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Barack Obama was inaugurated as the first African American president, being the 44th president in office. The picture I chose with Barack Obama, including the word “Hope” was his campaign poster in his 2008 presidential election. The poster is also seen with the words “Change” or “Progress” which all these words represented him in his campaign. When Barack Obama was elected as the first African American president, he raised the hopes of many Americans, especially the African American population, he boosted America’s global image after the Bush era, and has significantly taken the world by storm and done many great things for this country.
Barack Obama was born on August 4th, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Barack Hussein Obama Senior and Ann Dunham. After Obama’s parents divorced, he soon moved to Jakarta, Indonesia with his mother, after his father died in a car accident in Kenya. Soon after, Barack Obama moved back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents, where he attended a private school named Punahou School. Later, two years after attending Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, he transferred to Columbia University in New York City and graduated in 1983 with a political science degree. In 1988, he applied to Harvard Law School. He graduated from Harvard, and then became a professor at the University of Chicago Law School and served as a civil rights attorney from 1992 to 2004. (Maraniss, 2012)
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After two years of working at the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) and in corporate research in New York, Obama moved to Chicago. He then took a job at the Developing Communities Project, a church-based group, as a community organizer. He worked with residents in low-income Chicago’s Roseland community and the Altgeld Gardens public housing development, which is a largely black population on Chicago’s south side. (Maraniss, 2012)
Obama soon started his political career in 1996, winning the Illinois State Senate as a democrat in the election. During his time in the senate, he had support from Democrats and Republicans for his reforms in health care and ethics, even during tight Republican reign in the Senate. He assisted in creating a state earned-income tax credit that helped the poor working citizens, advocated childhood education programs, and talked with law enforcement to demand videotaping confessions and interrogations on all cases. Obama was re-elected in 1998 and in 2002. He then ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, where he failed to win the election. As Illinois State Senator, Obama was quick to oppose President George W. Bush’s insistence to the Iraq war. (“Barack Obama”, 2009)
November 2004, Illinois senate delivered their votes, 70 percent to 27 percent, sending Obama to Washington. He was the third African American elected to the Senate since the era of Reconstruction. Obama partnered in creating a website that can track federal spending with Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn, and helped expand a bill that destroys mass destruction weapons in Europe and Russia with Indiana Republican Senator, Richard Lugar. Soon after all of this, Barack Obama announced his running for presidency in the 2008 election. (“Barack Obama”, 2009)
Barack took a victory in the primary of Iowa, that made him a contender to Hillary Clinton, former first lady, New York Senator, and the frontrunner of presidency. Obama survived the primary campaign to claim the Democratic position in June 2008. Obama chose Joseph Biden as his vice president and running mate. Joe Biden was the Delaware U.S. Senator since 1972, was a candidate for president and was a chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Obama ran against John McCain, Vietnam war veteran, and Arizona Senator. John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his potential vice president. Sarah Palin would have been the first ever female vice-president. In the primaries, Obama’s campaign worked to build support and he used his life story, charisma, and message of change and hope to draw in support from crowds. Obama’s message of hope and change relates to the picture I chose for this visual analysis. Campaigners tried to bring voters, young and African-Americans especially, which both favored Obama’s candidacy. (Maraniss, 2012)
A financial crisis leading up to the election changed view of issues in the economy. McCain and Obama tried to present that they each had the best idea to improve the economy after this disaster. Only a couple weeks remaining in the running, Obama showed to be the favorite on most polls. On November 4th, a historic turnout lined polling stations around the country. Obama captured many Republican states, which resulted in his victory of the presidency, becoming the first African-American president. (Maraniss, 2012)
During his first couple years in the Oval office, Obama signed many major bills into the law. The main bills were the Patient Protection Act and the Affordable Care Act, which was also known as ObamaCare. Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, Tax Relief, and The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 were part of the Great Recession. In the national debt, he signed Budget Control and American Taxpayer Relief Acts. In foreign policy, he lowered the numbers of nuclear weapons, and raised U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and eventually pulled troops and ended the war with Iraq. He was the main reason in the operations of the military in the death of Osama Bin Laden, leader of the September 11 terrorist attack.
Obama raised the hopes of many Americans, and changed the world in so many positive ways. He did have negatives, his presidency was not perfect, but he reigned well after the George W. Bush era. Obama’s election raised the global image of America, after the Bush era, when Europe was not fond of Bush after the invasion of Iraq. In 2009, after Obama got in office, many citizens from foreign countries had raised confidence in Barack Obama, feeling that he would know the right thing to do in foreign affairs. Obama was very popular internationally during his presidency, Russia and Muslim nations were not too fond of him, while Americans became more aware of foreign engagement. (“Barack Obama”, 2009)
The picture of Barack Obama I chose is moving to me, and supports his presidency after the fact. The poster was made for his candidacy in 2008, and was later revoked by its artist, because Obama did not apply himself like he said he would. But, after his presidency, I think the photo represents and supports what he did for the United States. The photo does not exactly represent all the things I talked about, but it overall captures the idea and impact Barack Obama had on the country. Obama gave us hope, and in other situations, gave us progress in the long run and he gave us change.
One benefit that Barack Obama’s election on the world had been the ability to overcome discrimination and racism in the world to elect him. He lowered unemployment rates, passed multiple reforms that benefit us as a country, he kept his promise in ending the Iraq war and brought the troops home, he also ordered military operations to kill terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, and he reformed American healthcare. He was charismatic, caring, and showed emotion in every speech, press conference, and public event. He was a family man, and a father, and he gave us hope, progress, and change for the long run in his presidency.
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