“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage.”
“That’s the good thing about being President; I can do whatever I want.”
Barack Obama surely comes from the most diverse background of any U.S. President. Barack’s father was from Kenya; his mother from Kansas. Barack was born in Hawaii, but spent much of his childhood in Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority nation in the world. Barack sites his mother, Ann Dunham, as the most influential person in his life. She separated from his father while Barack was still a toddler and later moved the family to Indonesia to follow her new husband, Lolo Soetoro. There, she wrote a dissertation on the role of handicrafts in a village’s economy. She worked to help poor people and women start businesses.
Barack attended a private preparatory school in Hawaii. Later he went to Occidental College in Las Angeles, followed by Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He became hugely popular after he was elected as editor of the Harvard Law Review. His gift for public speech and writing helped propel him into politics, first as an Illinois Senator; later as President. The economy was in a shambles during the 2008 election. Obama promised change and he seemed very different than a typical President. Many people clambered to his message and he defeated Republican candidate, John McCain. In 2012, he defeated Mitt Romney and earned a second term.
- Barack Obama was born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is one of our youngest Presidents and the first African-American President.
- Obama met Michelle at the law firm where he worked. They were married in 1992 and have two daughters.
- During Obama’s first term, he focused on steering the country out of a severe depression. He approved a deal to bail out the auto industry and made changes to rules regarding loans for homes.
- He signed the Affordable Care Act into law, which was designed to provide affordable health care to all Americans. Many people felt that it overstepped the government’s role and would increase the federal deficit.
- In 2015, the Supreme Court voted to make gay marriage legal throughout the country.
- Obama faced serious problems internationally, particularly in the Middle East. He was criticized for his handling of increased terrorist risk.
- Obama worked to bring about strict environmental protection laws.
Questions and Answers
Question: What will people remember about Barack Obama’s presidency?
Answer: Americans have probably never been more divided in their thinking, except perhaps during the Vietnam War. Liberals favored Obama’s handling of social issues like gun control, gay marriage, abortion, health care, and the environment. Conservatives disagreed with his policies on these subjects and also worried that he didn’t take a strong enough stand against terrorism. Conservatives believed that he took too much Presidential power and showed too little regard for the Constitution. The federal deficit soared during his time in office.
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