his home city of Chicago by his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, alluded to the historic nature of his victory.
"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer," he said in his acceptance speech.
"It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America."
The Illinois senator spoke moments after McCain made a gracious concession speech in front of his supporters in Phoenix, Arizona, bringing the election to a close after nearly two tumultuous years.
"We have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken and they have spoken clearly," McCain said.
The defeated Republican said America had come a long way from the racial injustices that were a stain on the country's history, and called for the country to unite behind Obama.
He said he deeply admired and commended Obama for winning an "historic election".
McCain's acclaim was followed by hearty praise from world leaders, reflecting broad support for Obama in most international capitals.
Gordon Brown called the president-elect "a true friend of Britain", declaring that "I know Barack Obama and we share many values". The opposition leader, David Cameron, hailed Obama as "the first of a new generation of leaders".
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said she looked forward to "closer and more trusting cooperation between the United States and Europe" under Obama - a veiled reference to the frustration George Bush often elicited from overseas allies.
The scale of the victory exceeded Democratic expectations, with Obama projected to win 338 electoral votes to McCain's 129.
Obama's successes in the White House race were matched by Democratic wins in congressional seats. The backlash against Bush provided the Democrats with one of their most satisfying wins of the night, ousting the veteran Republican Elizabeth Dole.
A shock twist was developing in Alaska as the Republican Ted Stevens clung to a narrow lead in his race, despite being convicted on corruption charges last week. If he is declared a winner today, Stevens could face expulsion from Congress.
McCain's hopes began unravelling when networks projected Obama would win Pennsylvania, the state where the Republican planned to make his last stand.
An even bigger setback for McCain followed when networks projected Ohio would go to Obama. The state decided the 2004 race between Bush and John Kerry.
Piling on the humiliation for the Republican, Obama was projected to win Virginia, the first time the state has voted for a Democrat in a presidential race since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
Obama was projected to hold on to all the states the Democrats took in 2004, and win half a dozen or more of the battleground states that had been held by the Republicans.
The Democrat was projected to win New Hampshire, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington DC, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey. McCain was projected to win Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and South Carolina.
Fears that many white voters would in the privacy of the polling booth fail to vote for a black candidate appeared to be unfounded.
Americans voted in record numbers throughout the day as they finally got the chance to turn their backs on Bush's disastrous presidency and choose a new leader after America's longest and costliest election campaign.
From the eastern shores of Virginia, across the industrial heartland of Ohio, and on to the Rocky mountain states of Colorado and New Mexico and beyond, poll workers and voters reported long lines and waits of several hours in the most eagerly anticipated US election for half a century.
Turnout was at levels not seen since women were first given the vote in 1920. Election officials predicted turnout would come close to 90% in Virginia and Colorado, and 80% in Ohio and Missouri.
The chance to choose America's first black president drew out more minority voters than in recent elections, turnout experts said. White voters represented 81% of the US electorate eight years ago and 74% this year, according to exit polls.
The odds had been stacked against McCain from the start, linked, as he was, to Bush, with his near-record low popularity ratings, hostility towards the Iraq war and an impending recession. But McCain managed to hold his own until mid-September, when the Wall Street crash saw Obama open up a commanding lead.
Obama will inherit horrendous economic problems that will limit the scope of his ambitions. In his final rallies, Obama was already tempering his early promise of change with warnings about how he would have to curb some of his more ambitious plans, trying to lower expectations that he would be able to move quickly on healthcare and education reform.
Independent election monitors reported sporadic instances of delayed openings of polling stations, broken voting machines, ballot shortages, voter confusion and occasional abuse in a number of battleground states including Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Obama Elected President as Racial Barrier Falls
Barack Hussein Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States on Tuesday, sweeping away the last racial barrier in American politics with ease as the country chose him as its first black chief executive.
The election of Mr. Obama amounted to a national catharsis — a repudiation of a historically unpopular Republican president and his economic and foreign policies, and an embrace of Mr. Obama’s call for a change in the direction and the tone of the country.
But it was just as much a strikingly symbolic moment in the evolution of the nation’s fraught racial history, a breakthrough that would have seemed unthinkable just two years ago.
Mr. Obama, 47, a first-term senator from Illinois, defeated Senator John McCain of Arizona, 72, a former prisoner of war who was making his second bid for the presidency.
To the very end, Mr. McCain’s campaign was eclipsed by an opponent who was nothing short of a phenomenon, drawing huge crowds epitomized by the tens of thousands of people who turned out to hear Mr. Obama’s victory speech in Grant Park in Chicago.
Mr. McCain also fought the headwinds of a relentlessly hostile political environment, weighted down with the baggage left to him by President Bush and an economic collapse that took place in the middle of the general election campaign.
“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer,” said Mr. Obama, standing before a huge wooden lectern with a row of American flags at his back, casting his eyes to a crowd that stretched far into the Chicago night.
“It’s been a long time coming,” the president-elect added, “but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America.”
Mr. McCain delivered his concession speech under clear skies on the lush lawn of the Arizona Biltmore, in Phoenix, where he and his wife had held their wedding reception. The crowd reacted with scattered boos as he offered his congratulations to Mr. Obama and saluted the historical significance of the moment.
“This is a historic election, and I recognize the significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight,” Mr. McCain said, adding, “We both realize that we have come a long way from the injustices that once stained our nation’s reputation.”
Not only did Mr. Obama capture the presidency, but he led his party to sharp gains in Congress. This puts Democrats in control of the House, the Senate and the White House for the first time since 1995, when Bill Clinton was in office.
The day shimmered with history as voters began lining up before dawn, hours before polls opened, to take part in the culmination of a campaign that over the course of two years commanded an extraordinary amount of attention from the American public.
As the returns became known, and Mr. Obama passed milestone after milestone —Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Iowa and New Mexico — people rolled spontaneously into the streets to celebrate what many described, with perhaps overstated if understandable exhilaration, a new era in a country where just 143 years ago, Mr. Obama, as a black man, could have been owned as a slave.
For Republicans, especially the conservatives who have dominated the party for nearly three decades, the night represented a bitter setback and left them contemplating where they now stand in American politics.
Mr. Obama and his expanded Democratic majority on Capitol Hill now face the task of governing the country through a difficult period: the likelihood of a deep and prolonged recession, and two wars. He took note of those circumstances in a speech that was notable for its sobriety and its absence of the triumphalism that he might understandably have displayed on a night when he won an Electoral College landslide.
“The road ahead will be long, our climb will be steep,” said Mr. Obama, his audience hushed and attentive, with some, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, wiping tears from their eyes. “We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there.” The roster of defeated Republicans included some notable party moderates, like Senator John E. Sununu of New Hampshire and Representative Christopher Shays of Connecticut, and signaled that the Republican conference convening early next year in Washington will be not only smaller but more conservative.
Mr. Obama will come into office after an election in which he laid out a number of clear promises: to cut taxes for most Americans, to get the United States out of Iraq in a fast and orderly fashion, and to expand health care.
In a recognition of the difficult transition he faces, given the economic crisis, Mr. Obama is expected to begin filling White House jobs as early as this week.
Mr. Obama defeated Mr. McCain in Ohio, a central battleground in American politics, despite a huge effort that brought Mr. McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, back there repeatedly. Mr. Obama had lost the state decisively to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York in the Democratic primary.
Mr. McCain failed to take from Mr. Obama the two Democratic states that were at the top of his target list: New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Mr. Obama also held on to Minnesota, the state that played host to the convention that nominated Mr. McCain Wisconsin and Michigan, a state Mr. McCain once had in his sights.
The apparent breadth of Mr. Obama’s sweep left Republicans sobered, and his showing in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania stood out because officials in both parties had said that his struggles there in the primary campaign reflected the resistance of blue-collar voters to supporting a black candidate.
“I always thought there was a potential prejudice factor in the state,” Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat of Pennsylvania who was an early Obama supporter, told reporters in Chicago. “I hope this means we washed that away.”
Mr. McCain called Mr. Obama at 10 p.m., Central time, to offer his congratulations. In the call, Mr. Obama said he was eager to sit down and talk in his concession speech, Mr. McCain said he was ready to help Mr. Obama work through difficult times.
“I need your help,” Mr. Obama told his rival, according to an Obama adviser, Robert Gibbs. “You’re a leader on so many important issues.”
Mr. Bush called Mr. Obama shortly after 10 p.m. to congratulate him on his victory.
“I promise to make this a smooth transition,” the president said to Mr. Obama, according to a transcript provided by the White House .“You are about to go on one of the great journeys of life. Congratulations, and go enjoy yourself.”
For most Americans, the news of Mr. Obama’s election came at 11 p.m., Eastern time, when the networks, waiting for the close of polls in California, declared him the victor. A roar sounded from the 125,000 people gathered in Hutchison Field in Grant Park at the moment that they learned Mr. Obama had been projected the winner.
The scene in Phoenix was decidedly more sour. At several points, Mr. McCain, unsmiling, had to motion his crowd to quiet down — he held out both hands, palms down — when they responded to his words of tribute to Mr. Obama with boos.
Mr. Obama, who watched Mr. McCain’s speech from his hotel room in Chicago, offered a hand to voters who had not supported him in this election, when he took the stage 15 minutes later. “To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn,” he said, “I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president, too.”
Initial signs were that Mr. Obama benefited from a huge turnout of voters, but particularly among blacks. That group made up 13 percent of the electorate, according to surveys of people leaving the polls, compared with 11 percent in 2006.
In North Carolina, Republicans said that the huge surge of African-Americans was one of the big factors that led to Senator Elizabeth Dole, a Republican, losing her re-election bid.
Mr. Obama also did strikingly well among Hispanic voters Mr. McCain did worse among those voters than Mr. Bush did in 2004. That suggests the damage the Republican Party has suffered among those voters over four years in which Republicans have been at the forefront on the effort to crack down on illegal immigrants.
The election ended what by any definition was one of the most remarkable contests in American political history, drawing what was by every appearance unparalleled public interest.
Throughout the day, people lined up at the polls for hours — some showing up before dawn — to cast their votes. Aides to both campaigns said that anecdotal evidence suggested record-high voter turnout.
Reflecting the intensity of the two candidates, Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama took a page from what Mr. Bush did in 2004 and continued to campaign after the polls opened.
Mr. McCain left his home in Arizona after voting early Tuesday to fly to Colorado and New Mexico, two states where Mr. Bush won four years ago but where Mr. Obama waged a spirited battle.
These were symbolically appropriate final campaign stops for Mr. McCain, reflecting the imperative he felt of trying to defend Republican states against a challenge from Mr. Obama.
“Get out there and vote,” Mr. McCain said in Grand Junction, Colo. “I need your help. Volunteer, knock on doors, get your neighbors to the polls, drag them there if you need to.”
By contrast, Mr. Obama flew from his home in Chicago to Indiana, a state that in many ways came to epitomize the audacity of his effort this year. Indiana has not voted for a Democrat since President Lyndon B. Johnson’s landslide victory in 1964, and Mr. Obama made an intense bid for support there. He later returned home to Chicago to play basketball, his election-day ritual.
When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, he became the first African American to hold the office. Obama faced major challenges during his two-term tenure in office. His primary policy achievements included health care reform, economic stimulus, banking reform and consumer protections, and a repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy preventing lesbian and gay Americans from serving openly in the military.
Obama’s father, Barack Sr., a Kenyan economist, met his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, when both were students in Hawaii, where Barack was born on August 4, 1961. They later divorced, and Barack’s mother married a man from Indonesia, where he spent his early childhood. Before fifth grade, he returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents and attend a private prep school on scholarship. In his memoir Dreams from My Father (1995), Obama describes the complexities of discovering his identity in adolescence.
After two years at Occidental College in Los Angeles, he transferred to Columbia University, where he studied political science and international relations. Following graduation in 1983, Obama worked in New York City, then became a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, coordinating with churches to improve housing conditions and create job-training programs in a community hit hard by steel mill closures. In 1988, he went to Harvard Law School, where he attracted national attention as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review. Returning to Chicago, he joined a small law firm specializing in civil rights.
In 1992, Obama married Michelle Robinson, a lawyer who had also excelled at Harvard Law. Their daughters, Malia and Sasha, were born in 1998 and 2001. Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, and then to the U.S. Senate in 2004. At the Democratic National Convention that summer, he delivered an acclaimed keynote address. In 2008, after winning the Democratic nomination after a hard-fought primary race with Hillary Clinton, he defeated Arizona Senator John McCain by 365 to 173 electoral votes in the general election.
As an incoming president, Obama faced many challenges including the 2008 financial crisis, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the continuing global war on terrorism. Inaugurated before an estimated crowd of 1.8 million people, Obama proposed unprecedented federal spending to revive the economy and a renewal of America’s stature in the world.
During his first term he signed three signature bills: economic stimulus, health care reform, and legislation reforming the nation’s financial institutions. Obama also pressed for a fair pay act for women and new safeguards for consumer protection. In 2009, Obama became the fourth president to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. However, in the 2010 mid-term elections, the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives, thus affecting Obama’s future domestic policy agenda.
In 2012, he was reelected over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney by 332 to 206 electoral votes. The Middle East remained a key foreign policy challenge. Obama directed the military and intelligence operation that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden, the head of Al-Qaeda and the terrorist responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. However, a new self-proclaimed Islamic State arose during a civil war in Syria and began inciting terrorist attacks. Obama sought to manage a hostile Iran with a treaty that hindered its development of nuclear weapons. The Obama administration also adopted the Paris Climate Agreement signed by 174 states and the European Union in 2015 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming.
In the last year of his second term, Obama spoke at two events that clearly moved him—the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery and the dedication of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. “Our union is not yet perfect, but we are getting closer,” he said in Selma. “And that’s why we celebrate,” he told those attending the museum opening in Washington, “mindful that our work is not yet done.”
Our ruling: False
The John Hanson who served as the first president of the Congress of the Confederation was white. The photograph purporting to be of the first Black president of the U.S. is actually of another John Hanson, who served as a Liberian senator in the mid-1800s. Daguerreotype photography wasn’t invented until the 1830s, making it impossible for a photograph of the first U.S. president to exist. In January 2009, Barack Obama became the first Black president of the United States. We rate this claim as FALSE, based on our research.
The Presidency of Barack Obama: a First Historical Assessment
This content aims to critically review the book “The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment,” by Julian E. Zelizer. He is a CNN political analyst based in the department of History and Public Affairs in Princeton University. Zelizer has authored a variety of books that have significant information on the occurrences and explanations of events in the United States. Zelizer also appears regularly as a news commentator on various platforms such as radio, television, and print. The book that the paper purposes to discuss emphasizes on account of Obama as the first African American president and the years he served with a comparison from criteria of other leading political historians. Further, the primary intention of Zelizer is to call upon some of the distinguished rosters of people that are remarkable in history to evaluate the era of Obama’s presidency.
There was a high expectation when Obama was selected as the president and people considered him to leave the office having made a significant change and progress. Remarkably, he is widely remembered for the enactment of the Obamacare, a bill that was aimed to aid millions of individuals with their medical expenses by acting as medical insurance. The legislative achievement is the primary aspect that Obama can be remembered as having contributed to the country’s history. The book highlights the presidential election of Donald Trump as the president and his effort during the first term of the presidency to irreversibly damage the Obamacare. Moreover, it further extends to question and investigate the gulf that exists between Obama and Trump that needs more explanations from concrete evidence. Besides, it is evident that the book would have a different story had Hilary Clinton won the presidential elections.
With the help from various historians’ contributions, the book purposes to offer clear and valid assessments of the key issues, which shaped the years that Obama was in office. The primary ones include race, healthcare, drugs, violence, economic calamity, Iraq and Afghanistan, gay rights, and the entry of individuals into the country. Additionally, there is focus on education and policies that need to be enacted in the urban settlement areas. Obama is considered to have embraced the Democrats, leading to a paradox in his leadership. Zelizer argues that the former president was a policymaker who was efficient in performing his duties. Still, he was not a successful party builder that would contribute to strengthening the congregation. Instead, he did less that would manage the Democrats to be strong and united. The evidence provided to the claims is the presidential loss of Hillary Clinton who was the party’s candidate. Therefore, Obama had shortcomings that were evident despite his reelection and strong endorsement ratings towards the end of his term. Additionally, the Democrats lost legislative seats estimated to be around one thousand, figures that were high and have never been marked by any other president in the contemporary history of the United States.
Although Obama had numerous shortcomings, in the book, Zelizer occasionally creates excuses for him. In the first chapter, the author mentions that Obama would go out to play golf with John Boehner, who was the Speaker of the House then.