Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th president of the United States. He was elected on Nov. 4, 2008, and sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009, becoming the country’s first African-American president.
The son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas, Mr. Obama defeated more experienced candidates with a message of hope and change. The one-term US senator won the Democratic nomination after prevailing in an epic primary battle with then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. He went on to defeat Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona with 52.9 percent of the popular vote to Senator McCain's 45.7 percent, and an electoral college margin of 365 to 173.
During Obama’s first year in office, the poor economy dominated much of his agenda. With Congress’s approval, he used a $789 billion stimulus package to pump money into the economy and oversaw a controversial bailout of the financial system. He has stepped up America’s military presence in Afghanistan, while tapering off military actions in Iraq. Obama also made healthcare reform a priority, but has not succeeded in moving it all the way through Congress.
Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Hawaii. He graduated from Columbia University in New York with a degree in political science, in 1983. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1991. Prior to becoming president, Obama served eight years in the Illinois state Senate and four years as a US senator from Illinois.
In 2009, Obama became the third US president to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
He is married to Michelle Robinson Obama, with whom he has two daughters, Sasha and Malia.
President Obama, in his State of the Union address Wednesday, showed little inclination to downscale his ambitious agenda and, strikingly, devoted a fair bit of his speech to the need to change the partisan tone in Washington.
President Obama's spending freeze proposal, outlined Tuesday, would apply to only about one-sixth of the federal budget. But at least it would be a first step, say some budget experts.
By reordering his message to focus on jobs ahead of this week's State of the Union address, President Obama hopes to regain lost momentum. But he's not giving up on healthcare reform.
President Obama on Monday pitched a slew of measures to help middle-class families pay the bills. Living standards for many middle-class Americans have fallen during the past decade.
President Obama has called on his 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, to help Democrats avoid major losses in the 2010 midterm elections. But it's not a major shift, the White House said Monday.
A tax credit here and an expanded program there are part of Obama's new plan to relieve financial stress on the middle class. Among the beneficiaries, if Congress goes along: families with children in child care, college students, and workers without employer-sponsored retirement programs.
President Obama's senior adviser, David Axelrod, said Sunday that it is impossible to 'govern in an economy like this without great disaffection.'
President Obama Thursday proposed new limits on banks' size as well as their ability to take risks. The move is part of reform measures to avert a repeat of the practices that led to the financial crisis. The stock market fell in response to the news.
The election of Republican Scott Brown is an indication that voters in Massachusetts – and perhaps nationwide – feel President Obama has not yet been able to deliver the change he promised in 2008.
Republican Scott Brown's upset victory in the Massachusetts Senate race results portends huge challenges ahead for President Obama and majority Democrats. National healthcare reform may well stall, and new carbon-emissions rules are now unlikely. What will be the revised agenda?
President Obama on Tuesday proposed extending his Race to the Top education reform program another year. But some teacher's unions and school districts are fighting the reforms.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day a year after the first African-American president took office, Americans appear to have mixed views about the impact of President Obama's election on race relations.
President Obama brought the energy from his 2008 campaign to Boston Sunday in a rally for Democrat Martha Coakley. She's locked in a tight race with Scott Brown to succeed the late Ted Kennedy in the US Senate.
President Obama will come to Massachusetts Sunday to help bolster Martha Coakley, the Democratic nominee for the US Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy. But the move could help challenger Scott Brown.
The bankers should pay, Obama says. But some think the money would come out of shareholders’ pockets, and others say the big banks would pass it along to consumers and businesses.
President Obama is roping in former Presidents George W. Bush and Clinton to help coordinate Haitian earthquake relief efforts. It's a gesture that makes Obama look bipartisan and gives Bush a chance to start shaping his post-presidential legacy.
While Obama remains a ‘rock star’ in many countries, skeptics don’t see much tangible change in US policy.
Less ideological than Bush, Barack Obama pursues a more traditional approach to foreign affairs, marked by a narrower definition of US interests.
Americans are split on whether Barack Obama’s first year as president has been a success, a new national poll finds.
As Obama finishes his first year in office, a new poll from the Pew Research Center shows that blacks' views on their progress have improved more than at any time in the past 25 years.
Black voters were a key part of Obama’s election in 2008. But now some African-American leaders are criticizing him for not doing enough.
As a candidate, Obama said healthcare reform negotiations should be televised on C-SPAN. But now that House and Senate are hashing out their differences, the White House is backing away from that pledge.
Republicans generally approve of Obama’s plan to improve terrorist intelligence after the Christmas Day airliner bombing attempt. But they suggest more should be done, and hearings will give them a chance to say so.
Obama on Thursday took responsibility for the intelligence failures that led to the Christmas Day bombing attempt, saying 'the buck stops with me.' He promised reforms to help 'connect the dots.'
New funding will increase the number of science, technology, engineering, and math teachers. The goal is to improve US students' mediocre ranking in math and science performance.