The people of the United States made history when they elected Barack H. Obama as their 44th President.
Distinctively opposite from typical politicians who came from elite families, Obama rose to power through perseverance and determination. Experiencing the burden of life as an ordinary American inspired his lifelong work for the marginalized and the oppresed.
Early Life of Barack Obama
Obama was born on August 4, 1961 in Hawaii. His father was from Kenya, while his mother was from Kansas. His grandparents— a grandfather who served in the army and a grandmother who became a bank manager—also helped in raising Obama
Obama finished his undergraduate degree through various financial assistances such as loans and scholarships. After college, Obama decided to move to Chicago. It was also in this period that Obama gradually involved himself in social issues. Together with an organization of church workers, he volunteered and took part in efforts to rebuild communities economically damaged by the closure of local steel plants.
Barack Obama’s Beginnings in Public Service
He proceeded to law school and became the first American— American president of the Harvard Law Review. After becoming a full pledged lawyer, he assisted in voters’ registration drives and becaime a professor of Constituonal Law at the highly regarded University of Chicago. Despite various commitments in research and academe, Obama still allocated time for community work.
Obama in Power
It is not surprising that Barack Obama soon became a notable figure in local and national politics. As a legislator, he passed different bills that benefit the poor and marginalized. One of which was the 2009 Economic Stimulus Bill that reduced federal taxes of working families up to $600. Obama was also a known forefront of the universal healthcare program. In 2009, he introduced the Health Care for America Plan. Keypoints of the bill included provision of more affordable and accessible medical insurance to every American citizen, expansion of insured services to cover mental, maternal, and child health, as well as provision of drug coverage.
Aside from providing social services to the Americans, he was also successful in peacekeeping. His lobbying efforts halted the production of mass destruction weapons. Believing that public office is of public trust, he campaigned for government transparency through posting national budget and expenditure online.
Indeed, Barack Obama’s years in politics is firmly rooted in establishing points of unity among seemingly disparate groups and sectors among the country to put forward a singular goal— the betterment of the American people.
Obama and His Legacy
On November 4, 2008, he was elected the 44th President of the United States of America. Two months after, he then took his oath in front of the American people. Setting aside contentions on the nature of his bills and plans of action, Obama sealed his name in history by becoming the first African— American president of the US and most importantly, a concrete symbol that the country has learned to look beyond racial differences.
He is also a husband to Michelle and a father to two daughters, namely Maila and Sasha who are 14 and 11 years old respectively: