Barack Hussein Obama II [ bəɹɑːk hʊseɪn oʊbɑːmə ] (* 4. August 1961 in Honolulu , Hawaii ) is an American politician of the Democratic Party . He was the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017 .
Obama is a US constitutional law attorney . In 1992 he joined the Democratic Party , for which he became a member of the Illinois Senate in 1997 . From 2005 to 2008 he was a junior senator for this US state in the United States Senate . In the presidential election of 2008, he won the nomination of his party and then sat down to Republican John McCain by. When he moved into the White House in January 2009, an African American was the first to hold the office of President. In the 2012 election , Obama prevailed over his Republican challenger Mitt Romney and was thus confirmed for a second term. Joe Biden was Vice President during his two terms . After the 2016 presidential election , he was replaced by Republican Donald Trump .
On December 10, 2009, Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in a controversial decision .
Family, childhood and youth
Obama's father, Barack Hussein Obama Senior (1936-1982), came from Nyang'oma Kogelo in Kenya and belonged to the Luo ethnic group . Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham (1942–1995), was from Wichita , Kansas (USA) and had Irish, British, German and Swiss ancestors. Obama's parents met while studying at the University of Hawaii at Manoa . They married in Hawaii in 1961, when black-white marriages were banned in other parts of the United States. In 1964 they got divorced. The father continued his studies at Harvard University . Obama last saw him when he was ten.
Obama Senior died in Nairobi in November 1982 as a result of a traffic accident. Barack Obama has three older and three younger half-brothers on his father's side, as well as his half-sister Auma , who studied in Germany. His half-brother Malik lives in Kenya and ran unsuccessfully for governor of Siaya County in 2013 .
The mother did a PhD in anthropology and specialized in development issues, especially in the area of small loans. She married the Indonesian and later oil manager Lolo Soetoro and moved with him and her son Barack to Jakarta in Indonesia in 1967 , where Obama's younger half-sister Maya was born. Obama attended the Capuchin- run St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School there from 1967 to 1970 and a state, multi-religious school in 1970/71. During his school days in Indonesia, Obama wrote two essays entitled 'I want to become president'. Obama's nickname in Bahasa Indonesia was Barry Soetoro, which began with the Berg v. Obama was repeatedly used abusively and legally unsuccessfully as a clue in 2008 to cast doubt on Obama's identity and to prevent his nomination as a presidential candidate. In 1971 he returned to Hawaii, where he was raised by his maternal grandparents, Madelyn (1922-2008) and Stanley Dunham (1918-1992). They enrolled him in the fifth grade of the private Punahou School , which he graduated with honors in 1979. There he also played basketball , first in the junior team and in 1972 in the first school team. At that time he could imagine becoming a professional basketball player.
His future wife Michelle Robinson met Obama, then a student at Harvard Law School , in 1989 during a summer internship at the Sidley Austin law firm in Chicago. Robinson, who worked as an attorney in the firm, was his supervisor. The couple married in 1992 and have two daughters: Malia Ann (* 1998) and Natasha ("Sasha", * 2001). Michelle Obama served in the Chicago Public Administration until late 2008.
Study and job
From 1979, Obama studied for two years at his own family expense at Occidental College in Eagle Rock in Los Angeles and for another two years at Columbia University in New York City , which is one of the colleges of the Ivy League . After completing his bachelor's degree in political science in 1983 (with a focus on international relations ), he worked for a year for the business consultancy Business International Corporation in New York.
In 1985 Obama moved to Chicago , where he worked for a nonprofit that helped parishes train people in poor neighborhoods. He then studied law at Harvard Law School for three years . As the first African American he was elected editor of the journal Harvard Law Review , whereby he received a publishing contract and an advance payment for a book, which he used for the autobiography Dreams from My Father , on which he wrote until 1995. In 1991 he obtained his JD degree with an overall rating of magna cum laude .
In 1992 Obama returned to Chicago and became politically active for the first time: with a campaign for the voter registration of Afro-American citizens of Chicago, he mobilized more than 150,000 African-American voters for the election of Bill Clinton as US President. From 1993 he worked for the civil rights law firm Miner, Barnhill and Galland . Until 2004 he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago .
MP in Illinois
In 1996, Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate to represent the 13th district, which includes southern parts of Chicago around the Hyde Park neighborhood . There he took over the chairmanship of the Committee on Public Health and Welfare. He co-authored a legislative initiative providing aid for poor working-class families and worked on a proposal to support people without health insurance. He also helped organizations that campaign for gays and lesbians and pushed through an increase in funds for AIDS prevention and treatment.
Obama was re-elected against Republican Yesse Yehudah in 1998 and unopposed in 2002. In response to his legislative initiative, Illinois police are required to videotape interrogations on charges that are punishable by the death penalty. Health insurance companies must cover the cost of regular preventive mammograms . Gun controls were also tightened. For this and other projects, Obama was able to form coalitions with political opponents.
In 2000, Obama was defeated in the Democratic Party primaries in the First Congressional District for the House of Representatives against long-time mandate holder Bobby L. Rush . At the time, two of his rivals claimed he was insufficiently rooted in Chicago's black community.
In 2004, Obama, as the Democratic candidate for the US Senate, won a surprising 52 percent of the vote in their March primaries and has since been considered the new star of his party. Media advisor David Axelrod had put him in the election campaign in the tradition of Chicago's first Afro-American Mayor Harold Washington and Senator Paul M. Simon .
The main election campaign was marked by scandals surrounding the Republican rival candidates : The first, Jack Ryan, resigned on June 25, 2004, the second, Alan Keyes , only rented a residence in Illinois from August 2004 and led a polarizing election campaign. Because of his secure lead in voter polls, Obama supported other Democratic candidates like Melissa Bean financially and with appearances.
On July 27, 2004, Obama delivered a keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston , which made John Kerry a US presidential candidate . In it he described his family history, which had founded his belief in the American dream , and finally pleaded for national unity:
“There is no such thing as a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America. There is no black America and a white America and a Latino America and an Asian America - there is the United States of America. Critics would like to split our country into red and blue states: red states for Republicans and blue states for Democrats. But I have news for them too. We pray to an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We train the Little League in the blue states and yes we have some gay friends in the red states. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported it. We are one people, we all swear allegiance to the Stars and Stripes , we all defend the United States of America. "
The speech made Obama known nationwide and earned him a lot of sympathy. From then on he was considered the most successful political climber of the Democrats and a possible future candidate for the presidency. He won the Senate election with 70 to 27 percent, the best result of a new candidate for the senatorial office and the highest victory in a national election in Illinois.
Governance and initiatives
From January 4, 2005, Obama represented the state of Illinois in the Senate alongside the senior Dick Durbin . He initiated 152 bills and Senate resolutions in 2005 and 2006, and supported a further 427. His first legislative initiative in March 2005 was intended to raise the maximum amount of Pell Grants to help college students pay their tuition, but never got to the Senate's vote. In the same month - relatively early - he announced the establishment of his own Political Action Committee .
In April 2005, Obama introduced a bill that would relieve gas stations that would install ethanol pumps nationwide by up to 50 percent in taxes. Tax losses should be compensated for with penalties paid to car manufacturers for exceeding statutory fuel consumption limits. This should reduce the climate impact from greenhouse gases and US dependency on oil imports.
In August 2005, Obama and Richard Lugar, on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Relations, visited facilities in Eastern Europe that are used to control weapons of mass destruction , such as the destruction of nuclear warheads in Saratov and the prevention and control of infectious diseases in Ukraine . They were there when a contract was signed to expose bioterrorism and reduce the risk of combat in the event of an outbreak of infectious diseases.
In January 2006, Obama visited the US troops in Kuwait and Iraq with a congressional delegation and publicly stated that the conflict there could not be resolved militarily. In Israel he met Foreign Minister Silwan Shalom , in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories Mahmud Abbas . He underlined that as long as Hamas was striving to destroy Israel, the US would not accept its participation in the Palestinian government. He co-initiated the "Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006", which calls on governments to avoid and cease contact and financial aid for Hamas until it recognizes Israel's right to exist, renounces violence, disarms and prior agreements including the " Roadmap " accept.
In August 2006, Obama and his family toured several countries in sub-Saharan Africa . In Kenya, he visited his father's birthplace and criticized corruption and ethnic rivalries in a speech broadcast nationwide . To convince more Kenyans to have an HIV test , the Obama couple had themselves tested for HIV publicly in a Kenyan clinic.
In July 2008, Obama, a likely presidential candidate for the Democrats, and two other senators first visited the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, then held talks with politicians in Israel and the Palestinian territories and traveled to Western Europe. In Berlin , after meeting Angela Merkel , Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Klaus Wowereit on July 24th, he gave the central speech of the visit to Europe in front of an audience of around 200,000 people.
On November 16, 2008, twelve days after winning the presidential election, Obama resigned as a Senator from Illinois. The then suspected corruption Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich , appointed Roland Burris as his successor. Blagojevich was convicted of corruption in 2011 after he was removed from office by the State Senate in January 2009 .
On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his presidential candidacy in front of an audience of 18,000 in Springfield, Illinois , where the future President Abraham Lincoln had called for the abolition of slavery 149 years earlier . He promised an end to the Iraq war as soon as possible, affordable health insurance for all US citizens and an energy turnaround. After three months, earlier than any other presidential candidate, he received personal protection from the Secret Service .
Over the course of the election campaign, Obama's campaign achieved numerous donation records, especially for small donations. In the first year of the primaries, Obama surpassed Democratic rival Hillary Clinton with $ 101,524,154 in donations . After the primary victories in Iowa and South Carolina , he received the record sum of 32 million US dollars in January 2008 alone. On June 19, 2008, Obama was the first promising presidential candidate to forego public campaign funding and continued to rely on donations. According to research by the Campaign Finance Institute , 34% of his total donation came from donations less than $ 200, 23% came from donations between $ 201 and $ 999, and 43% came from donations of $ 1,000 or more.
The top 20 donors who supported Obama also included four of New York's five major investment banks : Goldman Sachs in first place with a total of $ 994,795 in 2007 and 2008, JPMorgan Chase in third place with $ 373,500 , and Lehman Brothers with 330,800 Dollar (7th place) and Morgan Stanley with $ 274,200, plus the big banks Citigroup and UBS came in fourth and fifth with donations of 371,000 and 370,850 dollars, respectively. These sums were mostly raised in the context of employee rally and their families and then transferred on behalf of the company.
The American government agency for regulating campaign finance, the Federal Election Commission , fined Obama's 2008 election campaign in December 2012 $ 375,000. The reason was the late notification of donations amounting to nearly $ 2 million.
In the Democratic Party's primary election campaign, after the first primary elections from March 2008, only Obama and Hillary Clinton remained, who fought a tough battle until June 7, 2008.
Obama's previous contact with entrepreneur Tony Rezko was criticized, after a two-year trial he was convicted of various corruption offenses in Chicago in June 2008. He was a fundraiser for Obama and other Illinois politicians and is said to have enabled him to buy a house at a discount. There was no evidence of illegal activity.
Obama won the primaries in 29 of the 50 states. In Texas , where two votes were held, he won the caucuses after losing the primary . He also won the District of Columbia , the Guam Territories and the US Virgin Islands and the overseas Democrats. Still, Hillary Clinton went head-to-head with him because she did better in most populous states. On June 3, 2008, Obama obtained the necessary majority of delegates for a nomination as his party's presidential candidate. On June 7th, Hillary Clinton publicly congratulated him on his victory and ended her campaign.
On August 23, 2008, Obama announced his election of Joe Biden , the senior federal senator from Delaware , as a vice-presidential candidate. On August 27, the delegates of the nominated Democratic National Convention in Denver Obama by acclamation presidential candidate of their party. The following day he accepted the nomination with a speech in front of 80,000 audience at the party congress and in front of 37.5 million television viewers.
According to an international survey carried out by the BBC in 22 countries in September 2008, Obama led in all 22 countries against his Republican rival John McCain with an average of 49 to 12 percent: the popularity of Obama ranged from 9 percent in India and 58 percent in Germany to 82 percent in Kenya.
In some national polls, after Sarah Palin's nomination as McCain's runner-up (August 28, 2008), McCain was temporarily tied or slightly ahead. As of September 19, voter polls continuously predicted a head start for Obama. Attempts by the Republican election campaign to cast doubt on Obama's character were criticized. Sarah Palin alleged on October 3, 2008 that he was dealing with terrorists. He was referring to the Weathermen co- founder Bill Ayers , who later served as an education professor on the board of directors of a charity, like Obama and other Republican politicians. Obama had repeatedly distanced himself from his actions and views.
On National Election Day, November 4, 2008, Obama and Joe Biden won a majority of 365 electoral college electors and 53 percent of the total vote against 173 electorates and 46 percent for John McCain and Sarah Palin. At the same time, the Democrats increased their majority in the US Senate by at least seven to 58 seats compared to 41 seats for the Republicans, in the US House of Representatives by 21 seats to 257 compared to 178 seats.
In addition to all states that had voted for the Democrat John Kerry in the previous presidential election in 2004, Obama also won some states that had voted for the re-election of the Republican George W. Bush in 2004 . These included Virginia , North Carolina, and Indiana . Republican candidates had been elected there for decades. He also won in the important swing states of New Mexico , Ohio , Florida , Iowa , Nevada and Colorado, as well as in an electoral district of Nebraska .
At the meeting of 538 electors on December 15, 2008, Obama received 365 votes and John McCain 173 votes. Obama was elected 44th US President . The 111th Congress officially established the election result at its first meeting on January 8, 2009.
In the main election campaign, the financial crisis had become the most important issue. Obama's election victory, which was foreseeable after the polls, was mainly attributed to the fact that most voters were more likely to trust him to find a solution. In addition, there was a high proportion of votes among strong minorities and first-time voters.
Role of the internet
Obama's campaign has been described as the first internet campaign to transform traditional campaigns. Under the main motto change ("change"), his campaign team also used new media. It generated most of its donation income from the Internet, such as Facebook . In a Web 2.0- like area of the website, the team made it possible for Obama's supporters to comment, ask questions, meet and form groups.
YouTube videos viewed millions of times also influenced the election campaign, including a video by Philip de Vellis, a former employee of Obama's website, that portrayed Hillary Clinton as Big Brother , and a music video by singer Amber Lee Ettinger , which made her known as the "Obama girl", and the music video Yes We Can by the Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am , which turned an Obama campaign speech into a collage.
Role of African American identity
Obama often invoked his ethnically and culturally diverse origins and African-American identity in the election campaign in order to enable different groups to identify with him. As early as 1995, in his autobiography Dreams from My Father, he referred to diverse ancestors. In 2004 he explained his East African first name Barack to a Jewish community with the Hebrew word Baruch ("blessed").
Media commentators had already called Obama's image "Jedermann-Bild" in 2004, presented his expected presidential candidacy in 2006 as a cultural Rorschach test and in 2007 as a self-examination of US identity. Obama personifies the “as well as” in contrast to the “either / or” so that he can bring the nation beyond the cultural struggles of the 1960s.
His background, upbringing abroad, and training at elite universities set Obama apart from previous African American presidential candidates like Jesse Jackson , who came from the civil rights movement . When asked if he was “black enough” for black voters, Obama replied at a meeting of the National Association of Black Journalists in August 2007 : The question was wrong and only reveals “that we are still in the mood for that, if one is approachable for whites, something cannot be right with one. "
Alluding to the inaugural address given by President John F. Kennedy , Obama emphasized in October 2007: "I would not be here if the torch had not been given to a new generation over and over again." His candidacy was seen in the election campaign as the fulfillment of goals black civil rights activist: “ Rosa sat so Martin could walk; Martin walked so Obama could run; Obama is running so our children can fly. ”
In Martin Luther King's home church on January 20, 2008, Obama appealed to the nation's unity for justice to address the essential lack of empathy . He criticized the ongoing racism against blacks - for example using the example of an incident at a small town school in Jena (Louisiana) in September 2006 - as well as discrimination against homosexuals, anti-Semitism and reservations against immigrants, including among blacks. King showed whites and blacks through his life example that forgiveness and responsibility for one another are possible.
Opponents and conservative media such as the broadcaster Fox News tried to portray him as a secret Muslim with reference to his middle name "Hussein" . They have been spreading the rumor since 2007 that he attended a strictly Muslim school ( madrasa ) as a child in Indonesia . The school’s vice director said in a CNN interview : “We are a public school, we do not focus on religion.” In February 2008, a photo on the Internet showed Obama with a turban , which he had worn as a guest on his visit to Kenya. Obama's campaign team and non-party media then published counter-statements. His opponent John McCain also rejected the claim that Obama was a Muslim at an election rally.
On March 13, 2008, the ABC TV station published passages from a sermon given by Pastor Jeremiah Wright , who married Michelle and Barack Obama and baptized their children. Referring to prophetic scriptures and the situation for African Americans in US prisons, he said: No, no, no, not God bless America! God damn America ... . Many media only distributed this sermon excerpt and judged it to be racist and anti-American.
On March 18, 2008, Obama took a position on this and the problem of racism in the USA. He spoke of the “never resolved race question”, which had its origins in slavery , “the original sin of the nation” and shaped the generation of civil rights activists, but which should not obscure the actual progress and common problems of blacks and whites. The speech sparked a debate. When Wright repeated statements similar to those in his sermons in a television interview and in front of the NAACP and the National Press Club , Obama distanced himself personally and politically from him in late April 2008. After a guest preacher in his home congregation, Obama's rival Hillary Clinton, had claimed ownership of the presidency typical of whites, the Obama couple resigned from the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago on May 31, 2008 .
Obama's primary victories were already interpreted as a “blow against the victim identity” by African Americans and a sign of the advanced overcoming of racism in the USA.
Role of religion
Obama said he did not grow up in a “religious household,” but became a Christian because of his experiences with African-American church life in Chicago. As a child he attended Sunday school at the Unitarian Church in Honolulu . He joined the United Church of Christ in 1985 , which advocates social justice for African American people in the spirit of Black Theology . On June 28, 2006, in a keynote address on the relationship between religion and politics, he criticized the fact that conservative Christians from the Bible Belt often labeled liberal opponents as immoral and godless at the same time, and vice versa, rejected religion in the public space as inevitably irrational, intolerant or even fanatical . Instead, the possible reconciliation of faith and modern pluralistic democracy should be seriously discussed, since far more US citizens believe in angels than in evolution . This is the expression of a deep need for meaning and redemption. He himself discovered a source of hope in the black church for the struggle for social change , freedom and human rights .
Obama advocates extensive legal equality for lesbians and gays . To intercede at his inauguration , however, he chose the popular evangelical preacher Rick Warren , who opposes same-sex marriage . To criticism from the lesbian and gay movement, he replied: Despite political differences, what we have in common should be underlined. He founded a prayer group with five pastors of different denominations who do not belong to the religious right of the USA and from whom he accepts personal advice and help.
January 20, 2009: Inauguration
The opening prayer of the ceremony on January 20, 2009 was given by Gene Robinson , and the closing prayer by civil rights activist Joseph Lowery . At 12:05 p.m. local time , Chief Justice John Roberts Obama took the oath of office on the so-called Lincoln Bible . Obama was the first president to vote as a senator against the nomination of the person swearing in as chief justice. As both exchanged and left out some words, they repeated the oath a day later in the White House to dispel constitutional doubts.
On the same day, Obama suspended all regulations of his predecessor George W. Bush that had not yet come into force. On January 21, he suspended all ongoing military trials against inmates in the Guantanamo Bay prison camp for 120 days for legal review and issued a memorandum to launch the Open Government Initiative , which will achieve "an unprecedented level of openness in government." should be. On January 23, he banned the use of torture by the CIA and ordered the closure of all secret prisons and the liquidation of the Guantanamo Bay camp within one year. In doing so, he fulfilled the campaign promise to repeal the Military Commissions Act and restore basic rights such as the right to a judicial review . However, the Guantanamo Bay prison camp was neither closed nor released during the period in office. Among other things, the United States Congress refused to take prisoners back to the United States or to provide funds for their transfer abroad.
In the days that followed, he imposed an income ceiling for members of the government and published government decisions that the Bush administration had kept secret. He approved grants for international organizations that are not strictly against abortion , and passed an executive order that allows California and other states to introduce stricter emissions regulations. On January 30, 2009, he signed a law that would allow ethnic minorities and women to more easily tackle unequal pay.
In the election campaign, Obama campaigned to put an end to the US going it alone, as he had done under his predecessor, and to gain new confidence in the international community. He wanted to renew the diplomatic and moral leadership role of the USA in the world "through their deed and as an example". He rejected isolationism and imperialism: "We can neither withdraw from the world nor try to harass it into submission."
Obama gave the first interview after taking office to the Arab broadcaster al-Arabiya . For the Iranian Nouruz (New Year festival), he offered Iran a new partnership on March 19, 2009. During his trip to Europe in April 2009, he campaigned for Turkey to be fully integrated into the European Union in order to improve the relationship between the Western and Muslim world.
On June 4, 2009, Obama gave a speech to the Islamic world in the Dome Hall of Cairo University . In it he campaigned for a new beginning in relation to Islam and more democracy in the Arab region. He called on Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank and on the Palestinians to recognize Israel's existence. The only future for both lies in the two-state solution.
From February 2013 until his change of office in January 2017, John Kerry served as Secretary of State .
In his speech on July 24, 2008 in Berlin, Obama emphasized the goal of a world without nuclear weapons . On April 5, 2009, in front of Prague Castle , he announced the worldwide abolition of all nuclear weapons as a long-term goal of his policy. A year later, he signed a new START agreement with Russian President Medvedev in Prague , which aims to reduce the number of nuclear warheads in both countries to 1,550 each. This was seen as the greatest success of Obama's foreign policy to date and an important confidence-building step by former opponents in the Cold War .
After North Korea released two US journalists in August 2009 and offered bilateral talks with the US about its nuclear weapons program, Obama agreed on September 12, 2009. On September 17, he declared that he would not be planning to deploy anti-missile missiles in Poland and announced a "stronger, smarter and faster" and more cost-effective defense system against Iranian medium-range missiles. This removed a major obstacle to the nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia.
On September 24, 2009, Obama chaired a meeting of the UN Security Council for the first time and introduced UN resolution 1887 . In it, a joint approach by all 15 member states against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and for further nuclear disarmament was agreed. It was planned to secure all nuclear materials within four years. All nuclear powers are to enter into negotiations on a general disarmament treaty. Obama justified his goal - to create a world without nuclear weapons - with international law : "A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be waged." The resolution was passed unanimously. A resolution supported by around 100 states called for the suspension of all nuclear tests and the swift ratification of the 1995 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty , which nine states, including the USA, Iran and North Korea, have so far blocked from coming into force.
On March 12, 2009, Obama signed a law that limits the export of cluster munitions to cluster bombs, which leave less than one percent unexploded ammunition, and thus virtually excludes them. Obama had advocated an export ban on cluster bombs as early as 2007 , but did not sign the international cluster munitions convention for a total ban on these weapons, which came into force on August 1, 2010.
On November 24, 2009, the Obama administration announced that the US would not join the 1997 Ottawa Convention on Landmines , which also bans their storage, due to safety concerns. After violent protests around the world, a spokesman said on November 25th that membership was being examined. In May 2010, a Senate majority urged Obama to sign the deal. In 2014, Obama announced that the convention would not be acceded, but that the US would undertake not to use landmines in the world; an exception to the threat posed by North Korea is the Korean peninsula .
Obama wanted a central authority that would control, simplify and accelerate US arms exports. Critics fear that this could mean an increase in arms exports to war zones.
At a summit meeting of 46 state leaders in Washington DC in April 2010, Obama reached joint resolutions to better secure fissile material, to punish nuclear smuggling more severely, to use less highly enriched uranium in nuclear reactors and to grant the IAEA more surveillance rights. An amendment protocol to the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement was signed. The Ukraine agreed to eliminate all their highly enriched uranium by 2012; Russia wanted to shut down its last reactor for plutonium production. According to a report in the New York Times, it is initially just a matter of dismantling strategic weapons, while at the same time a lot of money is being spent on modernizing the tactical nuclear arsenal, which will continue to be operated in the future.
On May 27, 2016, Obama became the first US President to visit Hiroshima after having previously attended the G7 summit in Ise-Shima . 71 years after the atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city , he and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe laid a wreath at the cenotaph for the victims of the atomic bomb in the Peace Park and again spoke out in favor of a world free of nuclear weapons. Obama had previously stated that he would not apologize for the atomic bombing. Together with Abe, he wanted to “show the world the possibility of reconciliation, that former enemies can become the strongest allies”.
Development and Disaster Relief
On January 13, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described Obama's priority goals for Africa policy: “The fight against al-Qaida's attempts to seek refuge in failed states in the Horn of Africa; helping African nations conserve their natural resources and make fair profits; stop the war in the Congo; to end autocracy in Zimbabwe and human devastation in Darfur . "
Since 2005, Obama had more vigorous action against the genocide required in Darfur and US $ 180,000 of his private plants, in conjunction with the Sudan could be brought, disinvested . On October 19, 2009, he moved away from stronger sanctions against Sudan and agreed to work with its President Omar al-Bashir under certain conditions . But international efforts will be supported to hold those responsible for genocide and war crimes in Darfur to account. Sudan remains on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Obama's government supported the Somali government militarily and financially, with around 40 tons of weapons for their fight against the Islamist organization al-Shabaab , in order to prevent a feared attraction to al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
During the election campaign, Obama had promised to double the annual US development aid to 50 billion US dollars by 2012. He initiated the “Global Poverty Act of 2007” to develop a strategy to reduce global poverty. He supports the Millennium Development Goals .
On January 14, 2010, Obama pledged 100 million US dollars in emergency aid for Haiti , which had been hit by a severe earthquake two days earlier , initially dispatching 3,500 soldiers, 2,000 marines, medical personnel and the US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to the disaster region and continuing his George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, in office, to coordinate the relief efforts. The US government thus took over the lead in international disaster relief for Haiti.
On August 4, 2010, Obama initially granted US $ 10 million in emergency aid for the flood victims in Pakistan , army helicopters to rescue them and serving halāl- compliant meals. Total US aid grew to over $ 230 million by September 4; approximately 2.5 million pounds of relief supplies were distributed and 10,051 people were evacuated.
Middle East conflict
After Obama's ultimatum to negotiate a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict within a year, Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmud Abbas met for the first time on September 2, 2010 in Washington DC for direct talks. On September 23, 2010, Obama called on the UN General Assembly to support these negotiations and to recognize that Israel's security can only be achieved through an independent Palestine and this only through peaceful means and true reconciliation with Israel.
Obama wanted to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons. To this end, he considered possible rocket attacks on the country in the 2004 Senate election campaign. In the 2007 presidential election campaign, he did not rule out direct talks on Iran's nuclear program without certain preconditions. Although the US should "not take any option off the table, including military action," "persistent and energetic diplomacy combined with tough sanctions are the primary means" of preventing Iranian nuclear weapons. From the beginning of 2015, the US took part in a nuclear deal with Iran , which was concluded in the course of the process. The agreement contains, among other things, requirements for international control of the Iranian uranium enrichment and the stock. In return, economic sanctions were relaxed. The participation of the USA in the agreement was closely observed internationally, many Republicans criticized the agreement, as did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu . Even after Donald Trump's election in November 2016, who sharply criticized the agreement and called on his party, Obama, not to take any further steps, the Obama administration stuck to the agreement and allowed several American companies to come into economic contact with Iran .
In mid-2016, the US government paid Iran $ 400 million in cash. At the same time, American prisoners in Iran were released. The amount is part of a sum of money that the USA owed for several decades through a purchase agreement, but which it did not pay out because of the political upheaval in Iran in 1979 . Payment of the amount that includes the annual interest accrued was part of the nuclear deal. The procedure was criticized by several Republicans, who viewed it as a ransom payment, which made the US open to blackmail.
Contrary to the majority opinion at the time, including that of the Democratic Party, Obama publicly rejected the Iraq war at an anti-war rally on October 2, 2002:
“I know that an invasion of Iraq without clear justification and without strong international support will only fuel the fires in the Middle East, promote the worst instead of the best drives in the Arab world and strengthen the al-Qaeda recruiting arm. I am not against all wars. I am against stupid wars. "
When Obama took office, the US was still involved in a combat mission in Iraq. In 2007 he presented a withdrawal plan. On February 27, 2009, he announced the end of all US combat missions in Iraq , which has been occupied since 2003, and the withdrawal of most of the US combat troops there within 18 months. They left Iraq on schedule by August 19, 2010. As of the end of 2011, only a few troops were stationed in the country to protect the embassy and to train the Iraqi military.
After the terrorist organization Islamic State conquered a large part of Iraq in 2014, the US delivered weapons to the troops of the Kurdish government in northern Iraq , the Peshmerga , and carried out air strikes on positions of the terrorist organization. Although virtually no US soldiers were stationed in Iraq after the formal withdrawal of troops in 2011 and no more were planned, soldiers were gradually sent back to Iraq in large parts of the country due to the civil war-like situation, so that in 2016 there were around 5,000 American soldiers in Iraq existed, primarily to support the Iraqi military with equipment, planning and execution.
Afghanistan and Pakistan
As well as for the withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq, Obama was a presidential candidate for the targeted continuation of the war on terror in Afghanistan. In a debate, he said he would attack al-Qaeda leaders gathered there without the approval of the Pakistani government . The background to this was an aborted military operation in 2005.
In February 2009, Obama had 17,000 additional US soldiers sent to Afghanistan, followed by another 30,000 on December 1, 2009, in order to fight al-Qaida and the Taliban more effectively in their areas of retreat and to strengthen civilian reconstruction. The decision to increase troops was seen as controversial in the Democratic Party, so he needed and received the votes of the Republicans in the Senate and Congress. In July 2011 he wanted to gradually withdraw the US troops.
The investigative journalist Bob Woodward reported in 2010 that Obama had insisted in the cabinet on a withdrawal plan for the Afghanistan mission and increased the US troops by 10,000 fewer soldiers than the US military had asked, to avoid escalating the war, escalating costs and rejecting an increase in troops in Congress to avoid. After his derogatory statements in an interview, Obama dismissed commanding General Stanley A. McChrystal in June 2010 and appointed David Petraeus in his place.
Obama continued the drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan that his predecessor had started and had suspected terrorists in the border areas of the two states increasingly tracked down and killed using unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). The international legal basis for this is controversial. Obama generally followed a tough line in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The number of US drone attacks in Pakistan has increased massively since the beginning of his term in office. The number of attacks with unmanned aerial vehicles has multiplied compared to the last year Bush was in office under the Obama administration. While a total of 340 people were killed in drone attacks in the eight years of George W. Bush's term in office in Pakistan, up to 1,718 people were deliberately killed in the first two years of Barack Obama's tenure alone. According to the Huffington Post , as of late January 2014, over 2,400 people were victims of President Obama's drone attacks.
In Afghanistan, too, Obama pursued the strategy of heavy air strikes, which often also killed civilians, more than his predecessor in office. Up to 145 civilians were killed in a bomb attack in Granai alone. Dozens of civilians, including children, were often killed in these air strikes. The air attack near Kunduz received the most attention internationally .
On May 1, 2011, Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was shot dead by a special Navy SEAL squad in Abbottabad , Pakistan . Obama then announced the outcome of Operation Neptune Spear in a speech to the nation. As a result, the approval ratings for his policy rose in representative surveys by nine to eleven percentage points. Obama announced on May 4th that he would not release any photographs of the person killed because of security risks.
After the official end of the combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, it was planned that the remaining 9,800 US soldiers in the Resolute Support mission would only be deployed in security and training activities from 2015. However, Obama changed the original plans and continued to allow attacks against Taliban employment and fighter jet operations. The gradual reduction in the number of troops was also slowed down with a view to the security situation, so that by the end of the term of office 8,400 instead of the planned 5,500 soldiers were stationed in Afghanistan.
Obama reacted hesitantly to the protests in the Arab world and only spoke out in favor of democratizing this country after the revolution in Tunisia . In early February, he called on Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak through a US envoy to prepare for his resignation. On February 11, he praised the 2011 revolution in Egypt for its non-violence and the reluctance of the Egyptian military, but warned that the Egyptians were now facing "hard days".
On February 23, Obama called on Libya's regent Muammar al-Gaddafi to end his violence against his people in the 2011 Libyan civil war . He keeps all options, including military options, open. On February 26, he announced that Gaddafi had lost his legitimacy and had to resign. He warned of US military intervention, which the Arabs view as improper interference and which could stifle their revolutions. On March 17, he ordered US pilots to carry out air strikes against Libya's army. The decision followed discussions with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and advisors such as Samantha Power and UN Ambassador Susan Rice , who drew comparisons with the US failure to intervene in the genocide in Rwanda . From March 19, the USA took part in the international military operation in Libya to enforce a no-fly zone according to UN Resolution 1973 . According to Obama, the Europeans should take the lead.
On March 28th, Obama responded to criticism of a lack of clarification about the objectives, duration and costs of the operation and the unconstitutional overriding of Congress with a speech to the nation. He declared the military operation against Gaddafi's army as a last resort to prevent a massacre in Benghazi and to enforce UN resolution 1973. The air strikes, supported by European allies and some Arab states, would have stopped Gaddafi's advance and enabled the rebels to retake some cities. As announced, the US handed over its leadership to NATO in order to reduce risks and costs for the US.
The USA could not intervene in every oppression of a people, but here they had the unique opportunity to avert a "terrible massacre" based on Libyan requests for help with a UN mandate and international, including Arab aid. Failure to do so would have betrayed American identity and could have destabilized Libya's neighboring states, stifled the Arab democratization process and destroyed UN credibility. In the long run this would have become more expensive for the USA.
The aim of overthrowing Gaddafi and building a democracy is a matter for the Libyans themselves. His violent overthrow from outside would have divided the coalition and required the use of ground troops or risked many civilian victims of air strikes. This mistake had already been made with the Iraq war and should not be repeated because of the costs. The arms embargo, stopping the flow of money, monitoring the no-fly zone and encouraging the opposition to overthrow Gaddafi will be pursued.
In conclusion, Obama pleaded for humanitarian military operations in the event of natural disasters, genocide, the preservation of regional security and world trade: if the USA were asked for help, other states would take their share and all those involved would uphold the principles of justice and peace. In this way the US could and should support peoples who strive for democracy.
German observers judged this passage as the "Obama doctrine", which was the first to mention Obama's conditions for US military interventions.
On September 11, 2012, there was an attack on the American consulate in Benghazi in which the ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other consulate employees were killed. Hillary Clinton , the then US Secretary of State, was criticized after the attack for having succeeded and not prevented by stronger security measures.
After the fall of Gaddafi, there was a power vacuum and Libya was destabilized. Several co-existing governments fought each other. In an interview on April 11, 2016, Obama named the fact that the United States and its allies did not pay enough attention to stable conditions in Libya in the post-Gaddafi period, arguably the greatest mistake of his entire term in office.
In March 2011 there were protests against the government in several cities in Syria, such as Dara and Damascus , which quickly escalated. The government of Bashar al-Assad ordered tough crackdowns that quickly resulted in deaths. In the course of the year, the situation in the country became visibly unmanageable, with some Syrian units joining the demonstrators and rebel groups. As early as August 2011, Obama and European countries called for Assad's resignation. After the UN failed to bring about a ceasefire and the situation in the country worsened, Obama said in August 2012 that a “red line” had been crossed in the use of chemical weapons and that he would then consider military intervention.
Throughout the entire civil war in Syria , Obama clearly sided with the Syrian opposition. In 2013, he finally called for a military strike over the Ghouta poison gas attacks , which the UN was investigating. The intended military strike against the government of Bashar al-Assad was controversial, as the authorship of the sarin attack on the population had not been established beyond doubt and not all evidence could be verified. While Russia suspected the rebel groups, France , the Arab League and Great Britain accused Syrian President Assad of having used the weapons. The final report of the UN at the end of 2013 confirmed the assumption that poison gas was used several times. Up to 2016, 9 cases of poison gas use had been documented, two of which could be attributed to the Syrian army under Assad and one to the terrorist organization IS . Between 2012 and 2013, military intervention had become more likely, but the suspected military intervention did not materialize, and the Congress that Obama questioned also voted negatively on a military strike. Finally, Assad had most of the chemical weapons arsenal destroyed.
From 2014 the situation in Syria worsened, rebel groups were increasingly fragmented and several Islamist groups such as the al-Nusra Front , but primarily the IS, took large parts of the country. In September, a coalition led by the United States began air strikes against IS positions. With the help of the air strikes, Kurdish fighters managed to liberate some areas of the north and the city of Kobane from the Islamist groups. In 2015, Russia also began air strikes , but to support the ailing forces of Syrian President Assad. Peace talks in Vienna and Geneva in the months that followed were unsuccessful. The situation in the country remained tense. In November 2015, Obama announced the admission of 10,000 Syrian refugees.
The US air strikes under Obama were controversially discussed with regard to their legitimacy under international law and the lack of reference to the principle of the responsibility to protect , and the legal scholar Stefan Oeter classified them as contrary to international law.
At his last press conference as President, Obama said he felt responsible for the suffering in Syria. His administration "went through every option" to contain the violence. Obama's moderate approach to the Syria conflict was criticized in some cases harshly because a humanitarian catastrophe with several hundred thousand deaths could not be prevented. Proponents of Obama's policies credit him with the fact that the US has not been drawn into any further expensive ground war in the Middle East.
At the end of 2013, demonstrations against the government and then President Viktor Yanukovych began in the center of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev . This was preceded by a planned, but suspended by Yanukovych, trade agreement between the EU and Ukraine. Protests against the government continued in the months that followed. Several protesters died in February 2014, and Yanukovych finally left the country. In the course of the armed conflict in Ukraine and the Crimean crisis , Obama warned Russia of a violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and called for the withdrawal of Russian troops; the US and the EU also imposed sanctions on Russia. While pro-Russian separatists proclaimed independence in some areas of eastern Ukraine, the new government in Kiev began military action.
In the further course of the crisis, primarily Russia , Ukraine, Germany and France negotiated an improvement in the situation, so the Minsk II Agreement was drawn up. The US supported the Ukrainian government and trained Ukrainian soldiers. Since a complete ceasefire had not occurred in the country by the end of 2016, and compliance with the Minsk Peace Agreement by Russia was not seen as guaranteed by France and Germany, the EU and the USA extended the sanctions imposed on Russia.
Barack Obama is trying to improve relations between the United States and Cuba . In December 2013, there was a handshake between the US President and Cuban President Raúl Castro , which attracted a lot of attention. In April 2015, the presidents of both countries met for the first time since 1956. Obama also relaxed the embargo on Cuba and removed Cuba from the list of countries supporting terrorism .
From March 20-22, 2016, Barack Obama visited Cuba to talk to Raúl Castro about deepening the rapprochement process. He was the first US head of state in the country since Calvin Coolidge in 1928.
As the first President of the United States, Barack Obama visited Myanmar in late 2012 . He met opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein . He praised the country's political openness and called on the government to carry out further reforms.
After a multi-day trip through African countries (including Kenya, his father's country of origin), Obama was the first US President to address the African Union in Addis Ababa on July 28, 2015 . He urged the world to see Africa as a trading partner and praised the progress made in areas such as education and the economy. At the same time, he criticized democratic deficits or sham democracies and "long-term rulers" on the continent. He campaigned for the intensified fight against corruption and discrimination and for more democratic participation in order to significantly improve the standard of living.
Economy and Social
During the election campaign, Obama promised spending control, a reduction in national debt and tax cuts for middle and low incomes. Government revenue losses should be offset by savings in other budget budgets. Two "tax cut packages" by the Bush administration were originally due to expire in 2011 and subsidies for the oil industry and space travel were cut. Obama oriented himself on the preventive welfare state in the tradition of Rubinomics named after Robert Rubin . In addition to this advisor, who was already working for US President Bill Clinton, Austan Goolsbee , Paul Volcker and Laura Tyson worked for Obama, some on the advisory committee of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) . The behavioral economist Richard Thaler was one of his advisors .
On February 17, 2009, Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , a US $ 787 billion stimulus package that will dampen the effects of the 2007 financial crisis and the economic crisis and, primarily through grants to state and municipal projects, will keep or save 3.5 million jobs should create new ones, especially in services, infrastructure and environmentally friendly energy. The program slowed the rise in unemployment and revitalized the domestic economy, but did not resolve persistently high unemployment. That is why Obama announced on September 6, 2010 ( Labor Day ) another economic stimulus program worth 50 billion US dollars to expand the infrastructure.
In order to secure an orderly bankruptcy with the aim of saving the auto industry, the federal government gave state aid to General Motors and Chrysler . Chrysler received $ 12.3 billion, of which $ 11.13 billion was returned to the federal government upon successful completion of bankruptcy proceedings. General Motors received $ 49.5 billion in government aid, of which $ 39 billion was repaid. According to a study by the Center for Automotive Research, the auto industry bailout saved 2.63 million jobs and saved $ 105 billion in tax revenues and social security costs. In a address on the State of the Union in January 2012, Barack Obama said that the US auto industry was on the verge of collapse when he took office, but would be healthy again after the state rescue. General Motors is once again the world's largest producer. PolitiFact rated the statement as half-true that the recovery of the auto industry was not solely due to state aid.
During the election campaign, Obama had promised a reform of the United States' health system , which dozens of US presidents had sought unsuccessfully since 1912: every US citizen should have health insurance by 2013. Priority was given to cost reductions, compulsory insurance for children and grants for small business owners to insure their employees. With Obama's signature, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act came into force on March 23, 2010, a historic reform law that initially compulsorily insures 32 of 47 million US citizens previously uninsured and prohibits exclusion because of a previous illness or excessive medical costs. The law drafted by committees only achieved a majority in Congress and the Senate after violent conflicts and numerous changes and compromises. Instead of the state health insurance favored by Obama, tax breaks have been introduced for citizens with low or middle incomes and medium-sized companies, provided they take out insurance. The reform law was approved by the Supreme Court in the decision of the National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius of June 28, 2012 found essentially constitutional and thus remains legally binding.
The controversial general health insurance (“ Obamacare ”) was introduced on October 1, 2013. According to polls, however, 59 percent of the American population opposed this reform. Computer breakdowns and malfunctions in the introduction of an Internet-based insurance marketplace, which Obama said would be "as easy as buying a television on Amazon ", hurt the polls of the president, whose administration in October 2013 was only approved by 42% of the population against which 55% were critical.
On July 21, 2010, Obama signed the Dodd / Frank Act , putting into effect the largest financial market reform in the US since the Great Depression . The law requires a regulatory authority for the financial market and the outsourcing of derivatives trading, limits the rescue of distressed banks from tax revenues and the banks' proprietary trading ( Volcker rule ). Obama stressed that these financial market reforms are historically the strongest consumer protection measures and offer better information opportunities for ordinary investors. Opposition and bank representatives criticized the law as causing job losses and increasing bureaucratisation.
Obama also favored investing in the continuing education of working people, especially college education.
A compromise draft of Obama's taxation negotiated with the Republicans found a majority in the US Senate in 2013. The tax breaks introduced under Bush were retained for the time being; Exceptions are increasing taxes on the established general health insurance "Obamacare" as well as increased taxes on capital income of households with an annual income of over US $ 250,000. Obama gave a keynote speech on December 6, 2011 in Osawatomie, Kansas, denouncing economic inequality. Growing inequality belies the promise of the American dream that anyone could do it if they just wanted to. This is not about any political debate, but about "the crucial question of our time".
The business magazine The Economist criticized Obama's economic policy in September 2012 as saying that the president had no credible plans for a long-term reduction of the US budget deficit: His promise not to raise taxes for 95 percent of the population was "stupid"; the idea of restructuring the budget only with additional burdens for wealthy citizens has little credibility. Rather, the central problem of budget policy is a sharp increase in spending on transfer payments, for example for Medicare , which Obama would not deal with.
Environment, climate, energy
In the presidential election campaign, Obama presented a plan to make the USA independent of oil imports in ten years by promoting renewable energies and energy saving measures as well as coal and nuclear power. He rejected plans by the Republicans to expand oil production off the country's own coasts.
In December 2008 he nominated the Nobel laureate in physics, Steven Chu, as energy minister and the former head of the environmental protection agency, Carol M. Browner , as head of his advisory board for energy and climate. Both had previously been committed to climate protection . He appointed Harvard physicist John Holdren , a warning against global warming , as chief science advisor to his government and the critical climate-related marine biologist Jane Lubchenco as director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). US $ 60 billion from the February 2009 government stimulus package was earmarked for environmental projects, clean energies and research.
At the UN climate conference in Copenhagen on December 18, 2009, Obama declared that the USA, the world's largest CO 2 producer, was ready to reduce emissions by up to 17 percent by 2020 and by more than 80 percent by 2050. However, since the USA has increased its energy consumption many times over since 1990, this has fallen far short of the reduction targets that climate activists consider necessary. Obama's attempt to commit China and India to a review system for emissions requirements in bilateral talks failed. The minimum consensus of a maximum of two degrees global warming, formulated in small groups, was also rejected in the final plenary, so that the summit remained without a binding agreement.
In his first State of the Union address on January 27, 2010, Obama announced the expansion of the energy sector with solar energy and biofuels , but also the construction of new nuclear power plants and the development of US oil and natural gas . On March 31, he allowed drilling up to 80 kilometers off the coasts in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska , where previously no drilling had taken place. He wanted to win more Republicans for a new climate bill.
After the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April, this permit came under increasing criticism. After a few days of waiting, Obama deployed the US military to protect the coast against the oil spill that had triggered , had attempts to seal the oil leak monitored, insisted on two instead of one relief well, and on the full liability of the oil company British Petroleum (BP) for consequential damage and loss of income affected US citizen. On May 27th, he suspended all deep-sea drilling off US coasts that had already been officially approved for six months and all US test drilling in the Arctic indefinitely and no new drilling was initiated, in order to first have their safety checked by an independent commission. He also tightened the security requirements.
On June 2, 2010, due to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he called for a move away from fossil fuels, penalty taxes on carbon dioxide emissions, an end to tax deductions for oil companies and the use of this additional income for research into renewable and emission-free energies. However, on July 23, 2010, a corresponding bill failed to achieve the necessary majority in the US Senate, as Senators from the Democratic Party also voted against it. Obama's election promise of an ecological energy transition remained unfulfilled. Climate activists saw this as a decisive obstacle to effective international agreements on climate protection, as the USA would not be able to demand climate-friendly laws from other countries.
US federal courts at two levels initially lifted Obama's drilling ban in June and July 2010 after a lawsuit filed by 32 oil companies. After his environmental advisors discovered that BP had received special permits based on outdated documents prior to the disaster, Obama issued a presidential directive on August 16, 2010 to suspend all deep-sea drilling until November 30, 2010, and new oil drilling off the US coasts, too in shallow water, only to be approved if strict safety requirements are observed. The Authority for Raw Materials Management (MMS), which was convicted of corruption and frequent circumvention of the already poor safety regulations for oil platforms in May, had to set up an independent control authority that had to prepare ecological reports according to more stringent criteria before each drilling permit.
On October 12, 2010, Obama lifted the oil drilling ban early. At the same time, however, the Ministry of the Interior made proof of precautions for accidents and technical failure a condition for new drilling permits.
In December 2012, Obama declared the fight against climate change to be one of the top three topics for his second term. In his inauguration speech in January 2013, he highlighted the fight against climate change and the expansion of renewable energies as a priority for the coming years. Failure to combat climate change would be a betrayal of “our children” and future generations. In July 2013, he presented his climate protection plan in a speech at George Washington University. By 2030, the annual CO 2 emissions should be halved, among other things with stricter limit values for coal-fired power plants, decreasing subsidies for fossil energies and the strengthening of renewable energies and energy efficiency. Obama was the first US president to present a far-reaching plan for climate protection and was seen as a pioneer in international climate policy. In particular, he promoted the reduction of emissions from coal-fired power plants, as this does not require approval from Congress.
In mid-2015, Obama announced new guidelines aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from American power plants by 32% by 2030 compared to the base year 2005. Previously, at the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau in 2015, the G7 countries agreed to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2050 and to fully decarbonise the global economy by 2100 . Obama rejected criticism from lobby groups in the coal and oil industry who tried to slow down the energy transition. According to Obama, this does not lead to any progress, but is "an attempt to defend old business models".
By the beginning of 2016, Obama placed a total of 107 million hectares under nature protection, including the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument as the largest area . Thus, he expanded the National Monuments in the United States more than any other president.
At the end of his tenure, he pointed out - also with a view to election campaign announcements and demands by Donald Trump - that “ clean energy ” could not be stopped, among other things because its generation costs had fallen sharply.
Justice and civil rights
Obama has advocated civil rights and minority protection since the beginning of his career. He campaigned for laws against hate crimes , for the fair conduct of elections, the abolition of the Defense of Marriage Act , the end of the " Don't ask, don't tell " policy of the armed forces and a law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or Gender Identity (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) .
Obama advocated the death penalty for child rape and murder and for mass murders. That is why he criticized the fact that the US Supreme Court in the case v Kennedy. Louisiana ruled unconstitutional on a death sentence for rape of a child. He served as a senator on a bill in Illinois to suspend death sentences that were incurred without a verifiable due process. As president, he also advocated the easier lifting of death sentences resulting from questionable police methods, racist prejudice and poor criminal defense.
On May 19, 2008, he was the first presidential candidate to visit an Indian reservation , promising regular talks and the appointment of an advisor on Indian policy. In November 2008, he appointed six Indian advisors to his transition team.
On April 20, 2009, Obama had six torture orders published by the previous government and assured their authors and executors at the same time protection from prosecution. At the end of January 2010, two legal advisors who drafted the torture warrants were finally released from prosecution.
On May 14, 2009, Obama publicly opposed the publication of 44 more photographs of prisoner torture by US soldiers in Abu Ghraib . Depicting past actions that have already been punished could endanger the lives of US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. He followed Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and a request from Republican senators. The civil rights union American Civil Liberties Union , which had previously fought for the publication of the photos, and non-party liberals criticized Obama's attitude as a breach of his election promise of transparency in relation to the secrecy of US crimes that was common under Bush.
On May 21, 2009, in a speech on national security, Obama announced a legalized prolonged detention for prisoners classified as “particularly dangerous” terrorists, even though their alleged crimes have not yet been proven in any regular criminal trial. Civil rights activists and leftists in the USA strongly criticized him for this; Some spoke of a breach of the constitution and a departure from the rule of law in the United States, "where people in the hands of the government either get criminal proceedings or are released."
On May 26, 2009 Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor as the first woman to be counted among the Hispanics , and on May 10, 2010 Elena Kagan, another woman, was nominated as judge at the US Supreme Court. He condemned a curt ruling by the Court of Justice on January 21, 2010 to allow corporate-sponsored election advertising in public media, which had previously been limited for 20 years and banned 60 days before a presidential election.
The one-year deadline he set himself to close the Guantanamo Bay camp could not be adhered to because the transfer of the prisoners there and their legal treatment in the USA and their acceptance in friendly states met with resistance. The secret military prison in Bagram also remained.
In 2010, Obama rejected a law in Arizona as unconstitutional discrimination that obliges immigrants living there to carry their papers with them, allows reports against them on suspicion of illegal immigration and thus enforces ID checks by the police. His government filed a complaint against the law in June 2010. The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that parts of the Arizona law may remain in place, while leaving the possibility of continuing legal action against it. In 2014, Obama agreed with the State of Arizona to stop cracking the law if Arizona was also no longer considering legal action aimed at restoring parts of the law.
On December 22, 2010, Obama signed a US House of Representatives bill banning the previously widespread dismissal of avowed homosexuals from the US Army. In this way, against enormous resistance, he fulfilled his campaign promise to lift the don't-ask-don't-tell rule. In an interview with ABC News in May 2012, Obama announced his support for calls for same-sex civil marriage to be recognized. This statement marked a turning point in Obama's policy, who had previously rejected gay marriage. A few days earlier, Vice President Joe Biden and Minister of Education Arne Duncan had made similar statements in television interviews. In his second inaugural address on January 20, 2013, he underlined the goal of state equality for homosexuals (in connection with the demand for equal rights for women and African Americans).
On December 31, 2011, Obama signed a highly controversial security bill . Among other things, this authorized the US armed forces to detain foreigners suspected of terrorism for an unlimited period of time. The law was previously passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives. Obama had threatened to veto the law weeks earlier, but eventually signed it.
Whistleblower under Obama
Before his first election as president, US President Barack Obama admired whistleblowers as "the most valuable source" of information about government misconduct and pledged to work to increase the transparency of government actions. Critics have noted that during his presidency already by the year 2011, five whistleblower from the US intelligence area under the anti- espionage -law ( Espionage Act of 1917) had been charged that the death penalty provides. That is more cases than all the US presidents before him put together. Former NSA employee Thomas Drake , who had already gone public in 2003 with information about illegal surveillance measures and a waste of money by the secret service he had discovered, said that he had chosen Obama himself and that he had high hopes for him at the time. But they were completely disappointed; Obama has brought the state's secrecy to a level that even George W. Bush "did not even intend" to do. Obama is "worse than Bush" in this regard, the Americans have been deceived by him ("hoodwinked"). Drake had been charged with whistleblowing under the Espionage Act and was sentenced to 35 years in prison, but charges were dropped in the 2011 trial. Drake was sentenced to one year probation only for "misappropriating" an NSA computer, in which he himself helped find the charge so the state could "save face ".
In 2013, the whistleblower Edward Snowden announced that the National Security Agency (NSA) had monitored telecommunications, the Internet, the representations of the European Union and the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel during Barack Obama's presidency - and in some cases before . This sparked the surveillance and espionage affair in 2013 .
Obama had campaigned for bipartisan consensus on key issues in his election campaign and as president, but received little support from Republican MPs in the first year of his term, apart from funding the war on terrorism.
The tea party movement that emerged in the summer of 2009 and was financially supported by insurance companies opposes Obama's health care reform, his economic stimulus programs and alleged tax increase plans. They blamed him for persistent unemployment and the high budget deficit, which they saw as the decline of the world power USA and creeping deprivation of liberty. Most of their supporters believe, according to a poll from 2010, that Obama wants to introduce socialism in the US and does not share everyday US values. Important representatives at the time were talk radio and television presenters Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. Racist abuses by some of their supporters were interpreted as an indication of right-wing extremist tendencies widespread in US society or even as a unifying feature of the movement.
On May 1, 2010, Obama recalled that former US presidents had also been insulted as socialists, foreigners or dictators because of their reform plans. To demonize everything that the elected government does for the citizens is undemocratic. Without government intervention, the financial crisis would have collapsed the entire economy. A minimum of courtesy should be maintained in public debates. In the worst case, demonizing people makes violence appear justified. With reference to the golden rule , he emphasized: the willingness to understand the thinking of the respective opposing side is essential for a functioning democracy.
According to polls, Obama continuously lost his reputation and in September 2010 had an approval rate of 45%. As expected, his Democratic Party lost its majority in the House of Representatives and in the governors in the midterm elections on November 2, 2010, but retained its majority in the US Senate despite losses. While John Boehner , leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, interpreted this as a mandate to repeal health care reform and tax cuts, Obama rejected it and interpreted the election result as a mandate for increased cooperation.
According to polls from August 2010, up to 18 percent of US citizens believed Obama was a Muslim; up to 25 percent said he was not born in the USA, i.e. not a legitimate US president. Those who repeatedly expressed doubts about the place of birth are often referred to in English as "birthers" (literally "birthers"). After the later President Donald Trump requested this, Obama had the long version of his birth certificate published on April 27, 2011 , the short version of which he announced during the 2008 election campaign. He criticized the US media for making the subject the main news. The US could not solve its huge social and economic problems with such diversions: "We have no time for this kind of silliness."
The magazine The Economist , which had supported Obama's health care reform in 2010, wrote in November, 2013, the US acted under Obama's government increasingly rudderless; the president did not care about the details of his politics and was suspicious of the economy. In terms of domestic and foreign policy, he has so far not established any personal relationships with political decision-makers and is also regarded as aloof and aloof from party friends. According to the magazine, he has to get more involved in order to better exploit his still significant political potential.
Re-election and start of the second term of office
In early April 2011, Obama announced his intention to run for a second term as president in the 2012 presidential election and launched the campaign for his re-election.
On November 6, 2012, Obama achieved a clear majority of the electoral votes and thus effectively his re-election , primarily through victories in the competitive swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. He also won a majority of votes from US citizens who participated in the elections ( Popular Vote ). The Republican Party's rival candidate , Mitt Romney , admitted defeat. Obama's deputy Joe Biden was also re-elected vice president at his side . Even before his second oath of office, in early January 2013, he had changes made to the Former Presidents Act , which guaranteed him lifelong personal protection by the Secret Service .
Obama took his second oath of office on January 20, 2013. Because that day fell on a Sunday in 2013, he did so during a brief ceremony at the White House before John Roberts , Chief Justice of the United States . The public celebrations in front of the Capitol with a second swearing-in ceremony took place one day later (and thus on a weekday).
End of the presidency
Obama made his last speech to the UN General Assembly during his tenure as President of the United States on September 20, 2016.
On November 8, 2016, the presidential election for Obama's successor took place, which was won by Republican Donald Trump . Obama had campaigned for the election of Hillary Clinton , who had been nominated by the Democrats as a candidate and had also served as US Secretary of State under him. On November 10, 2016, the current and the future president met for the first discussion of the transfer of power ( United States presidential transition) in the White House.
In Athens on November 16, 2016, Obama addressed the world with a keynote address and dealt with the issues of democracy and the consequences of globalization. On December 7, 2016, Obama took stock of his military domestic and foreign policy in front of soldiers at the Tampa, Florida Air Force Base . Terrorism cannot be defeated in the short term. According to Obama, all national security measures must be taken on the basis of one's own values, as in his administration. The fight against terrorism cannot be won by methods such as those used by George W. Bush . Neither the use of ground troops in Iraq and Afghanistan nor the air strikes have completely destroyed terrorism. He himself stopped torture methods such as waterboarding after he took office. He was not able to close the Guantanamo prison camp completely, as promised in the election campaign, since his efforts met resistance from the majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. He warned against false promises that the fight against terrorism could be won through the increased use of bombs and soldiers and an isolationalist policy on the part of the USA. The United States, on the other hand, should have a long-term strategy and involve partners around the world. He expressly defended the use of unmanned military drones for the targeted killing of terrorists. Obama described the fight against IS, especially through bombing, as successful because the terrorist organization had lost more than 50% of the territory it occupied. International terrorism will continue to exist for a long time, but it will not endanger the existence of the US.
On December 20, 2016, it became known that the outgoing President had banned new drilling for oil in the areas of the Arctic off Canada and on the east coast in parts of the Atlantic Ocean for reasons of protecting ecosystems and safeguarding the interests of indigenous peoples . Grandfathering has been guaranteed for licenses that have already been issued. Obama was referring to a 1953 law that allowed the President to indefinitely prohibit offshore and offshore drilling.
At the turn of the year, Obama issued further sanctions on December 29, 2016 against Russia, which he accused of influencing the presidential election campaign through cyber attacks. He expelled Russian diplomats for a short time, a measure that Russian President Putin did not respond in the same way.
Obama gave his farewell speech on January 10, 2017 in front of around 20,000 people in Chicago, where he had worked for some time as a social worker, became politically active for the first time and started a family with Michelle Robinson. Among the audience were well-known representatives of the Democratic Party and some of its members. He drew a positive conclusion to his reign and called on American citizens to continue to work politically and socially in accordance with the United States Constitution and to advocate social change for the better. In particular, he highlighted the benefits of health reform. He rejects any form of racism and discrimination and wants to act against it as a citizen with other citizens. He concluded his speech with his campaign slogan “Yes, we can” and the formula “God bless America”. He had previously promised his successor a smooth handover again.
The web content published by the White House under President Obama was promoted with the assumption of office of Donald Trump under the slogan “ Yes, we did. Yes, we can . ”(“ Yes, we did [it]. Yes, we can. ”) Archived and“ frozen ”. The motto of his first presidential campaign in 2008 was Yes We can .
Political engagement after the presidency
After a long break, Obama gave his first post-office speech to students in Chicago , in which he did not mention his successor. He appealed to his listeners to contribute to the advancement of humanity. He promised to get involved with the next generation of political leaders. In early May 2017, the former president received an award in Boston .
In the spirit of his Obama Foundation (Obama Foundation), he campaigned at the Evangelical Church Congress in Berlin 2017 in front of around 70,000 listeners at the Brandenburg Gate for the promotion of young people in political terms: Questions of political ethics were raised, also from participants and the press , reflected. According to the ethics of conviction, he put forward the thesis that, according to God's will, every child worldwide needs the same amount of support, and yet , according to the ethics of responsibility, every head of government must first support the children of their own country. He also turned against critics who accuse him of using war drones. One student made this position public. In his opinion, the war is the real evil, the weapons used vary depending on the technical level. Obama received much applause for his statements. But there were also negative votes.
When Trump canceled the UN's Paris Agreement on Climate Change on June 1, 2017 , he received open criticism from his predecessor. The United States would isolate itself worldwide on the one hand and give up its leadership role - because only Syria and Nicaragua have not joined the pact - and on the other hand destroy national jobs instead of creating new ones. However, he reckons that states, cities and companies will continue to expand renewable energy sources.
The former president also defended the Obamacare health insurance he introduced against the initiatives of his successor and even more extensive attempts by Republicans in the Senate to gradually abolish this support program for the needy, while billionaires were granted tax breaks. Obama expressed his criticism on Facebook in late June 2017 .
Obama published a post on Twitter about the right-wing racist marches in Charlottesville on August 11 and 12, 2017, in connection with which a counter-demonstrator was killed in a car attack and 19 people were injured , in which he quoted the South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela Take a stand and attach a photo of him with children of different skin colors.
- "Nobody hates someone from birth because of their skin color, their origin or their religion ..."
Within a short period of time, more people accessed this Twitter message than ever before a tweet. On August 16 (CET), Obama posted further statements by Mandela online.
Awards and honors
Barack Obama received honors and awards worldwide. Probably the best known was the Nobel Peace Prize , which he received as the third incumbent US President after Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson in the year of his inauguration on December 10, 2009. Donna Summer performed at the concert for the award of the Nobel Peace Prize . The Nobel Committee justified its decision on October 9, 2009 with Obama's "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples". Obama's qualification for the Nobel Peace Prize was and is controversial. The author Anthony Neal saw the award in Obama's departure from unilateralism and the “preemptive strike” concept of his predecessor. Obama himself described it as an incentive for the disarmament and reconciliation projects he had started.
The following universities in the USA have awarded Obama an honorary doctorate in law:
- 2005: Knox College
- 2006: University of Massachusetts Boston
- 2007: Southern New Hampshire University
- 2008: Wesleyan University
- 2010: University of Notre Dame
- 2016: Rutgers University
In October 2005, the British journal New Statesman named Obama one of "ten people who can change the world". In 2005 and from 2007 to 2016, Time magazine counted him among the one hundred most influential people in the world a total of eleven times. The magazine also named him Person of the Year in 2008 and 2012 .
On March 21, 2013, Obama became the first incumbent US president to receive Israel's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Distinction, from Israeli President Shimon Peres . Peres justified the award with Obama's tireless efforts to make Israel strong and peace possible.
In recognition of Obama's environmental policy, a species of jumping bass discovered in 2012 was named Etheostoma obama . The lichen species Caloplaca obamae, discovered on the Californian island of Santa Rosa , was named after him in 2007. More named after him species are Aptostichus barackobamai (a trapdoor spider ), Obamadon (a genus of fossil insektivorer Squamata ) Paragordius obamai (a hairworm ) Baracktrema obamai (one fluke ), Nystalus obamai (a Faulvogel ) Teleogramma obamaorum (an African cichlid ) , Tosanoides obama (a sawfish ) and the spider Spintharus barackobamai .
Barack Obama was awarded the 25th German Media Prize in Baden-Baden at the end of May 2017 . Former Federal President Joachim Gauck gave the laudatory speech . In his speech at a reception for the award ceremony, Obama, who spoke free of charge, spoke out against any form of propaganda and so-called fake news on the social networks of the Internet. It is important to act according to human reason and logic and to take the facts into account. According to Obama, stopping this dangerous development is the task of independent journalism and child-rearing that enables young people to form their own judgments.
Writings and speeches
- Dreams from My Father. A Story of Race and Inheritance. Crown Publishing (1st edition 1995), New York 2004, ISBN 0-307-38341-5 .
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. Crown Publishing, New York, 2006, ISBN 0-307-23769-9 .
- German: Dare to hope: Thoughts on returning to the American Dream. Riemann, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-570-50081-1 .
- Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters . Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2010, ISBN 978-0-375-83527-8 .
- United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps. In: The Journal of the American Medical Association (online edition), July 11, 2016, doi: 10.1001 / jama.2016.9797 .
- Words have to mean something. His big speeches. Edited by Birgit Schmitz, Suhrkamp, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-518-46797-8 .
- Sasha Abramsky : Obama's Little White Paper. Fascinating insights into President Obama's leadership style. FinanzBook, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-89879-581-4 .
- Michael D'Antonio : A Consequential President. The Legacy of Barack Obama. Thomas Dunne Books, New York 2017, ISBN 978-1-250-08139-1 .
- From politics and contemporary history . No. 4, 2010: USA ( PDF; 2.0 MB ).
- Peter Baker: Obama: The Call of History. New York Times / Callaway, New York 2017, ISBN 978-0-935112-90-0 (for USA), ISBN 978-3-942924-26-9 (for Germany).
- Ta-Nehisi Coates : We were eight years in power. An American tragedy. Hanser, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-446-25910-2 .
- Helge Fuhst : Barack Obama: President of the polarized states of America. A domestic political balance sheet of his first term in office 2009–2013 (= parties and elections. Vol. 8). Nomos, Baden-Baden 2014, ISBN 978-3-8487-1421-6 .
- David Garrow : Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. William Morrow, New York 2017, ISBN 978-0-06-264183-0 .
- Markus Günther : Barack Obama. America's new hope. Wißner, Augsburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-89639-620-4 .
- Christoph von Marschall : Barack Obama. The black Kennedy. Orell Füssli, Zurich 2007, ISBN 978-3-280-06108-4 .
- Christian Blees, Christoph von Marschall: Barack Obama. Audiobook, Freiburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-89964-307-7 .
- Norbert Rief, Thomas Hofer : Obama. The black visionary - turning point for world politics? Molden, Vienna / Graz / Klagenfurt 2008, ISBN 978-3-85485-231-5 .
- David Remnick : The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama. Alfred Knopf, New York 2010, ISBN 978-1-4000-4360-6 .
- David Remnick: Barack Obama's Life and Ascent. Berlin, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-8270-0893-0 .
- Sabine Scheffer: Barack Obama. His way up. Vogel Burda, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-200-01422-0 (audio book, 1 CD).
- Philipp Schläger: The disenchanted President. Barack Obama and his politics. Rotbuch, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86789-113-4 .
- Wolfgang G. Schwanitz : America's Hope: Making the Most of Obama's election victory. Explizit.Net, November 7, 2012 ( PDF; 1.75 MB ).
- Peter Woeste (Ed.): Barack Obama. Departure into a new time. Lingen, Cologne 2009, ISBN 978-3-941118-26-3 .
- Bob Woodward : Obama's Wars - The Ordeal of a Presidency. DVA, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-421-04508-9 .
- Julian E Zelizer (Ed.): The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment. Princeton University, Princeton 2018, ISBN 978-0-691-16028-3 .
- The Final Year. 2017. By Greg Barker
- Literature by and about Barack Obama in the catalog of the German National Library
- Barack Obama in the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress (English)
- Entry in the Encyclopædia Britannica (English)
- American President: Barack Obama (1961–). In: Miller Center of Public Affairs of the University of Virginia
- The American Presidency Project: Barack Obama. University of California, Santa Barbara database ofspeeches and other documents from all American presidents
- George Blaustein: Big speeches, big speakers? (2/3). Obama's Speeches: Politics as Storytelling. In: deutschlandfunk.de. Deutschlandfunk , July 16, 2017 ( mp3; 29.9 MB; 32:01 min. )
- The Roman number II is in Obama's birth certificate ( archived ( memento from April 25, 2011 on WebCite )) and refers to the father of the same name.
- The 10 most famous Nobel Peace Prize winners. Retrieved October 5, 2018 .
- GenCircles: Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. (attended East-West Center in Hawaii).
- Ancestry of Stanley Ann Dunham (Center for Professional Education, Boston University; PDF; 28 kB)
- Researchers: Obama has German roots. In: usatoday.com. June 4, 2009, accessed December 31, 2016 .
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- Kevin Merida: The Ghost of a Father. The Washington Post , December 14, 2007, accessed February 8, 2012 .
- Florian Gathmann, Gregor Peter Schmitz, Jochen Schönmann: How Auma Obama quarreled with Germany. Spiegel Online , July 24, 2008, accessed February 8, 2012 .
- President Obama's Brother Loses Election in Kenya. In: Observer. March 7, 2013, accessed February 10, 2020 .
- The Sunday Times, January 28, 2007: Secrets of Obama family unlocked ( January 11, 2008 memento in the Internet Archive ) - last accessed October 7, 2010
- University of Texas: The Obama Family Tree - Last accessed February 15, 2011
- Article: Barack Obama was a student with the Capuchins from November 22, 2008 on medals, accessed online on October 7, 2010
- David J. Garrow: Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. New York 2017, p. 64.
- Dinesh Sharma: Barack Obama in Hawaii and Indonesia: The Making of a Global President . Praeger, Santa Barbara 2011, ISBN 978-0-313-38533-9 , p. 103 .
- Martin A. Parlett: demonizing a President: The "foreignization" of Barack Obama. Praeger, Santa Barbara 2014, ISBN 978-1-4408-3055-6 , pp. 48-49 .
- David Remnick: Barack Obama - Life and Ascent. Berlin Verlag GmbH, Berlin 2010, p. 143
- Rosalind Rossi: The woman behind Obama ( Memento of February 15, 2008 in the Internet Archive ). In: Chicago Sun-Times , January 20, 2007, last accessed October 7, 2010.
- David J. Garrow: Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. New York 2017, p. 110.
- University of Chicago Law School: Barack Obama: Curriculum Vitae ( Memento of May 9, 2001 in the Internet Archive ). In: law.uchicago.edu, last accessed October 7, 2010.
- Johnny Bernard Hill: The first Black president: Barack Obama, race, politics, and the American dream. Palgrave Macmillan, New York 2009, p. 68.
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- Politico.com, Document: Obama 2008 campaign fine conciliation agreement , January 4, 2013
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- Video war: Anti-Clinton spot brings Obama into trouble. In: Spiegel Online . March 22, 2007, accessed December 31, 2016 .
- Yinka Adegoke (Reuters, December 28, 2007): Obama Girl, Britney boy top YouTube videos - last accessed October 7, 2010
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- Barack Obama: Dreams for my father , 1995, p. 13. On Obama's family tree: David Nitkin, Harry Merritt (Baltimore Sun, March 2, 2007): A New Twist to an Intriguing Family History ; Mary Jordan (Washington Post, May 13, 2007): Tiny Irish Village Is Latest Place to Claim Obama as Its Own ; CBS 2 (September 8, 2007): Obama's Family Tree Has a Few Surprises ( memento of June 2, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) - last accessed October 7, 2010
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- Bill Quigley (Southernstudies, July 2007): Black nooses hanging from the 'white' tree: Injustice in Jena - last accessed October 7, 2010
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|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Obama, Barack Hussein II (full name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||44th President of the USA|
|DATE OF BIRTH||4th August 1961|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Honolulu , Hawaii|