Barack Obama His Life and The Challenges He Will Face

Aaron R.


Barack Obama has inspired me and millions of Americans, and even people from all around the world. He made it possible for ordinary citizens to volunteer, contribute and participate in our government. He reshaped the way elections are run and the way we contribute to them. President Obama has also opened the door for minorities and now has accomplished things people thought were impossible. Now elected, he will have to fix America and it’s image, as well as prevent a wider and bigger global recession.

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How President's Obama's Life Experiences Influence his Presidency and Political Views

Barack Hussein Obama was born on August 4th 1961 in Hawaii. His father was Barack Obama, Sr., he was from Kenya. His mother Ann Dunham was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. President Obama’s parents separated when he was two years old. His father went to Harvard to pursue his PhD. His father then moved back to Kenya. President Obama attended the Punahou Academy and graduated with academic honors. This is where he became conscious of what it meant to be African American.

After high school he studied at Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York. He graduated from Columbia in 1983 with a degree in political science. After working at Business International Corporation (a company that provided international business information to corporate clients) and NYPIRG, he moved to Chicago in 1985. Business International Corporation was his first experience with learning and seeing how big businesses are run. Now with many large companies failing it is is extremely important that he had the opportunity to learn first hand how these giants were directed. Later, he worked as a community organizer for low income families, and he tried to help the city in as many ways as possible. This is where we first saw his huge dedication to his country. He could have been pursuing different jobs that would help further his career or earn him more money; but instead he decided to help people that were less fortunate than himself.
President Obama attended Harvard Law School in 1988. In February 1990 he was elected the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review. This shows his great leadership and ability to be a great supervisor. In 1995, President Obama wrote an autobiography: Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. He wrote this when he was not a well-known person and all of his hard work and writing was probably not going to pay off at the time. But President Obama felt that he had a story to tell and pursued his ambitions no matter the outcome. President Obama followed his goals and that gave him great success in the elections and will give him great success in the White House.

President Obama’s advocacy work led him to run for Illinois State Senate in 1996. In this position President Obama learned about many of the crucial issues that are currently facing our country. He worked with both Democrats and Republicans on writing legislation for expanded health care, ethics, and early childhood education for the poor. He also worked for a very long time on taxes and felt it was important that low income working families receive a tax credit.
In 2000 President Obama ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic Primary for the U.S. House of Representatives. After his defeat President Obama realized some of the fundamentals for running for any high office. He realized, you need a broad base of support, willingness to listen to different ideas and opinions and lastly the ability to raise large sums of money. He learned that money and resources are critical components to winning an election, but they are not the only components. President Obama needed to reach out to America.
After 9/11 in a time of chaos, shock and confusion, President Obama took leadership and gave a speech against fighting a war in Iraq. Many Republicans and even Democrats were supporting the war, and President Obama spoke about what he believed was right, even though it was not a popular position. This decision was not going to help him politically back in 2002 but he stood up for what he thought was right. Here is an excerpt from his speech at the Federal Plaza in Chicago:

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President Obama's Speech Against Going to War in Iraq.

“I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.
What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.
That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.”
In February 2007 President Obama made the headlines when he decided to make a run for President. He revolutionized campaigns and the way the citizens contribute. Hundreds of thousands of people volunteered, millions of citizens donated, and in return milestones were broken. He gave people hope that a new era of politics and government would come, and it did. He received no money from PAC’s and other federal funds; more than 99.9% of his donations were from ordinary citizens. President Obama, unlike any other candidate before him, utilized small donations and the internet to motivate millions and win the Presidency.



1. Donations Categorized by Gender and Size
In Barack Obama’s campaign he broke milestones with the amount of small sized donations. This chart shows how much money was donated in each money size category, how many people donated that money and the gender of the donors. As shown, the majority of people that donated were in the $200-$499 category or below.

2. State Donations for the Presidential Campaign of President Obama
This is a bar graph showing the top donor states and how much money they donated. The chart shows that the biggest democratic states donated the most money (California and New York).


3. Fundraising Sources
This chart shows the sources of donations that President Obama received in his campaign. This shows that his campaign was driven by the people as almost all of his donations were from individual citizen donations. He took miniscule amounts from PAC’s (Political Action Commitees) and used no money from the government.

Now as the President of The United States, President Obama faces many daunting challenges that were left behind by President Bush for him. He will not able to fix our economy, health care, the environment and many other pressing issues immediately, but he will implement everything he has learned from being a young boy in Hawaii, to his campaigns. The people of America had hope in a new America after eight terrible years and President Obama and his team of advisors have what The United States of America desperately needs.

Works Cited
BBC. BBC. 5 Feb. 2009. 6 Feb. 2009 <>. News source that gives a broader world perspective
“Issues.”‌. 21 Jan. 2008. Obama For America. 22 Jan. 2009 <‌issues/>. Shows what he is going to do on the economy
New York Times. New York Times News of Barack Obama. 23 Jan. 2009. 23 Jan. 2009 <‌topics/‌reference/‌timestopics/‌people/‌o/‌barack_obama/‌index.html>. shows current news and what has happened currently and tracks his progress day by day
Open Secrets. “Barack Obama.” Open Secrets. 6 Feb. 2009 <‌pres08/‌summary.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638>. Good website on donations for candidates, and where and how they receive their money
Pic search. “brack Obama.” Pic Search. 19 Jan. 2009. 23 Jan. 2009 <‌pictures/‌celebrities/‌presidential%20candidates/‌barack%20obama.html>. A good site where I can find all the pictures on one site for barack obama, and it is updated a lot
United States of America. White House. 19 Jan. 2009. 23 Jan. 2009 <>. A good website, the official presidency website of barack obama, contains the agenda and other great info