Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Profile of US Senator Barack Obama of Illinois


From Deborah White,
Your Guide to US Liberal Politics.
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United States Senate:
Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) was elected to the US Senate on November 2, 2004, and will next be up for reelection on November 2, 2010.

In February 2007, Obama formally announced his candidacy for the 2008 presidential race. He's the author of two best-selling books.

In 2005, Time dubbed him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He was lauded by millions of Africans during his 2006 tour of their continent.

Recent Notability: On February 10, 2007, Barack Obama declared that he's entering the 2008 race for the White House. Obama first rose to national prominence when he delivered an inspiring keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

In 2004, Senator Obama landed a $1.9 million deal to author 3 books. The first, "The Audacity of Hope," published in October 2006, discusses his political convictions. The second book will be co-written with his wife. His 1995 autobiography was a bestseller.

Major Areas of Interest: Senator Obama focuses on promoting public education, health care, ethics, economic growth/jobs, support for working families and ending the Iraq War. p] As an Illinois state senator, he worked passionately for ethics reforms and criminal justice.

In 2002, Obama publicly opposed the Bush Administration's push for the Iraq War, but supported war in Afghanistan.

Senate Committees in the 110th Congress:
  • Committee on Foreign Relations
  • Subcommittee on African Affairs
  • Subcommittee on International Economic Policy
  • Subcommittee on Asians and Pacific Affairs
  • Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
  • Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs
Practical, Progressive Thinking on the Issues: In 2002, Barack Obama publicly opposed the Iraq War, and continues to call for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. He urges universal health care, and if elected president, promises implementation by the end of his first term.

Barack Obama's voting record and stances as US Senator and Illinois State Senator reflect a "practical, common sense progressive" thinker who emphasizes increased support for teachers, college affordability, and restoration of meaningful federal support of veterans. Obama opposes privatization of Social Security.

Prior Experience: Barack Obama served 7 years as an Illinois State Senator, resigning to assume US Senate responsibilities. He also worked as a community organizer and a civil rights attorney. The Senator is a Senior Lecturer in Constitutional Law at University of Chicago Law School.

After law school, he aggressively organized one of the largest voter registration drives in Chicago history to help Bill Clinton's 1992 election.

Personal Data:
  • Birth - August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Education - BA in international relations, 1983, Columbia University. JD from Harvard Law School, where he was Editor of the Harvard Law Review
  • Family - Married on October 18, 1992 to Michelle Robinson, a Chicago native, also a Harvard Law School graduate. Two young daughters, Malia and Sasha.
  • Faith - Christian, United Church of Christ
The Senator returns to their Chicago home from Washington DC every weekend. Obama is a Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bears fan.

Growing Up Barack Obama: Born Barrack Hussein Obama, Jr, son of a Kenya-born Harvard-educated economist and a Caucasian anthropologist, was 2 years old when his parents divorced.

His father (deceased in 1982) returned to Kenya, and only saw his son once more. His mother remarried, and moved Barack to Indonesia. He returned to Hawaii at age 10 to live with his maternal grandparents. He graduated from the respected Punahou School with honors. As a teenager, he scooped ice cream at Baskins-Robbins, and has admitted to dabbling in marijuana and cocaine.

Memorable Quotes : "You can't have No Child Left Behind if you leave the money behind."

"I do agree that the Democrats have been intellectually lazy in failing to take the core ideals of the Democratic Party and adapting them to circumstances.... It's not just a matter of sticking in a quote from the Bible into a stock speech."

"There has yet to be a serious conversation about health care on the floor of the United States Senate."

" parents, we need to find the time and the energy to step in and find ways to help our kids love reading. We can read to them, talk to them about what they're reading and make time for this by turning off the TV ourselves. Libraries can help parents with this. Knowing the constraints we face from busy schedules and a TV culture, we need to think outside the box here - to dream big like we always have in America.

Right now, children come home from their first doctor's appointment with an extra bottle of formula. But imagine if they came home with their first library card or their first copy of Goodnight Moon? What if it was as easy to get a book as it is to rent a DVD or pick up McDonalds? What if instead of a toy in every Happy Meal, there was a book? What if there were portable libraries that rolled through parks and playgrounds like ice cream trucks? Or kiosks in stores where you could borrow books?

What if during the summer, when kids often lose much of the reading progress they've made during the year, every child had a list of books they had to read and talk about and an invitation to a summer reading club at the local library? Libraries have a special role to play in our knowledge economy." -- June 27, 2005 Speech to the American Library Association

Statement Regarding Barack Obama

The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as "Senior Lecturer."

From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers has high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined.

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