Sunday, April 8, 2007

Barack Obama

The American voters will not nominate a candidate for president of either party for several months. However, we already see more people running at this early date than we have ever seen before. It's easy for most of us to see that many of them doesn't have a snowball chance in hell to get the nomination. Sen. Barack Obama is one of them. However, I can see a good chance that the Democratic nominee, John Edwards might pick Obama as his running mate. Both Edwards and Obama together, they will beat the Republicans in a landslide. Read some background on the African American senator from Illinois.

On January 16, 2007, Barack Obama took his first step toward a run for the White House opening an presidential exploratory committee.

Barack Obama is an US Senator from Illinois. He is (2007) the fifth African American Senator in United States history.

In his Washington speech January 25, 2007, he said: "In the 2008 campaign, affordable, universal health care for every single American must not be a question of whether, it must be a question of how. We have the ideas, we have the resources, and we will have universal health care in this country by the end of the next president's first term."

Barack Obama was born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. His parents - Barack Hussein Obama Sr. from Kenya, and Ann Dunham of Wichita, Kansas - met while both were attending the East-West Center of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In his memoir 'Dreams from My Father' (1995), he describes a nearly race-blind early childhood. A sentence from his memoir: 'That my father looked nothing like the people around me, that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk, barely registered in my mind'.

In 1963 when Barack Obama was 2 years old, his parents divorced. His mother married an Indonesian student, and when Obama was 6 years old they moved to Jakarta. 4 years later (in 1971) , Obama returned to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents. He was enrolled in the fifth grade at Punahou School where he graduated from high school in 1979 - 18 years old.

In his memoir 'Dreams from My Father' - named above, Obama writes about smoking marijuana and trying cocaine during his teenage years. Inviting journalists to contrast his earlier admission with Bill Clinton's 'didn't inhale' remarks made during the 1992 presidential campaign, he recently stated: 'I inhaled that was the point'.' Obama added: 'It was reflective of the struggles and confusion of a teenage boy; teenage boys are frequently confused'.

After the high school years, Barack Obama studied for 2 years at Occidental College, before transferring to Columbia College - an undergraduate division of Columbia University. There he majored in political science, with a specialization in international relations. Upon graduation in 1983, Obama worked for 1 year at Business International Corporation before he moved to Chicago to a job with a non-profit organization local churches organize job training programs for residents of poor neighborhoods.

After having finished this job Obama then left Chicago for 3 years to study at Harvard Law School. During his stay here he was elected president of the Harvard Law Review. In 1991 - he obtained his Juris Doctor degree, magna cum laude. On returning to Chicago, Obama supported a voter registration drive, then worked for the civil rights law firm Miner, Barnhill and Galland. From 1993 and until his federal election he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School.

Barack Obama was - in 1996 - elected to the Illinois State Senate representing the 13th District in the south side neighborhood of Hyde Park in Chicago. In January 2003, Democrats regained control of the chamber, and Senator Obama was named chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Obama helped to author an Earned Income Tax Credit for the state that provided benefits to the working poor. He also worked for legislation that would cover residents who could not afford health insurance, and helped pass bills to increase funding for AIDS prevention and care programs.

Obama made - in 2001 - an luckless Democratic primary run for the US House of Representatives. This seat was held by Bobby Rush - 4-term incumbent candidate and a former Black Panther and community activist. He charged that Barack Obama hadn't 'been around the first congressional district long enough to really see what's going on'. Rush got 61 percent of the vote, while Obama got 30 percent.

After the loss, Obama rededicated his efforts to the Illinois state Senate. In his campaign 2002, he ran unopposed. Obama authored a law requiring police to videotape interrogations for crimes punishable by the death penalty. He also pushed through legislation that would force insurance companies to cover routine mammograms.

At the Democratic National Convention 2004 Barack Obama delivered the keynote address. At this time he was still serving in the Illinois State Senate.

The same year - in November - Barack Obama was elected to the US Senate as a Democrat by a landslide in a presidential election year marked by Republican gains.

Reviewing Barack Obama's career in the Illinois State Senate, commentators noted his ability to work effectively with both Democrats and Republicans, and to build coalitions. In his subsequent campaign for the U.S. Senate, Obama won the endorsement of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police, whose officials cited his 'longtime support of gun control measures and his willingness to negotiate compromises', this despite his support for some bills that the police union had opposed.

Recent opinion polls identify Obama as the third most popular choice among Democratic voters for their party's nomination in the 2008 US presidential election, after the Senator of New York Hillary Rodham Clinton, and John Edwards of North Carolina.