Elections: Barack Obama


"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama



Barack Obama is most famous for being the first African American President of the United States. 

Barack grew up in the state of Hawaii as well as Jakarta, a city in Indonesia. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was from Kansas while his father, Barack Obama, Sr., was born in Kenya, Africa. After his parents were divorced, his mother married a man from Indonesia and the family moved to Indonesia for a time. Later, Barack was raised by his grandparents in Hawaii. When he was a kid he went by the nickname "Barry". 

Barack graduated from Columbia University in New York in 1983. After graduating, he had a few different jobs including working at the Developing Communities Project in Chicago. He soon decided he wanted to become a lawyer and he entered Harvard Law School. Upon graduating in 1991, he began practicing law. 

In 1996 Barack decided to enter the world of politics. He ran for the Illinois State Senate and won. He served on the state senate until 2004 when he was elected to the United States Senate. 

After three years of serving on the U.S Senate, Obama entered the 2008 presidential election. He had gained national recognition for being an excellent speaker and was very popular. His biggest hurdle would be defeating former First Lady and New York Senator Hillary Clinton in the democratic primaries. 

Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the primaries and then took on republican candidate John McCain in the general election. He won the election and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. He was re-elected again in 2012 winning the election over republican Mitt Romney. 

When President Obama took office, he faced very significant challenges. The economy was officially in a recession, and the outgoing administration of George W. Bush had begun to implement a controversial "bail-out" package to try to help struggling financial institutions. In foreign affairs, the United States still had troops deployed in difficult conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

During the first two years of his first term, President Obama was able to work with the Democratic-controlled Congress to improve the economy, pass health-care reform legislation, and withdraw most US troops from Iraq. After the Republicans won control of the House of Representatives in 2010, the president spent significant time and political effort negotiating, for the most part unsuccessfully, with congressional Republicans about taxes, budgets, and the deficit. After winning reelection in 2012, Obama began his second term focused on securing legislation on immigration reform and gun control, neither of which he was able to achieve. When the Republicans won the Senate in 2014, Obama refocused on actions that he could take unilaterally, invoking his executive authority as president. In foreign policy, Obama concentrated during the second term on the Middle East and climate change.


What was historic about the American presidential election of 2008? Which candidate won the poplar vote and which candidate won the Electoral College vote? What were the exact percentages of each of these?

Why was the 2008 presidential election important?

What was the percentage of eligible voter participation? Who won that election? Which election had the lowest percentage of voter participation since 1930? Who won that election?

What are the The 13 Keys to the White House? What are they used for?