Barack obama position on economy

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Barack Obama
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Barack ObamaObama standing with his arms folded and smiling44th President of the United StatesIn office
January 20, 2009 January 20, 2017Vice PresidentJoe BidenPreceded byGeorge W. BushSucceeded byDonald TrumpUnited States Senator
from IllinoisIn office
January 3, 2005 November 16, 2008Preceded byPeter FitzgeraldSucceeded byRoland BurrisMember of the Illinois Senate
from the 13th districtIn office
January 8, 1997 November 4, 2004Preceded byAlice PalmerSucceeded byKwame RaoulPersonal detailsBornBarack Hussein Obama II
August 4, 1961
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.Political partyDemocraticSpouse(s)Michelle Robinson (m.1992)Children
  • Malia
  • Sasha
Parents
  • Barack Obama Sr. (father)
  • Ann Dunham (mother)
RelativesSee Obama familyResidenceKalorama (Washington, D.C.)EducationPunahou SchoolAlma materColumbia University (BA) Harvard University (JD)Awards
  • Nobel Peace Prize (2009)
  • Profile in Courage Award (2017)
SignatureWebsiteOfficial website
Obama Foundation
White House Archives

Barack Hussein Obama II (/b??r??k hu??se?n o??b??m?/ (About this soundlisten);[1] born August 4, 1961) is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American president of the United States. He previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004.

Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, he worked as a community organizer in Chicago. In 1988, he enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating, he became a civil rights attorney and an academic, teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He represented the 13th district for three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 until 2004, when he ran for the U.S. Senate. He received national attention in 2004 with his March primary win, his well-received July Democratic National Convention keynote address, and his landslide November election to the Senate. In 2008, he was nominated for president a year after his campaign began, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. He was elected over Republican John McCain and was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. Nine months later, he was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Regarded as a centrist New Democrat, Obama signed many landmark bills into law during his first two years in office. The main reforms that were passed include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as the "Affordable Care Act" or "Obamacare"), the DoddFrank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 served as economic stimulus amidst the Great Recession. After a lengthy debate over the national debt limit, he signed the Budget Control and the American Taxpayer Relief Acts. In foreign policy, he increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, reduced nuclear weapons with the United StatesRussia New START treaty, and ended military involvement in the Iraq War. He ordered military involvement in Libya, contributing to the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. He also ordered the military operations that resulted in the deaths of Osama bin Laden and suspected Yemeni Al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki.

After winning re-election by defeating Republican opponent Mitt Romney, Obama was sworn in for a second term in 2013. During this term, he promoted inclusion for LGBT Americans. His administration filed briefs that urged the Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional (United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges); same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide in 2015 after the Court ruled in Obergefell. He advocated for gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, indicating support for a ban on assault weapons, and issued wide-ranging executive actions concerning global warming and immigration. In foreign policy, he ordered military intervention in Iraq in response to gains made by ISIL after the 2011 withdrawal from Iraq, continued the process of ending U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan in 2016, promoted discussions that led to the 2015 Paris Agreement on global climate change, initiated sanctions against Russia following the invasion in Ukraine and again after Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, brokered a nuclear deal with Iran, and normalized U.S. relations with Cuba. Obama nominated three justices to the Supreme Court: Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were confirmed as justices, while Merrick Garland faced unprecedented partisan obstruction and was ultimately not confirmed. During his term in office, America's soft power and reputation abroad significantly improved.[2]

Obama's presidency has generally been regarded favorably, and evaluations of his presidency among historians, political scientists, and the general public place him among the upper tier of American presidents. Obama left office and retired in January 2017 and currently resides in Washington, D.C.[3][4] A December 2019 Gallup poll found that Obama was the most admired man in America for a record 12th consecutive year.[5]

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Early life and career

Main article: Early life and career of Barack Obama

Obama was born on August 4, 1961,[6] at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu, Hawaii.[7][8][9] He is the only president born outside the contiguous 48 states.[10] He was born to an American mother of European descent and an African father. His mother, Ann Dunham (19421995), was born in Wichita, Kansas; she was mostly of English descent,[11] with some German, Irish, Scottish, Swiss, and Welsh ancestry.[12] His father, Barack Obama Sr. (19361982),[13] was a married[14][15][16] Luo Kenyan from Nyang'oma Kogelo.[14][17] Obama's parents met in 1960 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father was a foreign student on a scholarship.[18][19] The couple married in Wailuku, Hawaii, on February 2, 1961, six months before Obama was born.[20][21]

In late August 1961, a few weeks after he was born, Barack and his mother moved to the University of Washington in Seattle, where they lived for a year. During that time, the elder Obama completed his undergraduate degree in economics in Hawaii, graduating in June 1962. He left to attend graduate school on a scholarship at Harvard University, where he earned an M.A. in economics. Obama's parents divorced in March 1964.[22] Obama Sr. returned to Kenya in 1964, where he married for a third time and worked for the Kenyan government as the Senior Economic Analyst in the Ministry of Finance.[23] He visited his son in Hawaii only once, at Christmas 1971,[24] before he was killed in an automobile accident in 1982, when Obama was 21 years old.[25] Recalling his early childhood, Obama said, "That my father looked nothing like the people around methat he was black as pitch, my mother white as milkbarely registered in my mind."[19] He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage.[26]

Obama (right) with his father in Hawaii, 1971

In 1963, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro at the University of Hawaii; he was an Indonesian EastWest Center graduate student in geography. The couple married on Molokai on March 15, 1965.[27] After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Lolo returned to Indonesia in 1966. His wife and stepson followed sixteen months later in 1967. The family initially lived in the Menteng Dalam neighborhood in the Tebet sub district of south Jakarta. From 1970, they lived in a wealthier neighborhood in the Menteng sub district of central Jakarta.[28]

Education

Obama started in St. Francis Pre-Education from age three to five. From age six to ten, he then attended local Indonesian-language schools: Sekolah Dasar Katolik Santo Fransiskus Asisi (St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Elementary School) for two years and Sekolah Dasar Negeri Menteng 01 (State Elementary School Menteng 01/Besuki school) for one and a half years, supplemented by English-language Calvert School homeschooling by his mother.[29][30] As a result of those four years in Jakarta, he was able to speak Indonesian fluently as a child.[31][32][33] During his time in Indonesia, Obama's step-father taught him to be resilient and gave him "a pretty hardheaded assessment of how the world works."[34]

In 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham. He attended Punahou Schoola private college preparatory schoolwith the aid of a scholarship from fifth grade until he graduated from high school in 1979.[35] In his youth, Obama went by the nickname "Barry."[36] Obama lived with his mother and half-sister, Maya Soetoro, in Hawaii for three years from 1972 to 1975 while his mother was a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Hawaii.[37] Obama chose to stay in Hawaii with his grandparents for high school at Punahou when his mother and half-sister returned to Indonesia in 1975 so his mother could begin anthropology field work.[38] His mother spent most of the next two decades in Indonesia, divorcing Lolo in 1980 and earning a PhD degree in 1992, before dying in 1995 in Hawaii following unsuccessful treatment for ovarian and uterine cancer.[39]

Obama later reflected on his years in Honolulu and wrote: "The opportunity that Hawaii offeredto experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respectbecame an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear."[40] Obama has also written and talked about using alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine during his teenage years to "push questions of who I was out of my mind."[41] Obama was also a member of the "choom gang," a self-named group of friends who spent time together and occasionally smoked marijuana.[42][43]

After graduating from high school in 1979, Obama moved to Los Angeles to attend Occidental College. In February 1981, Obama made his first public speech, calling for Occidental to participate in the disinvestment from South Africa in response to that nation's policy of apartheid.[44] In mid-1981, Obama traveled to Indonesia to visit his mother and half-sister Maya, and visited the families of college friends in Pakistan and India for three weeks.[44] Later in 1981, he transferred as a junior to Columbia College, Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialty in international relations[45] and in English literature[46] and lived off-campus on West 109th Street.[47] He graduated with a BA degree in 1983 and worked for about a year at the Business International Corporation, where he was a financial researcher and writer,[48][49] then as a project coordinator for the New York Public Interest Research Group on the City College of New York campus for three months in 1985.[50][51][52]

Family and personal life

Main article: Family of Barack Obama Obama poses in the Green Room of the White House with wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia, 2009.

In a 2006 interview, Obama highlighted the diversity of his extended family: "It's like a little mini-United Nations," he said. "I've got relatives who look like Bernie Mac, and I've got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher."[53] Obama has a half-sister with whom he was raised (Maya Soetoro-Ng) and seven other half-siblings from his Kenyan father's familysix of them living.[54] Obama's mother was survived by her Kansas-born mother, Madelyn Dunham,[55] until her death on November 2, 2008,[56] two days before his election to the Presidency. Obama also has roots in Ireland; he met with his Irish cousins in Moneygall in May 2011.[57] In Dreams from My Father, Obama ties his mother's family history to possible Native American ancestors and distant relatives of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. He also shares distant ancestors in common with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, among others.[58][59][60]

Obama with Jonathan Toews and the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, 2010

Obama is a supporter of the Chicago White Sox, and he threw out the first pitch at the 2005 ALCS when he was still a senator.[61] In 2009, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the All-Star Game while wearing a White Sox jacket.[62] He is also primarily a Chicago Bears football fan in the NFL, but in his childhood and adolescence was a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and rooted for them ahead of their victory in Super Bowl XLIII 12 days after he took office as president.[63] In 2011, Obama invited the 1985 Chicago Bears to the White House; the team had not visited the White House after their Super Bowl win in 1986 due to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.[64] He plays basketball, a sport he participated in as a member of his high school's varsity team,[65] and he is left-handed.[66]

Obama about to take a shot while three other players look at him. One of those players attempts to block Obama. Obama takes a left-handed jump shot during a pickup game on the White House basketball court, 2009.

Obama lived with anthropologist Sheila Miyoshi Jager while he was a community organizer in Chicago in the 1980s.[67] He proposed to her twice, but both Jager and her parents turned him down.[67][68] The relationship was not made public until May 2017, several months after his presidency had ended.[68]

In June 1989, Obama met Michelle Robinson when he was employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin.[69] Robinson was assigned for three months as Obama's adviser at the firm, and she joined him at several group social functions but declined his initial requests to date.[70] They began dating later that summer, became engaged in 1991, and were married on October 3, 1992.[71] After suffering a miscarriage, Michelle underwent in vitro fertilisation to conceive their children.[72] The couple's first daughter, Malia Ann, was born in 1998,[73] followed by a second daughter, Natasha ("Sasha"), in 2001.[74] The Obama daughters attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. When they moved to Washington, D.C., in January 2009, the girls started at the Sidwell Friends School.[75] The Obamas have two Portuguese Water Dogs; the first, a male named Bo, was a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy.[76] In 2013, Bo was joined by Sunny, a female.[77]

Obama and his wife Michelle at the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library, 2014

In 2005, the family applied the proceeds of a book deal and moved from a Hyde Park, Chicago condominium to a $1.6million house (equivalent to $2.1million in 2019) in neighboring Kenwood, Chicago.[78] The purchase of an adjacent lotand sale of part of it to Obama by the wife of developer, campaign donor and friend Tony Rezkoattracted media attention because of Rezko's subsequent indictment and conviction on political corruption charges that were unrelated to Obama.[79]

In December 2007, Money Magazine estimated Obama's net worth at $1.3million (equivalent to $1.6million in 2019) .[80] Their 2009 tax return showed a household income of $5.5millionup from about $4.2million in 2007 and $1.6million in 2005mostly from sales of his books.[81][82] On his 2010 income of $1.7million, he gave 14% to non-profit organizations, including $131,000 to Fisher House Foundation, a charity assisting wounded veterans' families, allowing them to reside near where the veteran is receiving medical treatments.[83][84] Per his 2012 financial disclosure, Obama may be worth as much as $10million.[85]

In early 2010, Michelle spoke about her husband's smoking habit and said Barack had quit smoking.[86][87]

On his 55th birthday, August 4, 2016, Obama penned an essay in Glamour, in which he described how his daughters and the presidency have made him a feminist.[88][89][90]

Religious views

Obama is a Protestant Christian whose religious views developed in his adult life.[91] He wrote in The Audacity of Hope that he "was not raised in a religious household." He described his mother, raised by non-religious parents, as being detached from religion, yet "in many ways the most spiritually awakened person... I have ever known." He described his father as a "confirmed atheist" by the time his parents met, and his stepfather as "a man who saw religion as not particularly useful." Obama explained how, through working with black churches as a community organizer while in his twenties, he came to understand "the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change."[92]

The Obamas worship at African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., January 2013.

In January 2008, Obama told Christianity Today: "I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life."[93] On September 27, 2010, Obama released a statement commenting on his religious views saying, "I'm a Christian by choice. My family didn'tfrankly, they weren't folks who went to church every week. And my mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn't raise me in the church. So I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to leadbeing my brothers' and sisters' keeper, treating others as they would treat me."[94][95]

Obama met Trinity United Church of Christ pastor Jeremiah Wright in October 1987 and became a member of Trinity in 1992.[96] During Obama's first presidential campaign in May 2008, he resigned from Trinity after some of Wright's statements were criticized.[97] Since moving to Washington, D.C., in 2009, the Obama family has attended several Protestant churches, including Shiloh Baptist Church and St. John's Episcopal Church, as well as Evergreen Chapel at Camp David, but the members of the family do not attend church on a regular basis.[98][99][100]

Law career

Community organizer and Harvard Law School

Two years after graduating from Columbia, Obama moved from New York to Chicago when he was hired as director of the Developing Communities Project, a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale on Chicago's South Side. He worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988.[51][101] He helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization in Altgeld Gardens.[102] Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.[103] In mid-1988, he traveled for the first time in Europe for three weeks and then for five weeks in Kenya, where he met many of his paternal relatives for the first time.[104][105]

External video Derrick Bell threatens to leave Harvard, April 24, 1990, 11:34, Boston TV Digital Archive[106] Student Barack Obama introduces Professor Derrick Bell starting at 6:25.

Despite being offered a full scholarship to Northwestern University School of Law, Obama enrolled at Harvard Law School in the fall of 1988, living in nearby Somerville, Massachusetts.[107] He was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year,[108] president of the journal in his second year,[102][109] and research assistant to the constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe while at Harvard for two years.[110] During his summers, he returned to Chicago, where he worked as a summer associate at the law firms of Sidley Austin in 1989 and Hopkins & Sutter in 1990.[111] After graduating with a JD degree magna cum laude[112] from Harvard in 1991, he returned to Chicago.[108] Obama's election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review gained national media attention[102][109] and led to a publishing contract and advance for a book about race relations,[113] which evolved into a personal memoir. The manuscript was published in mid-1995 as Dreams from My Father.[113]

Chicago Law School and civil rights attorney

In 1991, Obama accepted a two-year position as Visiting Law and Government Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School to work on his first book.[113][114] He then taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years, first as a lecturer from 1992 to 1996, and then as a senior lecturer from 1996 to 2004.[115]

From April to October 1992, Obama directed Illinois's Project Vote, a voter registration campaign with ten staffers and seven hundred volunteer registrars; it achieved its goal of registering 150,000 of 400,000 unregistered African Americans in the state, leading Crain's Chicago Business to name Obama to its 1993 list of "40 under Forty" powers to be.[116]

He joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 13-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development, where he was an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004. In 1994, he was listed as one of the lawyers in Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank, 94 C 4094 (N.D. Ill.).[117] This class action lawsuit was filed in 1994 with Selma Buycks-Roberson as lead plaintiff and alleged that Citibank Federal Savings Bank had engaged in practices forbidden under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act.[118] The case was settled out of court.[119] Final judgment was issued on May 13, 1998, with Citibank Federal Savings Bank agreeing to pay attorney fees.[120] His law license became inactive in 2007.[121][122]

From 1994 to 2002, Obama served on the boards of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicagowhich in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the Developing Communities Projectand of the Joyce Foundation.[51] He served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995 to 2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995 to 1999.[51]

Legislative career

Illinois State Senator (19972004)

Main article: Illinois Senate career of Barack Obama State Senator Obama and others celebrate the naming of a street in Chicago after ShoreBank co-founder Milton Davis in 1998.

Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, succeeding Democratic State Senator Alice Palmer from Illinois's 13th District, which, at that time, spanned Chicago South Side neighborhoods from Hyde ParkKenwood south to South Shore and west to Chicago Lawn.[123] Once elected, Obama gained bipartisan support for legislation that reformed ethics and health care laws.[124][125] He sponsored a law that increased tax credits for low-income workers, negotiated welfare reform, and promoted increased subsidies for childcare.[126] In 2001, as co-chairman of the bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, Obama supported Republican Governor Ryan's payday loan regulations and predatory mortgage lending regulations aimed at averting home foreclosures.[127][128]

He was reelected to the Illinois Senate in 1998, defeating Republican Yesse Yehudah in the general election, and was re-elected again in 2002.[129][130] In 2000, he lost a Democratic primary race for Illinois's 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives to four-term incumbent Bobby Rush by a margin of two to one.[131]

In January 2003, Obama became chairman of the Illinois Senate's Health and Human Services Committee when Democrats, after a decade in the minority, regained a majority.[132] He sponsored and led unanimous, bipartisan passage of legislation to monitor racial profiling by requiring police to record the race of drivers they detained, and legislation making Illinois the first state to mandate videotaping of homicide interrogations.[126][133][134][135] During his 2004 general election campaign for the U.S. Senate, police representatives credited Obama for his active engagement with police organizations in enacting death penalty reforms.[136] Obama resigned from the Illinois Senate in November 2004 following his election to the U.S. Senate.[137]

2004 U.S. Senate campaign

Main article: 2004 United States Senate election in Illinois Results of the 2004 U.S. Senate race in Illinois; Obama won the counties in blue.

In May 2002, Obama commissioned a poll to assess his prospects in a 2004 U.S. Senate race. He created a campaign committee, began raising funds, and lined up political media consultant David Axelrod by August 2002. Obama formally announced his candidacy in January 2003.[138]

Obama was an early opponent of the George W. Bush administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq.[139] On October 2, 2002, the day President Bush and Congress agreed on the joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War,[140] Obama addressed the first high-profile Chicago anti-Iraq War rally,[141] and spoke out against the war.[142] He addressed another anti-war rally in March 2003 and told the crowd "it's not too late" to stop the war.[143]

Decisions by Republican incumbent Peter Fitzgerald and his Democratic predecessor Carol Moseley Braun to not participate in the election resulted in wide-open Democratic and Republican primary contests involving 15 candidates.[144] In the March 2004 primary election, Obama won in an unexpected landslidewhich overnight made him a rising star within the national Democratic Party, started speculation about a presidential future, and led to the reissue of his memoir, Dreams from My Father.[145] In July 2004, Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention,[146] seen by nine million viewers. His speech was well received and elevated his status within the Democratic Party.[147]

Obama's expected opponent in the general election, Republican primary winner Jack Ryan, withdrew from the race in June 2004.[148] Six weeks later, Alan Keyes accepted the Republican nomination to replace Ryan.[149] In the November 2004 general election, Obama won with 70% of the vote.[150]

U.S. Senator from Illinois (200508)

Main article: United States Senate career of Barack Obama Official portrait of Obama as a member of the United States Senate

Obama was sworn in as a senator on January 3, 2005,[151] becoming the only Senate member of the Congressional Black Caucus.[152] CQ Weekly characterized him as a "loyal Democrat" based on analysis of all Senate votes from 2005 to 2007. Obama announced on November 13, 2008, that he would resign his Senate seat on November 16, 2008, before the start of the lame-duck session, to focus on his transition period for the presidency.[153]

Legislation
See also: List of bills sponsored by Barack Obama in the United States Senate

Obama cosponsored the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act.[154] He introduced two initiatives that bore his name: LugarObama, which expanded the NunnLugar Cooperative Threat Reduction concept to conventional weapons;[155] and the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, which authorized the establishment of USAspending.gov, a web search engine on federal spending.[156] On June 3, 2008, Senator Obamaalong with Senators Tom Carper, Tom Coburn, and John McCainintroduced follow-up legislation: Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act of 2008.[157]

Obama sponsored legislation that would have required nuclear plant owners to notify state and local authorities of radioactive leaks, but the bill failed to pass in the full Senate after being heavily modified in committee.[158] Regarding tort reform, Obama voted for the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which grants immunity from civil liability to telecommunications companies complicit with NSA warrantless wiretapping operations.[159]

Gray-haired man and Obama stand, wearing casual polo shirts. Obama wears sunglasses and holds something slung over his right shoulder. Obama and U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) visit a Russian facility for dismantling mobile missiles (August 2005)[160]

In December 2006, President Bush signed into law the Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act, marking the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor.[161][162] In January 2007, Obama and Senator Feingold introduced a corporate jet provision to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which was signed into law in September 2007.[163][164] Obama also introduced two unsuccessful bills: the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections,[165][166] and the Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007.[167]

Later in 2007, Obama sponsored an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act to add safeguards for personality-disorder military discharges.[168] This amendment passed the full Senate in the spring of 2008.[169] He sponsored the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran's oil and gas industry, which was never enacted but later incorporated in the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010;[170] and co-sponsored legislation to reduce risks of nuclear terrorism.[171] Obama also sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program, providing one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries.[172]

Committees
Obama speaks with a soldier stationed in Iraq, 2006.

Obama held assignments on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works and Veterans' Affairs through December 2006.[173] In January 2007, he left the Environment and Public Works committee and took additional assignments with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.[174] He also became Chairman of the Senate's subcommittee on European Affairs.[175] As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Obama made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. He met with Mahmoud Abbas before Abbas became President of the Palestinian National Authority, and gave a speech at the University of Nairobi in which he condemned corruption within the Kenyan government.[176]

Presidential campaigns

2008

Main articles: 2008 United States presidential election, Barack Obama 2008 presidential primary campaign, and Barack Obama 2008 presidential campaign Photograph Obama on stage with his wife and daughters just before announcing his presidential candidacy in Springfield, Illinois, February 10, 2007

On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.[177][178] The choice of the announcement site was viewed as symbolic because it was also where Abraham Lincoln delivered his historic "House Divided" speech in 1858.[177][179] Obama emphasized issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and reforming the health care system,[180] in a campaign that projected themes of hope and change.[181]

Numerous candidates entered the Democratic Party presidential primaries. The field narrowed to a duel between Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton after early contests, with the race remaining close throughout the primary process but with Obama gaining a steady lead in pledged delegates due to better long-range planning, superior fundraising, dominant organizing in caucus states, and better exploitation of delegate allocation rules.[182] On June 7, 2008, Clinton ended her campaign and endorsed Obama.[183]

Photograph Outgoing President George W. Bush meets with President-elect Obama in the Oval Office on November 10, 2008.

On August 23, Obama announced his selection of Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate.[184] Obama selected Biden from a field speculated to include former Indiana Governor and Senator Evan Bayh and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.[184] At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Hillary Clinton called for her supporters to endorse Obama, and she and Bill Clinton gave convention speeches in his support.[185] Obama delivered his acceptance speech, not at the center where the Democratic National Convention was held, but at Invesco Field at Mile High to a crowd of approximately 84,000 people; the speech was viewed by over 38million people worldwide.[186][187][188]

During both the primary process and the general election, Obama's campaign set numerous fundraising records, particularly in the quantity of small donations.[189] On June 19, 2008, Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976.[190]

2008 electoral vote results

John McCain was nominated as the Republican candidate, and he selected Sarah Palin as his running mate. The two candidates engaged in three presidential debates in September and October 2008.[191] On November 4, Obama won the presidency with 365 electoral votes to 173 received by McCain.[192] Obama won 52.9% of the popular vote to McCain's 45.7%.[193] He became the first African American to be elected president.[194] Obama delivered his victory speech before hundreds of thousands of supporters in Chicago's Grant Park.[195]

2012

Main articles: 2012 United States presidential election and Barack Obama 2012 presidential campaign Obama greets former Governor Mitt Romney in the Oval Office on November 29, 2012, in their first meeting since Obama's re-election victory over Romney.

On April 4, 2011, Obama announced his reelection campaign for 2012 in a video titled "It Begins with Us" that he posted on his website and filed election papers with the Federal Election Commission.[196][197][198] As the incumbent president he ran virtually unopposed in the Democratic Party presidential primaries,[199] and on April 3, 2012, Obama had secured the 2778 convention delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.[200]

2012 electoral vote results

At the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Obama and Joe Biden were formally nominated by former President Bill Clinton as the Democratic Party candidates for president and vice president in the general election. Their main opponents were Republicans Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, and Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.[201]

On November 6, 2012, Obama won 332 electoral votes, exceeding the 270 required for him to be reelected as president.[202][203][204] With 51.1% of the popular vote,[205] Obama became the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win the majority of the popular vote twice.[206][207] Obama addressed supporters and volunteers at Chicago's McCormick Place after his reelection and said: "Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties."[208][209]

Presidency (20092017)

Main article: Presidency of Barack Obama For a chronological guide to this subject, see Timeline of the Presidency of Barack Obama. See also: Confirmations of Barack Obama's Cabinet and List of international presidential trips made by Barack Obama

First 100 days

Main article: First 100 days of Barack Obama's presidency Photograph Barack Obama takes the oath of office administered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. at the Capitol, January 20, 2009

The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President took place on January 20, 2009. In his first few days in office, Obama issued executive orders and presidential memoranda directing the U.S. military to develop plans to withdraw troops from Iraq.[210] He ordered the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp,[211] but Congress prevented the closure by refusing to appropriate the required funds[212][213][214] and preventing moving any Guantanamo detainee into the U.S. or to other countries.[215] Obama reduced the secrecy given to presidential records.[216] He also revoked President George W. Bush's restoration of President Ronald Reagan's Mexico City Policy prohibiting federal aid to international family planning organizations that perform or provide counseling about abortion.[217]

Domestic policy

See also: Social policy of the Barack Obama administration

The first bill signed into law by Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, relaxing the statute of limitations for equal-pay lawsuits.[218] Five days later, he signed the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover an additional 4million uninsured children.[219] In March 2009, Obama reversed a Bush-era policy that had limited funding of embryonic stem cell research and pledged to develop "strict guidelines" on the research.[220]

Obama delivers a speech at joint session of Congress with Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on February 24, 2009.

Obama appointed two women to serve on the Supreme Court in the first two years of his Presidency. He nominated Sonia Sotomayor on May 26, 2009 to replace retiring Associate Justice David Souter; she was confirmed on August 6, 2009,[221] becoming the first Supreme Court Justice of Hispanic descent.[222] Obama nominated Elena Kagan on May 10, 2010 to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. She was confirmed on August 5, 2010, bringing the number of women sitting simultaneously on the Court to three justices for the first time in American history.[223]

On March 30, 2010, Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, a reconciliation bill that ended the process of the federal government giving subsidies to private banks to give out federally insured loans, increased the Pell Grant scholarship award, and made changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[224][225]

Obama meets with the Cabinet of the United States, November 23, 2009.

In a major space policy speech in April 2010, Obama announced a planned change in direction at NASA, the U.S. space agency. He ended plans for a return of human spaceflight to the moon and development of the Ares I rocket, Ares V rocket and Constellation program, in favor of funding Earth science projects, a new rocket type, and research and development for an eventual manned mission to Mars, and ongoing missions to the International Space Station.[226]

President Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address focused on themes of education and innovation, stressing the importance of innovation economics to make the United States more competitive globally. He spoke of a five-year freeze in domestic spending, eliminating tax breaks for oil companies and reversing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, banning congressional earmarks, and reducing healthcare costs. He promised the United States would have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 and be 80% reliant on "clean" electricity.[227][228]

LGBT rights

On October 8, 2009, Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a measure that expanded the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.[229]

On October 30, 2009, Obama lifted the ban on travel to the United States by those infected with HIV, which was celebrated by Immigration Equality.[230]

On December 22, 2010, Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, which fulfilled a key promise made in the 2008 presidential campaign[231][232] to end the Don't ask, don't tell policy of 1993 that had prevented gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the United States Armed Forces.[233] In 2016, the Pentagon also ended the policy that barred transgender people from serving openly in the military.[234]

As a candidate for the Illinois state senate in 1996, Obama had said he favored legalizing same-sex marriage.[235] By the time of his Senate run in 2004, he said he supported civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex partners but opposed same-sex marriages.[236] In 2008, he reaffirmed this position by stating "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage."[237] On May 9, 2012, shortly after the official launch of his campaign for re-election as president, Obama said his views had evolved, and he publicly affirmed his personal support for the legalization of same-sex marriage, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so.[238][239]

The White House was illuminated in rainbow colors on the evening of the Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling, June 26, 2015.

During his second inaugural address on January 21, 2013,[209] Obama became the first U.S. President in office to call for full equality for gay Americans: "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the lawfor if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well." This was the first time that a president mentioned gay rights or the word "gay" in an inaugural address.[240][241]

In 2013, the Obama Administration filed briefs that urged the Supreme Court to rule in favor of same-sex couples in the cases of Hollingsworth v. Perry (regarding same-sex marriage)[242] and United States v. Windsor (regarding the Defense of Marriage Act).[243] Then, following the Supreme Court's 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (ruling same-sex marriage to be a fundamental right), Obama asserted that, "This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts: When all Americans are treated as equal we are all more free."[244]

On July 30, 2015, the White House Office of National AIDS Policy revised its strategy for addressing the disease, which included widespread testing and linkage to healthcare, which was celebrated by the Human Rights Campaign.[245]

White House advisory and oversight groups

On March 11, 2009, Obama created the White House Council on Women and Girls, which formed part of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, having been established by Executive Order 13506 with a broad mandate to advise him on issues relating to the welfare of American women and girls.[246] The Council was chaired by Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett.[247] Obama also established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault through a government memorandum on January 22, 2014, with a broad mandate to advise him on issues relating to sexual assault on college and university campuses throughout the United States.[247][248][249] The co-chairs of the Task Force were Vice President Joe Biden and Jarrett.[248] The Task Force was a development out of the White House Council on Women and Girls and Office of the Vice President of the United States, and prior to that the 1994 Violence Against Women Act first drafted by Biden.[250]

Economic policy

Main article: Economic policy of the Barack Obama administration ">File:20090124 WeeklyAddress.ogvPlay media Obama presents his first weekly address as President of the United States on January 24, 2009, discussing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

On February 17, 2009, Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787billion economic stimulus package aimed at helping the economy recover from the deepening worldwide recession.[251] The act includes increased federal spending for health care, infrastructure, education, various tax breaks and incentives, and direct assistance to individuals.[252]

Deficit and debt increases, 200116

In March, Obama's Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, took further steps to manage the financial crisis, including introducing the PublicPrivate Investment Program for Legacy Assets, which contains provisions for buying up to twotrillion dollars in depreciated real estate assets.[253]

Obama intervened in the troubled automotive industry[254] in March 2009, renewing loans for General Motors and Chrysler to continue operations while reorganizing. Over the following months the White House set terms for both firms' bankruptcies, including the sale of Chrysler to Italian automaker Fiat[255] and a reorganization of GM giving the U.S. government a temporary 60% equity stake in the company, with the Canadian government taking a 12% stake.[256] In June 2009, dissatisfied with the pace of economic stimulus, Obama called on his cabinet to accelerate the investment.[257] He signed into law the Car Allowance Rebate System, known colloquially as "Cash for Clunkers," which temporarily boosted the economy.[258][259][260]

The Bush and Obama administrations authorized spending and loan guarantees from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department. These guarantees totaled about $11.5trillion, but only $3trillion had been spent by the end of November 2009.[261] Obama and the Congressional Budget Office predicted the 2010 budget deficit would be $1.5trillion or 10.6% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) compared to the 2009 deficit of $1.4trillion or 9.9% of GDP.[262][263] For 2011, the administration predicted the deficit would shrink to $1.34trillion, and the 10-year deficit would increase to $8.53trillion or 90% of GDP.[264] The most recent increase in the U.S. debt ceiling to $17.2trillion took effect in February 2014.[265] On August 2, 2011, after a lengthy congressional debate over whether to raise the nation's debt limit, Obama signed the bipartisan Budget Control Act of 2011. The legislation enforces limits on discretionary spending until 2021, establishes a procedure to increase the debt limit, creates a Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to propose further deficit reduction with a stated goal of achieving at least $1.5trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years, and establishes automatic procedures for reducing spending by as much as $1.2trillion if legislation originating with the new joint select committee does not achieve such savings.[266] By passing the legislation, Congress was able to prevent a U.S. government default on its obligations.[267]

US employment statistics (unemployment rate and monthly changes in net employment) during Obama's tenure as U.S. President[268][269]

As it did throughout 2008, the unemployment rate rose in 2009, reaching a peak in October at 10.0% and averaging 10.0% in the fourth quarter. Following a decrease to 9.7% in the first quarter of 2010, the unemployment rate fell to 9.6% in the second quarter, where it remained for the rest of the year.[270] Between February and December 2010, employment rose by 0.8%, which was less than the average of 1.9% experienced during comparable periods in the past four employment recoveries.[271] By November 2012, the unemployment rate fell to 7.7%,[272] decreasing to 6.7% in the last month of 2013.[273] During 2014, the unemployment rate continued to decline, falling to 6.3% in the first quarter.[274] GDP growth returned in the third quarter of 2009, expanding at a rate of 1.6%, followed by a 5.0% increase in the fourth quarter.[275] Growth continued in 2010, posting an increase of 3.7% in the first quarter, with lesser gains throughout the rest of the year.[275] In July 2010, the Federal Reserve noted that economic activity continued to increase, but its pace had slowed, and chairman Ben Bernanke said the economic outlook was "unusually uncertain."[276] Overall, the economy expanded at a rate of 2.9% in 2010.[277]

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and a broad range of economists credit Obama's stimulus plan for economic growth.[278][279] The CBO released a report stating that the stimulus bill increased employment by 12.1million,[279][280][281][282] while conceding that "It is impossible to determine how many of the reported jobs would have existed in the absence of the stimulus package."[278] Although an April 2010, survey of members of the National Association for Business Economics showed an increase in job creation (over a similar January survey) for the first time in two years, 73% of 68 respondents believed the stimulus bill has had no impact on employment.[283] The economy of the United States has grown faster than the other original NATO members by a wider margin under President Obama than it has anytime since the end of World War II.[284] The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development credits the much faster growth in the United States to the stimulus plan of the US and the austerity measures in the European Union.[285]

Within a month of the 2010 midterm elections, Obama announced a compromise deal with the Congressional Republican leadership that included a temporary, two-year extension of the 2001 and 2003 income tax rates, a one-year payroll tax reduction, continuation of unemployment benefits, and a new rate and exemption amount for estate taxes.[286] The compromise overcame opposition from some in both parties, and the resulting $858billion Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 passed with bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress before Obama signed it on December 17, 2010.[287]

In December 2013, Obama declared that growing income inequality is a "defining challenge of our time" and called on Congress to bolster the safety net and raise wages. This came on the heels of the nationwide strikes of fast-food workers and Pope Francis' criticism of inequality and trickle-down economics.[288]

Obama urged Congress to ratify a 12-nation free trade pact called the Trans-Pacific Partnership.[289]

Environmental policy

See also: Climate change policy of the United States Obama at a 2010 briefing on the BP oil spill at the Coast Guard Station Venice in Venice, Louisiana

On September 30, 2009, the Obama administration proposed new regulations on power plants, factories, and oil refineries in an attempt to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to curb global warming.[290][291]

On April 20, 2010, an explosion destroyed an offshore drilling rig at the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, causing a major sustained oil leak. Obama visited the Gulf, announced a federal investigation, and formed a bipartisan commission to recommend new safety standards, after a review by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and concurrent Congressional hearings. He then announced a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling permits and leases, pending regulatory review.[292] As multiple efforts by BP failed, some in the media and public expressed confusion and criticism over various aspects of the incident, and stated a desire for more involvement by Obama and the federal government.[293]

In July 2013, Obama expressed reservations and said he "would reject the Keystone XL pipeline if it increased carbon pollution" or "greenhouse emissions."[294][295] Obama's advisers called for a halt to petroleum exploration in the Arctic in January 2013.[296] On February 24, 2015, Obama vetoed a bill that would have authorized the pipeline.[297] It was the third veto of Obama's presidency and his first major veto.[298]

Obama emphasized the conservation of federal lands during his term in office. He used his power under the Antiquities Act to create 25 new national monuments during his presidency and expand four others, protecting a total of 553,000,000 acres (224,000,000ha) of federal lands and waters, more than any other U.S. president.[299][300][301][302]

Health care reform

Main article: Health care reform in the United States Photograph Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House, March 23, 2010.

Obama called for Congress to pass legislation reforming health care in the United States, a key campaign promise and a top legislative goal.[303] He proposed an expansion of health insurance coverage to cover the uninsured, to cap premium increases, and to allow people to retain their coverage when they leave or change jobs. His proposal was to spend $900billion over 10 years and include a government insurance plan, also known as the public option, to compete with the corporate insurance sector as a main component to lowering costs and improving quality of health care. It would also make it illegal for insurers to drop sick people or deny them coverage for pre-existing conditions, and require every American to carry health coverage. The plan also includes medical spending cuts and taxes on insurance companies that offer expensive plans.[304][305]

Maximum Out-of-Pocket Premium as Percentage of Family Income and federal poverty level, under Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, starting in 2014 (Source: CRS)[306]

On July 14, 2009, House Democratic leaders introduced a 1,017-page plan for overhauling the U.S. health care system, which Obama wanted Congress to approve by the end of 2009.[303] After much public debate during the Congressional summer recess of 2009, Obama delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress on September9 where he addressed concerns over the proposals.[307] In March 2009, Obama lifted a ban on using federal funds for stem cell research.[308]

On November 7, 2009, a health care bill featuring the public option was passed in the House.[309][310] On December 24, 2009, the Senate passed its own billwithout a public optionon a party-line vote of 6039.[311] On March 21, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed by the Senate in December was passed in the House by a vote of 219 to 212.[312] Obama signed the bill into law on March 23, 2010.[313]

The ACA includes health-related provisions, most of which took effect in 2014, including expanding Medicaid eligibility for people making up to 133%of the federal poverty level (FPL) starting in 2014,[314] subsidizing insurance premiums for people making up to 400%of the FPL ($88,000 for family of four in 2010) so their maximum "out-of-pocket" payment for annual premiums will be from 2% to 9.5% of income,[315][316] providing incentives for businesses to provide health care benefits, prohibiting denial of coverage and denial of claims based on pre-existing conditions, establishing health insurance exchanges, prohibiting annual coverage caps, and support for medical research. According to White House and CBO figures, the maximum share of income that enrollees would have to pay would vary depending on their income relative to the federal poverty level.[315][317]

Percentage of Individuals in the United States without Health Insurance, 19632015 (Source: JAMA)[318]

The costs of these provisions are offset by taxes, fees, and cost-saving measures, such as new Medicare taxes for those in high-income brackets, taxes on indoor tanning, cuts to the Medicare Advantage program in favor of traditional Medicare, and fees on medical devices and pharmaceutical companies;[319] there is also a tax penalty for those who do not obtain health insurance, unless they are exempt due to low income or other reasons.[320] In March 2010, the CBO estimated that the net effect of both laws will be a reduction in the federal deficit by $143billion over the first decade.[321]

The law faced several legal challenges, primarily based on the argument that an individual mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance was unconstitutional. On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled by a 54 vote in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius that the mandate was constitutional under the U.S. Congress's taxing authority.[322] In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby the Court ruled that "closely-held" for-profit corporations could be exempt on religious grounds under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from regulations adopted under the ACA that would have required them to pay for insurance that covered certain contraceptives. In June 2015, the Court ruled 63 in King v. Burwell that subsidies to help individuals and families purchase health insurance were authorized for those doing so on both the federal exchange and state exchanges, not only those purchasing plans "established by the State," as the statute reads.[323]

Energy policy

Main article: Energy policy of the Obama administration

Prior to June 2014, Obama offered substantial support for a broadly-based "All of the above" approach to domestic energy policy, which Obama has maintained since his first term and which he last confirmed at his State of the Union speech in January 2014 to a mixed reception by both parties. In June 2014, Obama made indications that his administration would consider a shift towards an energy policy more closely tuned to the manufacturing industry and its impact on the domestic economy.[324] Obama's approach of selectively combining regulation and incentive to various issues in the domestic energy policy, such as coal mining and oil fracking, has received mixed commentary for not being as responsive to the needs of the domestic manufacturing sector as needed, following claims that the domestic manufacturing sector utilizes as much as a third of the nation's available energy resources.[325][326]

Gun control

Main article: Social policy of the Barack Obama administration Gun policy Obama visits an Aurora shooting victim at University of Colorado Hospital, 2012.

On January 16, 2013, one month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Obama signed 23 executive orders and outlined a series of sweeping proposals regarding gun control.[327] He urged Congress to reintroduce an expired ban on military-style assault weapons, such as those used in several recent mass shootings, impose limits on ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, introduce background checks on all gun sales, pass a ban on possession and sale of armor-piercing bullets, introduce harsher penalties for gun-traffickers, especially unlicensed dealers who buy arms for criminals and approving the appointment of the head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the first time since 2006.[328] On January 5, 2016, Obama announced new executive actions extending background check requirements to more gun sellers.[329] In a 2016 editorial in the New York Times, Obama compared the struggle for what he termed "common-sense gun reform" to women's suffrage and other civil rights movements in American history.[330]

2010 midterm elections

Main articles: 2010 United States House of Representatives elections and 2010 United States Senate elections

Obama called the November 2, 2010 election, where the Democratic Party lost 63 seats in, and control of, the House of Representatives,[331] "humbling" and a "shellacking."[332] He said that the results came because not enough Americans had felt the effects of the economic recovery.[333]

Cybersecurity and Internet policy

On November 10, 2014, President Obama recommended the Federal Communications Commission reclassify broadband Internet service as a telecommunications service in order to preserve net neutrality.[334][335] On February 12, 2013, President Obama signed Executive Order 13636, "Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity."[336]

Government mass surveillance

Main article: Barack Obama on mass surveillance

In 2005 and 2006, Obama criticized certain aspects of the Patriot Act for infringing too much on civil liberties and sought as Senator to strengthen civil liberties protections.[337][338][339] In 2006, he voted to reauthorize a revised version of the Patriot Act, saying the law was not ideal but that the revised version had strengthened civil liberties.[339] In 2011, he signed a four-year renewal of the Patriot Act.[340] Following the 2013 global surveillance disclosures by whistleblower Edward Snowden, Obama condemned the leak as unpatriotic,[338] but called for increased restrictions on the NSA to address violations of privacy.[341][342] The changes which Obama ordered have been described as "modest" however.[343]

Foreign policy

Main article: Foreign policy of the Barack Obama administration June 4, 2009 ? after his speech A New Beginning at Cairo University, U.S. President Obama participates in a roundtable interview in 2009 with among others Jamal Khashoggi, Bambang Harymurti and Nahum Barnea.

In February and March 2009, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made separate overseas trips to announce a "new era" in U.S. foreign relations with Russia and Europe, using the terms "break" and "reset" to signal major changes from the policies of the preceding administration.[344] Obama attempted to reach out to Arab leaders by granting his first interview to an Arab satellite TV network, Al Arabiya.[345]

On March 19, Obama continued his outreach to the Muslim world, releasing a New Year's video message to the people and government of Iran.[346][347] In April, Obama gave a speech in Ankara, Turkey, which was well received by many Arab governments.[348] On June 4, 2009, Obama delivered a speech at Cairo University in Egypt calling for "A New Beginning" in relations between the Islamic world and the United States and promoting Middle East peace.[349]

International trips made by President Barack Obama during his terms in office Obama with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2011

On June 26, 2009, Obama responded to the Iranian government's actions towards protesters following Iran's 2009 presidential election by saying: "The violence perpetrated against them is outrageous. We see it and we condemn it."[350] While in Moscow on July 7, he responded to Vice President Biden's comment on a possible Israeli military strike on Iran by saying: "We have said directly to the Israelis that it is important to try and resolve this in an international setting in a way that does not create major conflict in the Middle East."[351]

On September 24, 2009, Obama became the first sitting U.S. President to preside over a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.[352]

In March 2010, Obama took a public stance against plans by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue building Jewish housing projects in predominantly Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.[353][354] During the same month, an agreement was reached with the administration of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with a new pact reducing the number of long-range nuclear weapons in the arsenals of both countries by about a third.[355] Obama and Medvedev signed the New START treaty in April 2010, and the U.S. Senate ratified it in December 2010.[356]

Obama meets with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the White House, October 2016.

In December 2011, Obama instructed agencies to consider LGBT rights when issuing financial aid to foreign countries.[357] In August 2013, he criticized Russia's law that discriminates against gays,[358] but he stopped short of advocating a boycott of the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.[359]

In December 2014, Obama announced that he intended to normalize relationships between Cuba and the United States.[360] The countries' respective "interests sections" in one another's capitals were upgraded to embassies on July 20, 2015.

In March 2015, Obama declared that he had authorized U.S. forces to provide logistical and intelligence support to the Saudis in their military intervention in Yemen, establishing a "Joint Planning Cell" with Saudi Arabia.[361][362] In 2016, the Obama administration proposed a series of arms deals with Saudi Arabia worth $115 billion.[363] Obama halted the sale of guided munition technology to Saudi Arabia after Saudi warplanes targeted a funeral in Yemen's capital Sanaa, killing more than 140 people.[364]

Before leaving office, Obama said German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been his "closest international partner" throughout his tenure as president.[365]

War in Iraq

Main articles: Iraq War and American-led intervention in Iraq (2014present)

On February 27, 2009, Obama announced that combat operations in Iraq would end within 18 months. His remarks were made to a group of Marines preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. Obama said, "Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end."[366] The Obama administration scheduled the withdrawal of combat troops to be completed by August 2010, decreasing troop's levels from 142,000 while leaving a transitional force of about 50,000 in Iraq until the end of 2011. On August 19, 2010, the last U.S. combat brigade exited Iraq. Remaining troops transitioned from combat operations to counter-terrorism and the training, equipping, and advising of Iraqi security forces.[367][368] On August 31, 2010, Obama announced that the United States combat mission in Iraq was over.[369] On October 21, 2011 President Obama announced that all U.S. troops would leave Iraq in time to be "home for the holidays."[370]

US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron trade bottles of beer to settle a bet they made on the U.S. vs. England World Cup Soccer game (which ended in a tie), during a bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada, Saturday, June 26, 2010. Meeting with UK Prime Minister David Cameron during the 2010 G20 Toronto summit

In June 2014, following the capture of Mosul by ISIS, Obama sent 275 troops to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. ISIS continued to gain ground and to commit widespread massacres and ethnic cleansing.[371][372]

In August 2014, during the Sinjar massacre, Obama ordered a campaign of U.S. airstrikes against ISIS.[373]

By the end of 2014, 3,100 American ground troops were committed to the conflict[374] and 16,000 sorties were flown over the battlefield, primarily by U.S. Air Force and Navy pilots.[375]

In early 2015, with the addition of the "Panther Brigade" of the 82nd Airborne Division the number of U.S. ground troops in Iraq surged to 4,400,[376] and by July American-led coalition air forces counted 44,000 sorties over the battlefield.[377]

War in Afghanistan

Main article: War in Afghanistan (2001present)

Early in his presidency, Obama moved to bolster U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan.[378] He announced an increase in U.S. troop levels to 17,000 military personnel in February 2009 to "stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan," an area he said had not received the "strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires."[379] He replaced the military commander in Afghanistan, General David D. McKiernan, with former Special Forces commander Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal in May 2009, indicating that McChrystal's Special Forces experience would facilitate the use of counterinsurgency tactics in the war.[380] On December 1, 2009, Obama announced the deployment of an additional 30,000 military personnel to Afghanistan and proposed to begin troop withdrawals 18 months from that date;[381] this took place in July 2011. David Petraeus replaced McChrystal in June 2010, after McChrystal's staff criticized White House personnel in a magazine article.[382] In February 2013, Obama said the U.S. military would reduce the troop level in Afghanistan from 68,000 to 34,000 U.S. troops by February 2014.[383]

In October 2015, the White House announced a plan to keep U.S. Forces in Afghanistan indefinitely in light of the deteriorating security situation.[384]

Israel

President Barack Obama, at left, shakes hands with Israeli President Shimon Peres, at right, in the Oval Office on Tuesday, May 5, 2009. Standing at right looking on is U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. Obama meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres in the Oval Office, May 2009

In 2011, the United States vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, with the United States being the only nation to do so.[385] Obama supports the two-state solution to the ArabIsraeli conflict based on the 1967 borders with land swaps.[386]

In June 2011, Obama said the bond between the United States and Israel is "unbreakable."[387] During the initial years of the Obama administration, the U.S. increased military cooperation with Israel, including increased military aid, re-establishment of the U.S.-Israeli Joint Political Military Group and the Defense Policy Advisory Group, and an increase in visits among high-level military officials of both countries.[388] The Obama administration asked Congress to allocate money toward funding the Iron Dome program in response to the waves of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel.[389]

In 2013, Jeffrey Goldberg reported that, in Obama's view, "with each new settlement announcement, Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation."[390] In 2014, Obama likened the Zionist movement to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. He said both movements seek to bring justice and equal rights to historically persecuted peoples. He explained, "To me, being pro-Israel and pro-Jewish is part and parcel with the values that I've been fighting for since I was politically conscious and started getting involved in politics."[391] Obama expressed support for Israel's right to defend itself during the 2014 IsraelGaza conflict.[392] In 2015, Obama was harshly criticized by Israel for advocating and signing the Iran Nuclear Deal; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had advocated the U.S. congress to oppose it, said the deal was "dangerous" and "bad."[393]

On December 23, 2016, under the Obama Administration, the United States abstained from United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories as a violation of international law, effectively allowing it to pass.[394] Netanyahu strongly criticized the Obama Administration's actions,[395][396] and the Israeli government withdrew its annual dues from the organization, which totaled $6 million, on January 6, 2017.[397] On January 5, 2017, the United States House of Representatives voted 34280 to condemn the UN Resolution.[398][399]

Libya

Main article: 2011 military intervention in Libya President Obama meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Syria and ISIS, September 29, 2015.

In February 2011, protests in Libya began against long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi as part of the Arab Spring. They soon turned violent. In March, as forces loyal to Gaddafi advanced on rebels across Libya, calls for a no-fly zone came from around the world, including Europe, the Arab League, and a resolution[400] passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate.[401] In response to the unanimous passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 on March 17, Gaddafiwho had previously vowed to "show no mercy" to the rebels of Benghazi[402]announced an immediate cessation of military activities,[403] yet reports came in that his forces continued shelling Misrata. The next day, on Obama's orders, the U.S. military took part in air strikes to destroy the Libyan government's air defense capabilities to protect civilians and enforce a no-fly-zone,[404] including the use of Tomahawk missiles, B-2 Spirits, and fighter jets.[405][406][407] Six days later, on March 25, by unanimous vote of all its 28 members, NATO took over leadership of the effort, dubbed Operation Unified Protector.[408] Some Representatives[409] questioned whether Obama had the constitutional authority to order military action in addition to questioning its cost, structure and aftermath.[410][411]

Syrian Civil War

See also: Foreign involvement in the Syrian Civil War United States

On August 18, 2011, several months after the start of the Syrian Civil War, Obama issued a written statement that said: "The time has come for President Assad to step aside."[412][413] This stance was reaffirmed in November 2015.[414] In 2012, Obama authorized multiple programs run by the CIA and the Pentagon to train anti-Assad rebels.[415] The Pentagon-run program was later found to have failed and was formally abandoned in October 2015.[416][417]

In the wake of a chemical weapons attack in Syria, formally blamed by the Obama administration on the Assad government, Obama chose not to enforce the "red line" he had pledged[418] and, rather than authorize the promised military action against Assad, went along with the Russia-brokered deal that led to Assad giving up chemical weapons; however attacks with chlorine gas continued.[419][420] In 2014, Obama authorized an air campaign aimed primarily at ISIL, but repeatedly promised the U.S. would not deploy ground troops in Syria.[421][422]

Death of Osama bin Laden

Main article: Death of Osama bin Laden ">File:President Obama on Death of Osama bin Laden.ogvPlay media President Obama's address (9:28)
Also available: Audio only; Full textWikisource has information on "Remarks by the President on Osama bin Laden"President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on Operation Neptune's Spear, a mission against Osama bin Laden, in one of the conference rooms of the Situation Room of the White House, on May 1, 2011. They are watching live feed from drones operating over the bin Laden complex. Obama and members of the national security team receive an update on Operation Neptune's Spear in the White House Situation Room, May 1, 2011. See also: Situation Room

Starting with information received from Central Intelligence Agency operatives in July 2010, the CIA developed intelligence over the next several months that determined what they believed to be the hideout of Osama bin Laden. He was living in seclusion in a large compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a suburban area 35 miles (56km) from Islamabad.[423] CIA head Leon Panetta reported this intelligence to President Obama in March 2011.[423] Meeting with his national security advisers over the course of the next six weeks, Obama rejected a plan to bomb the compound, and authorized a "surgical raid" to be conducted by United States Navy SEALs.[423] The operation took place on May 1, 2011, and resulted in the shooting death of bin Laden and the seizure of papers, computer drives and disks from the compound.[424][425] DNA testing was one of five methods used to positively identify bin Laden's corpse,[426] which was buried at sea several hours later.[427] Within minutes of the President's announcement from Washington, DC, late in the evening on May 1, there were spontaneous celebrations around the country as crowds gathered outside the White House, and at New York City's Ground Zero and Times Square.[424][428] Reaction to the announcement was positive across party lines, including from former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.[429]

Iran nuclear talks

Main article: Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Obama talks with Benjamin Netanyahu, March 2013.

In November 2013, the Obama administration opened negotiations with Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, which included an interim agreement. Negotiations took two years with numerous delays, with a deal being announced July 14, 2015. The deal, titled the "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," saw the removal of sanctions in exchange for measures that would prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons. While Obama hailed the agreement as being a step towards a more hopeful world, the deal drew strong criticism from Republican and conservative quarters, and from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.[430][431][432] In addition, the transfer of $1.7 billion in cash to Iran shortly after the deal was announced was criticized by the republican party. The Obama administration said that the payment in cash was because of the "effectiveness of U.S. and international sanctions."[433] In order to advance the deal, the Obama administration shielded Hezbollah from the Drug Enforcement Administration's Project Cassandra investigation regarding drug smuggling and from the Central Intelligence Agency.[434][435]

Relations with Cuba

Main article: United StatesCuban Thaw President Obama meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro in Panama, April 2015

Since the spring of 2013, secret meetings were conducted between the United States and Cuba in the neutral locations of Canada and Vatican City.[436] The Vatican first became involved in 2013 when Pope Francis advised the U.S. and Cuba to exchange prisoners as a gesture of goodwill.[437] On December 10, 2013, Cuban President Raul Castro, in a significant public moment, greeted and shook hands with Obama at the Nelson Mandela memorial service in Johannesburg.[438]

In December 2014, after the secret meetings, it was announced that Obama, with Pope Francis as an intermediary, had negotiated a restoration of relations with Cuba, after nearly sixty years of detente.[439] Popularly dubbed the Cuban Thaw, The New Republic deemed the Cuban Thaw to be "Obama's finest foreign policy achievement."[440] On July 1, 2015, President Barack Obama announced that formal diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States would resume, and embassies would be opened in Washington and Havana.[441] The countries' respective "interests sections" in one another's capitals were upgraded to embassies on July 20 and August 13, 2015, respectively.[442]

Obama visited Havana, Cuba for two days in March 2016, becoming the first sitting U.S. President to arrive since Calvin Coolidge in 1928.[443]

Africa

Obama spoke in front of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 29, 2015, the first sitting U.S. president to do so. He gave a speech encouraging the world to increase economic ties via investments and trade with the continent, and lauded the progress made in education, infrastructure, and economy. He also criticized the lack of democracy and leaders who refuse to step aside, discrimination against minorities (LGBT people, religious groups and ethnicities), and corruption. He suggested an intensified democratization and free trade, to significantly improve the quality of life for Africans.[444][445] During his July 2015 trip, Obama also was the first U.S. president ever to visit Kenya, which is the homeland of his father.[446]

Hiroshima speech

On May 27, 2016, Obama became the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, 71 years after the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima that ended World War II. Accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Obama paid tribute to the victims of the bombing at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.[447]

Russia

See also: RussiaUnited States relations Obama's tenure (200917) Obama meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in September 2015.

After Russia's invasion of Crimea in 2014, military intervention in Syria in 2015, and the interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election,[448] Obama's Russia policy was widely seen as a failure.[449] George Robertson, a former UK defense secretary and NATO secretary-general, said Obama had "allowed Putin to jump back on the world stage and test the resolve of the West," adding that the legacy of this disaster would last.[450]

Cultural and political image

Main article: Public image of Barack Obama See also: International reactions to the 2008 United States presidential election and International reactions to the 2012 United States presidential election

Obama's family history, upbringing, and Ivy League education differ markedly from those of African-American politicians who launched their careers in the 1960s through participation in the civil rights movement.[451] Expressing puzzlement over questions about whether he is "black enough," Obama told an August 2007 meeting of the National Association of Black Journalists that "we're still locked in this notion that if you appeal to white folks then there must be something wrong."[452] Obama acknowledged his youthful image in an October 2007 campaign speech, saying: "I wouldn't be here if, time and again, the torch had not been passed to a new generation."[453]

Obama is frequently referred to as an exceptional orator.[454] During his pre-inauguration transition period and continuing into his presidency, Obama delivered a series of weekly Internet video addresses.[455] In his speeches as president, Obama did not make more overt references to race relations than his predecessors,[456][457] but according to one study, he implemented stronger policy action on behalf of African-Americans than any president since the Nixon era.[458]

Presidential approval ratings

According to the Gallup Organization, Obama began his presidency with a 68% approval rating[459] before gradually declining for the rest of the year, and eventually bottoming out at 41% in August 2010,[460] a trend similar to Ronald Reagan's and Bill Clinton's first years in office.[461] He experienced a small poll bounce shortly after the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011. This bounce lasted until around June 2011, when his approval numbers dropped back to where they were previously.[462][463] His approval ratings rebounded around the same time as his reelection in 2012, with polls showing an average job approval of 52% shortly after his second inauguration.[464] Despite approval ratings dropping to 39% in late-2013 due to the ACA roll-out, they climbed to 50% in January 2015 according to Gallup.[465]

Polls showed strong support for Obama in other countries both before and during his presidency.[466][467] In a February 2009 poll conducted in Western Europe and the U.S. by Harris Interactive for France 24 and the International Herald Tribune, Obama was rated as the most respected world leader, as well as the most powerful.[468] In a similar poll conducted by Harris in May 2009, Obama was rated as the most popular world leader, as well as the one figure most people would pin their hopes on for pulling the world out of the economic downturn.[469][470]

Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, President Francois Hollande of France and others react emotionally while watching the overtime shootout of the Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich Champions League final, in the Laurel Cabin conference room during the G8 Summit at Camp David, Maryland, May 19, 2012. Cameron raises his arms triumphantly as the Chelsea team wins their first Champions League title in the overtime shootout. G8 leaders watching the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final

Obama won Best Spoken Word Album Grammy Awards for abridged audiobook versions of Dreams from My Father in February 2006 and for The Audacity of Hope in February 2008.[471] His concession speech after the New Hampshire primary was set to music by independent artists as the music video "Yes We Can," which was viewed 10million times on YouTube in its first month[472] and received a Daytime Emmy Award.[473] In December 2008 and in 2012, Time magazine named Obama as its Person of the Year.[474] The 2008 awarding was for his historic candidacy and election, which Time described as "the steady march of seemingly impossible accomplishments."[475] On May 25, 2011, Obama became the first President of the United States to address both houses of the UK Parliament in Westminster Hall, London. This was only the fifth occurrence since the start of the 20th century of a head of state's being extended this invitation, following Charles de Gaulle in 1960, Nelson Mandela in 1996, Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.[476][477]

On October 9, 2009, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that Obama had won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."[478] Obama accepted this award in Oslo, Norway on December 10, 2009, with "deep gratitude and great humility."[479] The award drew a mixture of praise and criticism from world leaders and media figures.[480][481][482][483] Obama's peace prize was called a "stunning surprise" by The New York Times.[484] Obama is the fourth U.S. president to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the third to become a Nobel laureate while in office.[485] Obama's Nobel Prize has been viewed skeptically in subsequent years, especially after the director of the Nobel Institute, Geir Lundestad, said Obama's Peace Prize did not have the desired effect.[486]

Post-presidency (2017present)

Obama, with Joe Biden and Donald Trump at the latter's inauguration on January 20, 2017

Obama's presidency ended at noon on January 20, 2017, immediately following the inauguration of his Republican successor, Donald Trump. After the inauguration, Obama lifted off on Executive One, circled the White House, and flew to Joint Base Andrews.[487] The family currently rents a house in Kalorama, Washington, D.C.[488]

On March 2, 2017, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum awarded the annual Profile in Courage Award to Obama "for his enduring commitment to democratic ideals and elevating the standard of political courage."[489] In his first public appearance out of office, Obama appeared at a seminar at the University of Chicago on April 24. The seminar was aimed at the engagement with a new generation as well as an appeal for their participation in politics.[490] On May 4, three days ahead of the French presidential election, Obama publicly endorsed Emmanuel Macron: "He appeals to people's hopes and not their fears, and I enjoyed speaking to Emmanuel recently to hear about his independent movement and his vision for the future of France."[491] Macron went on to win the election.

While in Berlin on May 25, Obama made a joint public appearance with Chancellor Angela Merkel where he stressed inclusion and for leaders to question themselves, Obama having been formally invited to Berlin while still in office as part of an effort to boost Merkel's re-election campaign.[492] Obama traveled to Kensington Palace in England and met with Prince Harry on May 27, 2017; Obama tweeted afterward that the two discussed their foundations and offering condolences in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing that occurred five days prior.[493]

After President Trump announced his withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement on June 1, Obama released a statement disagreeing with the choice: "But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I'm confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we've got."[494]

Obama playing golf with the President of Argentina Mauricio Macri, October 2017

After Senate Republicans revealed the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, their discussion draft of a health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, on June 22, Obama released a Facebook post calling the bill "a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America."[495] On September 19, while delivering the keynote address at Goalkeepers, Obama admitted his frustration with Republicans backing "a bill that will raise costs, reduce coverage, and roll back protections for older Americans and people with pre-existing conditions."[496]

After Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on September 5, Obama released a Facebook post criticizing the decision.[497] Two days later, he partnered with former presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush to work with One America Appeal to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma in the Gulf Coast and Texas communities.[498]

Obama hosted the inaugural summit of the Obama Foundation in Chicago on October 31. Obama intends for the foundation to be the central focus of his post-presidency and part of his ambitions for his subsequent activities following his presidency to be more consequential than his time in office.[499] Obama has also been working on a Presidential memoir, in a reported $65 million deal with Penguin Random House.[500]

Obama went on an international trip from November 28 to December 2, 2017, and visited China, India and France. In China, he delivered remarks at the Global Alliance of SMEs Summit in Shanghai and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.[501][502] He then went to India, where he spoke at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit before meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over lunch. In addition, he held a town hall for young leaders, organized by the Obama Foundation.[503][504] He also met with the Dalai Lama while in New Delhi.[505] He ended his five-day trip in France where he met with French President Emmanuel Macron, former President Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and then spoke at an invitation-only event, touching on climate issues.[506]

Barack and Michelle Obama signed a deal on May 22, 2018 to produce docu-series, documentaries and features for Netflix under the Obamas newly formed production company, Higher Ground Productions. On the deal, Michelle said "I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others."[507][508]

A package that contained a pipe bomb was sent to Obama's home in Washington, D.C, on October 24, 2018. The package was intercepted by the Secret Service during routine mail screenings. Similar packages were sent to several other Democratic leaders, mostly those who voiced strong objections to the policies of Donald Trump and to CNN. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was addressed as the sender of the package. On October 26, 2018, Cesar Sayoc was arrested and faces five federal charges in Manhattan carrying a combined maximum sentence of 48 years behind bars in relation to the pipe bombs.[509][510]

In 2019, Barack and Michelle Obama bought a home on Martha's Vineyard from Wyc Grousbeck.[511][512]

Legacy

Job growth during the presidency of Obama compared to predecessors, as measured as cumulative percentage change from month after inauguration to end of his term

Obama's most significant legacy is generally considered to be the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), provisions of which went into effect from 2010 to 2020. Many attempts by Senate Republicans to repeal the PPACA, including a "skinny repeal," have thus far failed.[513] Together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act amendment, it represents the U.S. healthcare system's most significant regulatory overhaul and expansion of coverage since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.[514][515][516][517]

Many commentators credit Obama with averting a threatened depression and pulling the economy back from the Great Recession.[513] According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Obama administration created 11.3million jobs from the month after his first inauguration to the end of his term.[518] In 2010, Obama signed into effect the DoddFrank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Passed as a response to the financial crisis of 200708, it brought the most significant changes to financial regulation in the United States since the regulatory reform that followed the Great Depression under Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[519]

In 2009, Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, which contained in it the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the first addition to existing federal hate crime law in the United States since Democratic President Bill Clinton signed into law the Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act expanded existing federal hate crime laws in the United States to apply to crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, and dropped the prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally protected activity.

As president, Obama advanced LGBT rights.[520] In 2010, he signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act, which brought an end to "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the U.S. armed forces that banned open service from LGB people; the law went into effect the following year.[521] In 2016, his administration brought an end to the ban on transgender people serving openly in the U.S. armed forces.[522][234] A Gallup poll, taken in the final days of Obama's term, showed that 68% of Americans believed the U.S. had made progress in the situation for gays and lesbians during Obama's eight years in office.[523]

Obama substantially escalated the use of drone strikes against suspected militants and terrorists associated with al-Qaeda and the Taliban.[524][525] In 2016, the last year of his presidency, the US dropped 26,171 bombs on seven different countries.[526][527] Obama left about 8,400 US troops in Afghanistan, 5,262 in Iraq, 503 in Syria, 133 in Pakistan, 106 in Somalia, seven in Yemen, and two in Libya at the end of his presidency.[528][529]

According to Pew Research Center and United States Bureau of Justice Statistics, from December 31, 2009, to December 31, 2015, inmates sentenced in US federal custody declined by five percent. This is the largest decline in sentenced inmates in US federal custody since Democratic President Jimmy Carter. By contrast, the federal prison population increased significantly under presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.[530]

Obama left office in January 2017 with a 60% approval rating.[531][532] A 2018 survey of historians by the American Political Science Association ranked Obama the 8th-greatest American President.[4] Obama gained 10 spots from the same survey in 2015 from the Brookings Institution that ranked Obama the 18th-greatest American President.[533]

Presidential library

Main article: Barack Obama Presidential Center

The Barack Obama Presidential Center is Obama's planned presidential library. It will be hosted by the University of Chicago and located in Jackson Park on the South Side of Chicago.[534]

Bibliography

  • Dreams from My Father, 1995
  • The Audacity of Hope, 2006
  • Of Thee I Sing, 2010

Audiobooks

  • 2006: The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (read by the author), Random House Audio, .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}ISBN978-0739366417

See also

Politics

  • Social policy of Barack Obama
  • DREAM Act
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
  • List of international presidential trips made by Barack Obama
  • Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012
  • Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009
  • National Broadband Plan (United States)
  • Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  • SPEECH Act
  • Stay with It
  • White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy

Other

  • Speeches of Barack Obama
  • Roberts Court

Lists

  • Assassination threats against Barack Obama
  • List of people pardoned by Barack Obama
  • Federal political scandals, 200917
  • List of Barack Obama presidential campaign endorsements, 2008
  • List of Barack Obama presidential campaign endorsements, 2012
  • List of African-American United States Senators
  • List of things named after Barack Obama

Notes and references

Notes

^ "Barack Hussein Obama Takes The Oath Of Office" on YouTube. January 20, 2009. ^ Wan, William; Scott Clement (November 18, 2016). "Most of the world doesn't actually see America the way Trump said it did". The Washington Post. ^ Jones, Jeffrey M. (February 15, 2018). "Obama's First Retrospective Job Approval Rating Is 63%". Gallup.com. Retrieved April 5, 2018. ^ a b Rottinghaus, Brandon; Justin S. Vaughn (February 19, 2018). "How Does Trump Stack Up Against the Bestand WorstPresidents?". The New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2018. ^ Shamsian, Jacob (December 27, 2018). "Barack and Michelle Obama top Gallup's list of most-admired men and women in the world, trouncing the Trumps". Business Insider. Retrieved January 2, 2019. ^ "President Barack Obama". The White House. 2008. Archived from the original on October 26, 2009. Retrieved December 12, 2008. ^ "Certificate of Live Birth: Barack Hussein Obama II, August 4, 1961, 7:24pm, Honolulu" (PDF). Department of Health, State of Hawaii. The White House. April 27, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 3, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2017. ^ Maraniss, David (August 24, 2008). "Though Obama had to leave to find himself, it is Hawaii that made his rise possible". The Washington Post. p.A22. Retrieved October 28, 2008. ^ Nakaso, Dan (December 22, 2008). "Twin sisters, Obama on parallel paths for years". The Honolulu Advertiser. p.B1. Retrieved January 22, 2011. ^ Barreto, Amilcar Antonio; Richard L. O'Bryant (November 12, 2013). "Introduction". American Identity in the Age of Obama. Taylor & Francis. pp.1819. ISBN978-1-317-93715-9. Retrieved May 8, 2017. ^ Obama (1995, 2004), p. 12. ^ Smolenyak, Megan Smolenyak (NovemberDecember 2008). "The quest for Obama's Irish roots". Ancestry. 26 (6): 4647, 49. ISSN1075-475X. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  • Smolenyak, Megan (May 9, 2011). "Tracing Barack Obama's Roots to Moneygall". HuffPost. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  • Rising, David; Noelting, Christoph (June 4, 2009). "Researchers: Obama has German roots". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  • Hutton, Brian; Nickerson, Matthew (May 3, 2007). "For sure, Obama's South Side Irish; One of his roots traces back to small village" (paid archive). Chicago Sun-Times. Press Association of Ireland. p.3. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  • Jordon, Mary (May 13, 2007). "Tiny Irish village is latest place to claim Obama as its own". The Washington Post. p.A14. Retrieved May 13, 2007.
  • David Williamson (July 5, 2008). "Wales link in US presidential candidate's past". walesonline.co.uk. Archived from the original on May 21, 2011. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
^ Kipkemboi, Andrew (June 1, 2008). "Kenyans Enthusiastic About Obama". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved January 16, 2020. ^ a b Jacobs, Sally (July 6, 2011). "President Obama's Father: A 'Bold And Reckless Life'". NPR. Retrieved January 16, 2020. ^ Swaine, Jon (April 29, 2011). "Barack Obama's father 'forced out of US in 1960s'". Telegraph. Retrieved January 16, 2020. ^ Rachel L. Swarns. "Words of Obama's Father Still Waiting to Be Read by His Son - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved January 16, 2020. ^ David R Arnott. "From Obama's old school to his ancestral village, world reacts to US presidential election". Nbcnews.com. Retrieved January 16, 2020. ^ Jones, Tim (March 27, 2007). "Barack Obama: Mother not just a girl from Kansas; Stanley Ann Dunham shaped a future senator". Chicago Tribune. p.1 (Tempo). Archived from the original on February 7, 2017. ^ a b Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 910.
  • Scott (2011), pp. 8086.
  • Jacobs (2011), pp. 115118.
  • Maraniss (2012), pp. 154160.
^ Ripley, Amanda (April 9, 2008). "The story of Barack Obama's mother". Time. Retrieved April 9, 2007. ^ Scott (2011), p. 86.
  • Jacobs (2011), pp. 125127.
  • Maraniss (2012), pp. 160163.
^ Scott (2011), pp. 8793.
  • Jacobs (2011), pp. 115118, 125127, 133161.
  • Maraniss (2012), pp. 170183, 188189.
^ Obama "Dreams from My Father a Story of Race and Inheritance" ^ Scott (2011), pp. 142144.
  • Jacobs (2011), pp. 161177, 227230.
  • Maraniss (2012), pp. 190194, 201209, 227230.
^ Ochieng, Philip (November 1, 2004). "From home squared to the US Senate: how Barack Obama was lost and found". The EastAfrican. Nairobi. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  • Merida, Kevin (December 14, 2007). "The ghost of a father". The Washington Post. p.A12. Retrieved June 25, 2008.
  • Jacobs (2011), pp. 251255.
  • Maraniss (2012), pp. 411417.
^ Serrano, Richard A. (March 11, 2007). "Obama's peers didn't see his angst". Los Angeles Times. p.A20. Archived from the original on November 8, 2008. Retrieved March 13, 2007.
  • Obama (1995, 2004), Chapters 4 and 5.
^ Scott (2011), pp. 97103.
  • Maraniss (2012), pp. 195201, 225230.
^ Maraniss (2012), pp. 195201, 209223, 230244. ^ Maraniss (2012), pp. 216, 221, 230, 234244. ^ "Barack Obama: Calvert Homeschooler?Calvert Education Blog". calverteducation.com. January 25, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2015. ^ "Wawancara Eksklusif RCTI dengan Barack Obama (Part 2)". YouTube. March 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2018. ^ Zimmer, Benjamin (2009). "Obama's Indonesian Redux". Language Log. Archived from the original on March 3, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
  • "Obama: Saya Kangen Nasi Goreng, Bakso, dan Rambutan". Kompas (in Indonesian). November 26, 2008. Archived from the original on December 3, 2008.
^ Zimmer, Benjamin (January 23, 2009). "Obama's Indonesian pleasantries: the video". Language Log. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved October 7, 2012. ^ Meacham, Jon (August 22, 2008). "What Barack Obama Learned from His Father". Newsweek. Archived from the original on January 7, 2017. Retrieved January 9, 2017. ^ Serafin, Peter (March 21, 2004). "Punahou grad stirs up Illinois politics". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
  • Scott, Janny (March 14, 2008). "A free-spirited wanderer who set Obama's path". The New York Times. p.A1. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  • Obama (1995, 2004), Chapters 3 and 4.
  • Scott (2012), pp. 131134.
  • Maraniss (2012), pp. 264269.
^ Wolffe, Richard (March 22, 2008). "When Barry Became Barack". Newsweek. Retrieved March 21, 2016. ^ Scott (2011), pp. 139157.
  • Maraniss (2012), pp. 279281.
^ Scott (2011), pp. 157194.
  • Maraniss (2012), pp. 279281, 324326.
^ Scott (2011), pp. 214, 294, 317346. ^ Reyes, B.J. (February 8, 2007). "Punahou left lasting impression on Obama". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved February 10, 2007. As a teenager, Obama went to parties and sometimes sought out gatherings on military bases or at the University of Hawaii that were attended mostly by blacks. ^ Elliott, Philip (November 21, 2007). "Obama gets blunt with N.H. students". Boston Globe. Associated Press. p.8A. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012. ^ Karl, Jonathan (May 25, 2012). "Obama and his pot-smoking "choom gang"". ABC News. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  • Obama, Barack (2004) [1995]. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. pp.9394. ISBN9780307394125. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  • Maraniss, David (2012). Barack Obama: The Story. pages with "choom gang". ISBN9781439167533. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  • for analysis of the political impact of the quote and Obama's more recent admission that he smoked marijuana as a teenager ("When I was a kid, I inhaled"), see:
  • Seelye, Katharine Q. (October 24, 2006). "Obama offers more variations from the norm". The New York Times. p.A21. Retrieved October 29, 2006.
  • Romano, Lois (January 3, 2007). "Effect of Obama's candor remains to be seen". The Washington Post. p.A1. Retrieved January 14, 2007.
^ "FRONTLINE The Choice 2012". PBS. October 9, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2012. ^ a b Gordon, Larry (January 29, 2007). "Occidental recalls 'Barry' Obama". Los Angeles Times. p.B1. Archived from the original on May 24, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  • Possley, Maurice (March 30, 2007). "Activism blossomed in college". Chicago Tribune. p.20. Archived from the original on October 9, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  • Kovaleski, Serge F. (February 9, 2008). "Old friends say drugs played bit part in Obama's young life". The New York Times. p.A1. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  • Rohter, Larry (April 10, 2008). "Obama says real-life experience trumps rivals' foreign policy credits". The New York Times. p.A18. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  • Goldman, Adam; Robert Tanner (May 15, 2008). "Old friends recall Obama's years in LA, NYC". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  • Helman, Scott (August 25, 2008). "Small college awakened future senator to service (subscription archive)". Boston Globe. p.1A. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  • Jackson, Brooks (June 5, 2009). "More 'birther' nonsense: Obama's 1981 Pakistan trip". FactCheck.org. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  • Remnick, David (2010). The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. pp.98112. ISBN978-1400043606.
  • Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 92112.
  • Mendell (2007), pp. 5562.
^ Boss-Bicak, Shira (January 2005). "Barack Obama '83". Columbia College Today. ISSN0572-7820. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved October 1, 2006. ^ "Remarks by the President in Town Hall". White House. June 26, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2016. ^ "The Approval Matrix". New York. August 27, 2012. ^ Horsley, Scott (July 9, 2008). "Obama's Early Brush With Financial Markets". NPR. Retrieved July 17, 2017. ^ Obama, Barack (1998). "Curriculum vitae". The University of Chicago Law School. Archived from the original on May 9, 2001. Retrieved October 1, 2006.
  • Issenberg, Sasha (August 6, 2008). "Obama shows hints of his year in global finance; Tied markets to social aid". Boston Globe. p.1A. Archived from the original on November 7, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
^ Scott, Janny (July 30, 2007). "Obama's account of New York often differs from what others say". The New York Times. p.B1. Retrieved July 31, 2007.
  • Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 133140.
  • Mendell (2007), pp. 6263.
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  • Miller, Lisa (July 11, 2008). "Finding his faith". Newsweek. Archived from the original on July 20, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2012. He is now a Christian, having been baptized in the early 1990s at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
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January 20, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017. ^ Oberlander, Jonathan (June 1, 2010). "Long Time Coming: Why Health Reform Finally Passed". Health Affairs. 29 (6): 11121116. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0447. ISSN0278-2715. PMID20530339. ^ Blumenthal, David; Abrams, Melinda; Nuzum, Rachel (June 18, 2015). "The Affordable Care Act at 5 Years". New England Journal of Medicine. 372 (25): 24512458. doi:10.1056/NEJMhpr1503614. ISSN0028-4793. PMID25946142. ^ Cohen, Alan B.; Colby, David C.; Wailoo, Keith A.; Zelizer, Julian E. (June 1, 2015). Medicare and Medicaid at 50: America's Entitlement Programs in the Age of Affordable Care. Oxford University Press. ISBN978-0190231569. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay; Pear, Robert (March 23, 2010). "Obama Signs Health Care Overhaul into Law". The New York Times. ^ Long, Heather (January 6, 2017). "Final tally: Obama created 11.3 million jobs". CNN. ^ "Barack Obama's Legacy: Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform". CBS News. Retrieved March 15, 2017. ^ Crary, David (January 4, 2017). "LGBT activists view Obama as staunch champion of their cause". Associated Press. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth (July 22, 2011). "Obama Ends 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy". The New York Times. ^ Merrit Kennedy (June 30, 2016). "Pentagon Says Transgender Troops Can Now Serve Openly". NPR. ^ Smith, Michael; Newport, Frank (January 9, 2017). "Americans Assess Progress Under Obama". The Gallup Organization. ^ Zenko, Micah (January 12, 2016). "Obama's Embrace of Drone Strikes Will Be a Lasting Legacy". The New York Times. Retrieved March 2, 2019. ^ "Targeted Killings". Council on Foreign Relations. ^ Grandin, Greg (January 15, 2017). "Why Did the US Drop 26,171 Bombs on the World Last Year?". The Nation. Retrieved January 11, 2018. ^ Agerholm, Harriet (January 19, 2017). "Map shows where President Barack Obama dropped his 20,000 bombs". The Independent. Retrieved January 11, 2018. ^ Parsons, Christi; Hennigan, W. J. (January 13, 2017). "President Obama, who hoped to sow peace, instead led the nation in war". Los Angeles Times. ^ "DoD Personnel, Workforce Reports & Publications". www.dmdc.osd.mil. Retrieved January 16, 2020. ^ Gramlich, John (January 5, 2017). "Federal prison population fell during Obama's term, reversing recent trend". Pew Research Center. ^ Cone, Allen (January 18, 2017). "Obama leaving office at 60% approval rating". United Press International. Retrieved February 26, 2017. ^ Agiesta, Jennifer (January 18, 2017). "Obama approval hits 60% as end of term approaches". CNN. Retrieved February 26, 2017. ^ Rottinghaus, Brandon; Justin S. Vaughn (February 13, 2015). "Measuring Obama against the great presidents". Brookings. ^ "Obama Foundation FAQs". Barack Obama Foundation. Retrieved January 16, 2020.

References

.mw-parser-output .refbegin{font-size:90%;margin-bottom:0.5em}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>ul{list-style-type:none;margin-left:0}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>ul>li,.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>dl>dd{margin-left:0;padding-left:3.2em;text-indent:-3.2em;list-style:none}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-100{font-size:100%}
  • Jacobs, Sally H. (2011). The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama's Father. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN978-1586487935.
  • Maraniss, David (2012). Barack Obama: The Story. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN978-1439160404.
  • Mendell, David (2007). Obama: From Promise to Power. New York: Amistad/HarperCollins. ISBN978-0-06-085820-9.
  • Obama, Barack (2004) [1st pub. 1995]. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN978-1400082773.
  • Obama, Barack (2006). The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. New York: Crown Publishing Group. ISBN978-0307237699.
  • Scott, Janny (2011). A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother. New York: Riverhead Books. ISBN978-1594487972.

Further reading

  • Graff, Garrett M. (November 1, 2006). "The Legend of Barack Obama". Washingtonian. Archived from the original on February 14, 2008. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
  • Koltun, Dave (2005). "The 2004 Illinois Senate Race: Obama Wins Open Seat and Becomes National Political "Star"". In Ahuja, Sunil; Dewhirst, Robert (eds.). The Road to Congress 2004. Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers. ISBN978-1-59454-360-9.
  • Lizza, Ryan (September 2007). "Above the Fray". GQ. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  • Larissa MacFarquhar (May 7, 2007). "The Conciliator: Where is Barack Obama Coming From?". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
  • McClelland, Edward (2010). Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President. New York: Bloomsbury Press. ISBN978-1608190607.
  • Zutter, Hank De (December 8, 1995). "What Makes Obama Run?". Chicago Reader. Retrieved April 25, 2015.

External links

Official

  • Official website of The Obama Foundation
  • Official website of the Barack Obama Presidential Library
  • Official website of Organizing for Action
  • White House biography

Other

  • Column archive at The Huffington Post
  • Barack Obama at the Encyclop?dia Britannica
  • Obama B. United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps. JAMA. Published online July 11, 2016. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.9797.
  • Teague Beckwith, Ryan (March 23, 2017). "Read Barack Obama's Statement on the Anniversary of Obamacare." Time magazine. Archived from the original on March 31, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2017. See also: Taylor, Jessica (March 23, 2017). "Obama: 'America Is Stronger Because Of The Affordable Care Act'." National Public Radio. Archived from the original on March 31, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  • Obama B. "The President's Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform." Harvard Law Review. Published January 5, 2017.
  • Barack Obama at Curlie
  • United States Congress. "Barack Obama (id: O000167)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • Barack Obama articles in the archive of the Chicago Tribune
  • Collected news and commentary at the Tampa Bay Times's PolitiFact.com
  • Collected news and commentary at The Washington Post's Fact Checker blog
  • "Barack Obama is officially one of the most consequential presidents in American history" by Vox author Dylan Matthews on March 24, 2017. Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2017. The article describes the successes and failures of Barack Obama's domestic and foreign policy as well as provides articles for further reading in this context.
  • Making Obama. Making. 2018. WBEZ. "Former President Barack Obamaalong with key advisers, mentors, and rivalstells the story of his climb from Chicago to the national stage."
  • Works by Barack Obama at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about Barack Obama at Internet Archive
  • Works by Barack Obama at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
  • Barack Obama on IMDbEdit this at Wikidata
  • Barack Obama at TV.com Edit this at Wikidata
  • v
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Barack Obama
  • 44th President of the United States (20092017)
  • U.S. Senator from Illinois (20052008)
  • Illinois Senator from the 13th district (19972004)
Life and politics
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Speeches
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  • "A More Perfect Union" (2008)
  • "Change Has Come to America" (2008)
  • "A New Birth of Freedom" (2009)
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  • Lolo Soetoro (step-father)
  • Maya Soetoro-Ng (maternal half-sister)
  • Stanley Armour Dunham (maternal grandfather)
  • Madelyn Dunham (maternal grandmother)
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Public imageNews and
political events
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Film
  • By the People: The Election of Barack Obama (2009)
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  • Barack Obama Day (Illinois)
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  • < George W. Bush
  • Donald Trump >
  • Wikipedia book Book
  • Category Category
Offices and distinctions Illinois Senate Precededby
Alice Palmer Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 13th district

19972004 Succeededby
Kwame Raoul Party political offices Precededby
Carol Moseley Braun Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Illinois
(Class 3)

2004 Succeededby
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2004 Succeededby
Mark Warner Precededby
John Kerry Democratic nominee for President of the United States
2008, 2012 Succeededby
Hillary Clinton U.S. Senate Precededby
Peter Fitzgerald United States Senator (Class 3) from Illinois
20052008
Served alongside: Dick Durbin Succeededby
Roland Burris Political offices Precededby
George W. Bush President of the United States
20092017 Succeededby
Donald Trump Awards and achievements Precededby
Martti Ahtisaari Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
2009 Succeededby
Liu Xiaobo U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Precededby
George W. Bush
as Former President Order of Precedence of the United States
Former President
Succeededby
Walter Mondale
as Former Vice President Diplomatic posts Precededby
Gordon Brown Chairperson of the Group of 20
2009 Succeededby
Stephen Harper Links to related articles
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Laureates of the Nobel Peace Prize19011925
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19762000
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Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Barack_Obama&oldid=936331077"
barack obama position on economy
barack obama position on economy




Presidency of Barack Obama
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For a chronological guide to this subject, see Timeline of the presidency of Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama.jpgPresidency of Barack ObamaJanuary 20, 2009 January 20, 2017PresidentBarack ObamaCabinetSee listPartyDemocraticElection2008, 2012SeatWhite House < George W. Bush Donald Trump > Seal of the President of the United States.svgSeal of the PresidentOfficial website

The presidency of Barack Obama began at noon EST on January 20, 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States, and ended on January 20, 2017. Obama, a Democrat from Illinois, took office following a decisive victory over Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. Four years later, in the 2012 election, he defeated Republican Mitt Romney to win re-election. He was the first African American president, the first multiracial president, the first non-white president, and the first president to have been born in Hawaii. Obama was succeeded by Republican Donald Trump, who won the 2016 presidential election.

Obama's first-term actions addressed the global financial crisis and included a major stimulus package, a partial extension of the Bush tax cuts, legislation to reform health care, a major financial regulation reform bill, and the end of a major US military presence in Iraq. Obama also appointed Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, the latter of whom became the first Hispanic American on the Supreme Court. Democrats controlled both houses of Congress until Republicans won a majority in the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections. Following the elections, Obama and Congressional Republicans engaged in a protracted stand-off over government spending levels and the debt ceiling. The Obama administration's policy against terrorism downplayed Bush's counterinsurgency model, expanding air strikes and making extensive use of special forces and encouraging greater reliance on host-government militaries. The Obama administration orchestrated the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011.

In his second term, Obama took steps to combat climate change, signing a major international climate agreement and an executive order to limit carbon emissions. Obama also presided over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and other legislation passed in his first term, and he negotiated rapprochements with Iran and Cuba. The number of American soldiers in Afghanistan fell dramatically during Obama's second term, though U.S. soldiers remained in Afghanistan throughout Obama's presidency and continue to as of 2019. Republicans took control of the Senate after the 2014 elections, and Obama continued to grapple with Congressional Republicans over government spending, immigration, judicial nominations, and other issues.

Major acts and legislation

Economic policy actions

  • Responding to the Great Recession
    • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
    • Automotive industry bailout
  • Wall Street reform
    • Credit CARD Act of 2009
    • DoddFrank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
  • Taxation and spending
    • Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010
    • Budget Control Act of 2011
    • American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
    • Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015
  • 2013 debt ceiling crisis and government shutdown
    • Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014
    • Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013

Other domestic policy actions

  • Healthcare reform
    • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
    • Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
  • Education
    • Race to the Top competitive grant program
    • Every Student Succeeds Act
  • Climate change
    • Clean Power Plan
  • Immigration policy
    • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
    • Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (blocked by Supreme Court)
  • Social policy
    • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
    • Matthew Shepard Act
    • Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
  • Intelligence and surveillance policy
    • Patriot Act extension (20112015)
    • USA Freedom Act
Timeline Congress Year 111th[1] 2009 2010 112th 2011 2012 113th 2013 2014 114th 2015 2016 115th[2] 2017

Foreign policy actions

  • Free trade agreements
    • United StatesColombia Free Trade Agreement
    • PanamaUnited States Trade Promotion Agreement
    • South Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement
    • Trans-Pacific Partnership (signed but not ratified)
  • Arms control
    • New START
  • Climate change
    • Paris Agreement
  • Iraq
    • Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq
    • American-led intervention in Iraq (2014present)
  • Afghanistan
    • War in Afghanistan (2001present)
    • Partial withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan
  • Rapprochement with Cuba and Iran
    • Cuban thaw
    • Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran
  • Other military operations
    • Drone strikes in Pakistan
    • 2011 military intervention in Libya
    • Death of Osama bin Laden
    • Military intervention against ISIL

Supreme Court nominations

  • Sonia Sotomayor
  • Elena Kagan
  • Merrick Garland (not confirmed)

2008 presidential election

Main articles: Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2008 and United States elections, 2008 Obama defeated Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.

After winning election to represent the state of Illinois in the Senate in 2004, Obama announced that he would run for president in February 2007.[1] In the 2008 Democratic primary, Obama faced Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton. Several other candidates, including Senator Joe Biden of Delaware and former Senator John Edwards, also ran for the nomination, but these candidates dropped out after the initial primaries. In June, on the day of the final primaries, Obama clinched the nomination by winning a majority of the delegates, including both pledged delegates and superdelegates.[2] Obama and Biden, whom Obama selected as his running mate, were nominated as the Democratic ticket at the August 2008 Democratic National Convention.

With Republican President George W. Bush term limited, the Republicans nominated Senator John McCain of Arizona for the presidency. In the general election, Obama defeated McCain, taking 52.9% of the popular vote and 365 of the 538 electoral votes. In the Congressional elections, Democrats added to their majorities in both houses of Congress, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid both remained in their posts. Republicans John Boehner and Mitch McConnell continued to serve as House Minority Leader and Senate Minority Leader, respectively.

Transition period and inauguration

Main articles: Presidential transition of Barack Obama and First inauguration of Barack Obama

The presidential transition period began following Obama's election to the presidency in November 2008, though Obama had chosen Chris Lu to begin planning for the transition in May 2008.[3] John Podesta, Valerie Jarrett, and Pete Rouse co-chaired the Obama-Biden Transition Project. During the transition period, Obama announced nominations for his Cabinet and administration. In November 2008, Congressman Rahm Emanuel accepted Obama's offer to serve as White House Chief of Staff.[4] Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, succeeding George W. Bush. Obama officially assumed the presidency at 12:00 pm, EST,[5] and completed the oath of office at 12:05pm, EST. He delivered his inaugural address immediately following his oath.[6] Obama's transition team was highly complimentary of the Bush administration's outgoing transition team, particularly with regards to national security, and some elements of the Bush-Obama transition were later codified into law.[3]

Administration

US Cabinet official group photo July 26, 2012.jpgThe Obama CabinetOfficeNameTermPresidentBarack Obama20092017Vice PresidentJoe Biden20092017Secretary of StateHillary Clinton20092013John Kerry20132017Secretary of TreasuryTim Geithner20092013Jack Lew20132017Secretary of DefenseBob Gates*20062011Leon Panetta20112013Chuck Hagel20132015Ash Carter20152017Attorney GeneralEric Holder20092015Loretta Lynch20152017Secretary of the InteriorKen Salazar20092013Sally Jewell20132017Secretary of AgricultureTom Vilsack20092017Secretary of CommerceGary Locke20092011John Bryson20112012Penny Pritzker20132017Secretary of LaborHilda Solis20092013Thomas Perez20132017Secretary of Health and
Human ServicesKathleen Sebelius20092014Sylvia Burwell20142017Secretary of EducationArne Duncan20092016John King20162017Secretary of Housing and
Urban DevelopmentShaun Donovan20092014Julian Castro20142017Secretary of TransportationRay LaHood20092013Anthony Foxx20132017Secretary of EnergySteven Chu20092013Ernest Moniz20132017Secretary of Veterans AffairsEric Shinseki20092014Bob McDonald20142017Secretary of Homeland SecurityJanet Napolitano20092013Jeh Johnson20132017Chief of StaffRahm Emanuel20092010William Daley20112012Jack Lew20122013Denis McDonough20132017Administrator of the
Environmental Protection AgencyLisa Jackson20092013Gina McCarthy20132017Director of the Office of
Management and BudgetPeter Orszag20092010Jack Lew20102012Sylvia Burwell20132014Shaun Donovan20142017Ambassador to the United NationsSusan Rice20092013Samantha Power20132017United States Trade RepresentativeRon Kirk20092013Michael Froman20132017Chair of the
Council of Economic AdvisersChristina Romer20092010Austan Goolsbee20102011Alan Krueger20112013Jason Furman20132017Administrator of the
Small Business AdministrationKaren Mills**20092013Maria Contreras-Sweet20142017*Retained from previous administration
**Elevated to cabinet-level in January 2012

Cabinet appointees

Main article: Confirmations of Barack Obama's Cabinet

Following his inauguration, Obama and the Senate worked to confirm his nominees to the United States Cabinet. Three Cabinet-level officers did not require confirmation: Vice President Joe Biden, who Obama had chosen as his running mate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who Obama chose to retain from the previous administration.[7] An early list of suggestions came from Michael Froman, then an executive at Citigroup.[8] Obama described his Cabinet choices as a "team of rivals," and Obama chose several prominent public officials for Cabinet positions, including former Democratic primary rival Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.[9] Obama nominated several former Clinton administration officials to the Cabinet and to other positions.[10] On April 28, 2009, the Senate confirmed former Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services, completing Obama's initial Cabinet.[11] During Obama's presidency, four Republicans served in Obama's Cabinet: Ray Lahood as Secretary of Transportation, Robert McDonald as Secretary of Veteran's Affairs, and Gates and Chuck Hagel as Secretaries of Defense.

Notable non-Cabinet positions

See also: Independent agencies of the United States government and White House Office
  • Counselor to the President
    • Pete Rouse (20112014)
    • John Podesta (20142015)
  • Senior Advisor to the President
    • Valerie Jarrett (20092017)
    • Pete Rouse (20092010)
    • David Axelrod (20092011)
    • David Plouffe (20112013)
    • Daniel Pfeiffer (20132015)
    • Brian Deese (20152017)
    • Shailagh Murray (20152017)
  • White House Deputy Chief of Staff
    • Jim Messina 20092011
    • Mona Sutphen (20092011)
    • Nancy-Ann DeParle (20112013)
    • Alyssa Mastromonaco (20112014)
    • Mark B. Childress (20122014)
    • Rob Nabors (20132015)
    • Anita Decker Breckenridge (20142017)
    • Kristie Canegallo (20142017)
  • White House Press Secretary
    • Robert Gibbs (20092011)
    • Jay Carney (20112014)
    • Josh Earnest (20142017)
  • White House Communications Director
    • Ellen Moran (2009)
    • Anita Dunn (2009)
    • Daniel Pfeiffer (20092013)
    • Jennifer Palmieri (20132015)
    • Jen Psaki (20152017)
  • White House Counsel
    • Greg Craig (20092010)
    • Bob Bauer (20102011)
    • Kathryn Ruemmler (20112014)
    • Neil Eggleston (20142017)

Security and international affairs

  • Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
    • James L. Jones (20092011)
    • Thomas E. Donilon (20112013)
    • Susan Rice (20132017)
  • Special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan
    • Richard Holbrooke (20092010)
    • Marc Grossman (20112012)
    • James Dobbins (20132014)
    • Daniel F. Feldman (20142017)
  • Special envoy to the Middle East
    • George J. Mitchell (20092011)
    • David Hale (20112013)
    • Martin Indyk (20132014)
    • Frank Lowenstein (20142017)
  • Director of National Intelligence
    • Dennis C. Blair (20092010)
    • David C. Gompert (acting, 2010)
    • James R. Clapper (20102017)
  • Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • Robert Mueller (20012013)
    • James Comey (20132017)
  • Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
    • Leon Panetta (20092011)
    • Michael Morell (acting, 2011)
    • David Petraeus (20112012)
    • Michael Morell (acting, 2013)
    • John O. Brennan (20132017)

Economic affairs

  • Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers
    • Christina Romer (20092010)
    • Austan Goolsbee (20102011)
    • Alan Krueger (20112013)
    • Jason Furman (20132017)
  • Federal Reserve Board of Governors
    • Ben Bernanke, Chair (20062014)
    • Daniel Tarullo (2009present)
    • Janet Yellen (2010present), Chair (20142018)
    • Sarah Bloom Raskin (20102014)
    • Jerome Powell (2012present)
    • Jeremy C. Stein (20122014)
    • Stanley Fischer (2014present)
    • Lael Brainard (2014resent)
  • Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    • Sheila Bair (20062011)
    • Martin J. Gruenberg (2011present)
  • Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission
    • Mary Schapiro (20092012)
    • Elisse B. Walter (20122013)
    • Mary Jo White (20132017)
  • Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and
    Director of National Economic Council
    • Lawrence Summers (20092010)
    • Gene Sperling (20112014)
    • Jeffrey Zients (20142017)
  • Chair of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board
    • Paul Volcker (20092011)
    • Replaced by Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in 2011
  • Chairperson of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness
    • Jeffrey R. Immelt (20112017)

Appointed by President Bush
Originally appointed by President Bush, reappointed by President Obama

Judicial nominees

United States Supreme Court

Main article: Barack Obama Supreme Court candidates Obama and Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor

There were three vacancies on the Supreme Court of the United States during Obama's tenure, but Obama made only two successful Supreme court appointments. During the 111th Congress, when Democrats held a majority in the Senate, Obama successfully nominated two Supreme Court Justices:

  • Sonia Sotomayor, replacing David Souter 2009
  • Elena Kagan, replacing John Paul Stevens 2010

Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, during the 114th Congress, which had a Republican majority in the Senate. In March 2016, Obama nominated Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the D.C. Circuit to fill Scalia's seat.[12] However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, and other Senate Republicans argued that Supreme Court nominations should not be made during a presidential election year, and that the winner of the 2016 presidential election should instead appoint Scalia's replacement.[12][13] Garland's nomination remained before the Senate for longer than any other Supreme Court nomination in history,[14] and the nomination expired with the end of the 114th Congress.[15] President Donald Trump later nominated Neil Gorsuch to Scalia's former seat on the Supreme Court, and Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate in April 2017.

Other courts

Further information: List of federal judges appointed by Barack Obama and Barack Obama judicial appointment controversies Article III judicial appointments[16] Clinton Bush Obama Supreme Court 2 2 2 Appellate courts 62 61 49 District courts 306 263 270 Other courts 9 4 10

Obama's presidency saw the continuation of battles between both parties over the confirmation of judicial nominees. Democrats continually accused Republicans of stalling nominees throughout Obama's tenure.[17] After several nomination battles, Senate Democrats in 2013 reformed the use of the filibuster so that it could no longer be used on executive or judicial nominations (excluding the Supreme Court).[18] Republicans took over the Senate after the 2014 elections, giving them the power to block any judicial nominee,[19] and the 114th Congress confirmed just 20 judicial nominees, the lowest number of confirmations since the 82nd Congress.[20] Obama's judicial nominees were significantly more diverse than those of previous administrations, with more appointments going to women and minorities.[17]

First 100 days

Main article: First 100 days of Barack Obama's presidency

Within minutes of taking the oath of office on January 20, Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, issued an order suspending last-minute regulations and executive orders signed by outgoing President George W. Bush.[21] Some of the first actions of Obama's presidency focused on reversing measures taken by the Bush administration following the September 11 attacks.[22] In his first week in office, Obama signed Executive Order 13492 suspending all ongoing proceedings of the Guantanamo military commissions and ordering the Guantanamo detention facility to be shut down within the year.[23] Another order, Executive Order 13491, banned torture and other coercive techniques, such as waterboarding.[24] Obama also issued an executive order placing tighter restrictions on lobbying in the White House,[25] and rescinded the Mexico City Policy, which banned federal grants to international groups that provide abortion services or counseling.[26]

On January 29, Obama signed a bill for the first time in his presidency; the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 revised the statute of limitations for filing pay discrimination lawsuits.[27] On February 3, he signed the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIP), expanding CHIP's health care coverage from 7 million children to 11 million children.[28] On March 9, 2009, Obama lifted restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.[29] Obama stated that, like Bush, he would employ signing statements if he deems a portion of a bill to be unconstitutional,[30] and he subsequently issued several signing statements.[31] Obama also signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which added 2million acres (8,100km2) of land to the National Wilderness Preservation System,[32] as well as a law raising the cigarette pack tax by 62cents (equivalent to $0.74 in 2019).[33]

Perhaps the most important action of Obama's first 100 days was the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to address the Great Recession. After much debate, ARRA was passed by both the House and Senate on February 13, 2009. Originally intended to be a bipartisan bill, Congressional passage of the bill relied largely on Democratic votes, though three Republican Senators did vote for it.[34] The lack of Republican support for the bill, and the inability of Democrats to win that support, foreshadowed the gridlock and partisanship that continued throughout Obama's presidency.[34][35][36] The $787 billion bill combined tax breaks with spending on infrastructure projects, extension of welfare benefits, and education.[37][38]

Domestic affairs

See also: Barack Obama social policy

Health care reform

See also: Health care reform in the United States and Health care reforms proposed during the Obama administration Major votes in the 111th Congress[39] Senate House Bill/Treaty Dem. Rep. Dem. Rep. ARRA 580 337 24411 0177 ACA 600 039 21934 0178 D-F 571 335 23419 3173 ACES No vote 21144 8168 DADTRA 570 831 23515 15160 DREAM 525 336 20838 8160 New START 580 1326 No vote (treaty) 2010 TA 4414 375 139112 13836

Once the stimulus bill was enacted in February 2009, health care reform became Obama's top domestic priority, and the 111th Congress passed a major bill that eventually became widely known as "Obamacare." Health care reform had long been a top priority of the Democratic Party, and Democrats were eager to implement a new plan that would lower costs and increase coverage.[40] In contrast to Bill Clinton's 1993 plan to reform health care, Obama adopted a strategy of letting Congress drive the process, with the House and Senate writing their own bills.[41] In the Senate, a bipartisan group of Senators on the Finance Committee known as the Gang of Six began meeting with the hope of creating a bipartisan healthcare reform bill,[42] though the Republican Senators involved with the crafting of the bill ultimately came to oppose it.[41] In November 2009, the House passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act on a 220-215 vote, with only one Republican voting for the bill.[43] In December 2009, the Senate passed its own health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA), on a party-line, 60-39 vote.[44] Both bills expanded Medicaid and provided health care subsidies, while establishing an individual mandate, health insurance exchanges, and a ban on denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.[45] However, the House bill included a tax increase on families making more than $1 million per year and a public health insurance option, while the Senate plan included an excise tax on high-cost health plans.[45]

The 2010 Massachusetts Senate special election victory of Scott Brown seriously imperiled the prospects of a health care reform bill, as Democrats lost their 60-seat Senate super-majority.[46][47] The White House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi engaged in an extensive campaign to convince both centrists and liberals in the House to pass the Senate's health care bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[48] In March 2010, after Obama announced an executive order reinforcing the current law against spending federal funds for elective abortion services,[49] the House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[50] The bill, which had passed the Senate in December 2009, did not receive a single Republican vote in either house.[50] On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the PPACA into law.[51] The New York Times described the PPACA as "the most expansive social legislation enacted in decades,"[51] while the Washington Post noted that it was the biggest expansion of health insurance coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.[50] Both houses of Congress also passed a reconciliation measure to make significant changes and corrections to the PPACA; this second bill was signed into law on March 30, 2010.[52][53] The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act became widely known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or "Obamacare."[54]

Percentage of Individuals in the United States without Health Insurance, 19632015 (Source: JAMA)[55]

The Affordable Care Act faced considerable challenges and opposition after its passage, and Republicans continually attempted to repeal the law.[56] The law also survived two major challenges that went to the Supreme Court.[57] In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, a 5-4 majority upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, though it made state Medicaid expansion voluntary. In King v. Burwell, a 6-3 majority allowed the use of tax credits in state-operated exchanges. The October 2013 launch of HealthCare.gov, a health insurance exchange website created under the provisions of the ACA, was widely criticized,[58] though many of the problems were fixed by the end of the year.[59] The number of uninsured Americans dropped from 20.2% of the population in 2010 to 13.3% of the population in 2015,[60] though Republicans continued to oppose Obamacare as an unwelcome expansion of government.[61] Many liberals continued to push for a single-payer healthcare system or a public option,[48] and Obama endorsed the latter proposal, as well as an expansion of health insurance tax credits, in 2016.[62]

Wall Street reform

See also: Banking in the United States

Risky practices among the major financial institutions on Wall Street were widely seen as contributing to the subprime mortgage crisis, the financial crisis of 200708, and the subsequent Great Recession, so Obama made Wall Street reform a priority in his first term.[63] On July 21, 2010, Obama signed the DoddFrank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the largest financial regulatory overhaul since the New Deal.[64] The act increased regulation and reporting requirements on derivatives (particularly credit default swaps), and took steps to limit systemic risks to the US economy with policies such as higher capital requirements, the creation of the Orderly Liquidation Authority to help wind down large, failing financial institutions, and the creation of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to monitor systemic risks.[65] Dodd-Frank also established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was charged with protecting consumers against abusive financial practices.[66] On signing the bill, Obama stated that the bill would "empower consumers and investors," "bring the shadowy deals that caused the crisis to the light of day," and "put a stop to taxpayer bailouts once and for all."[67] Some liberals were disappointed that the law did not break up the country's largest banks or reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, while many conservatives criticized the bill as a government overreach that could make the country less competitive.[67] Under the bill, the Federal Reserve and other regulatory agencies were required to propose and implement several new regulatory rules, and battles over these rules continued throughout Obama's presidency.[68] Obama called for further Wall Street reform after the passage of Dodd-Frank, saying that banks should have a smaller role in the economy and less incentive to make risky trades.[69] Obama also signed the Credit CARD Act of 2009, which created new rules for credit card companies.[70]

Climate change and the environment

See also: Environmental policy of the United States and Marine policy of the Barack Obama administration

During his presidency, Obama described global warming as the greatest long-term threat facing the world.[71] Obama took several steps to combat global warming, but was unable to pass a major bill addressing the issue, in part because many Republicans and some Democrats questioned whether global warming is occurring and whether human activity contributes to it.[72] Following his inauguration, Obama asked that Congress pass a bill to put a cap on domestic carbon emissions.[73] After the House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act in 2009, Obama sought to convince the Senate to pass the bill as well.[74] The legislation would have required the US to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020 and by 83 percent by the middle of the 21st century.[74] However, the bill was strongly opposed by Republicans and neither it nor a separate proposed bipartisan compromise[73] ever came up for a vote in the Senate.[75] In 2013, Obama announced that he would bypass Congress by ordering the EPA to implement new carbon emissions limits.[76] The Clean Power Plan, unveiled in 2015, seeks to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025.[77] Obama also imposed regulations on soot, sulfur, and mercury that encouraged a transition away from coal as an energy source, but the falling price of wind, solar, and natural gas energy sources also contributed to coal's decline.[78] Obama encouraged this successful transition away from coal in large part due to the fact that coal emits more carbon than other sources of power, including natural gas.[78]

Obama's campaign to fight global warming found more success at the international level than in Congress. Obama attended the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which drafted the non-binding Copenhagen Accord as a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. The deal provided for the monitoring of carbon emissions among developing countries, but it did not include Obama's proposal to commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050.[79] In 2014, Obama reached an agreement with China in which China pledged to reach peak carbon emission levels by 2030, while the US pledged to cut its emissions by 26-28 percent compared to its 2005 levels.[80] The deal provided momentum for a potential multilateral global warming agreement among the world's largest carbon emitters.[81] Many Republicans criticized Obama's climate goals as a potential drain on the economy.[81][82] At the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, nearly every country in the world agreed to a landmark climate deal in which each nation committed lowering their greenhouse gas emissions.[83][84] The Paris Agreement created a universal accounting system for emissions, required each country to monitor its emissions, and required each country to create a plan to reduce its emissions.[83][85] Several climate negotiators noted that the US-China climate deal and the EPA's emission limits helped make the deal possible.[83] In 2016, the international community agreed to the Kigali accord, an amendment to the Montreal Protocol which sought to reduce the use of HFCs, organic compounds that contribute to global warming.[86]

From the beginning of his presidency, Obama took several actions to raise vehicle fuel efficiency in the United States. In 2009, Obama announced a plan to increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy to 35 miles per US gallon (6.7l/100km)], a 40 percent increase from 2009 levels.[87] Both environmentalists and auto industry officials largely welcomed the move, as the plan raised national emission standards but provided the single national efficiency standard that auto industry officials group had long desired.[87] In 2012, Obama set even higher standards, mandating an average fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles per US gallon (4.32l/100km).[88] Obama also signed the "cash-for-clunkers" bill, which provided incentives to consumers to trade in older, less fuel-efficient cars for more efficient cars. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided $54 billion in funds to encourage domestic renewable energy production, make federal buildings more energy-efficient, improve the electricity grid, repair public housing, and weatherize modest-income homes.[89] Obama also promoted the use of plug-in electric vehicles, and 400,000 electric cars had been sold by the end of 2015.[90]

According to a report by The American Lung Association, there was a "major improvement" in air quality under Obama.[91]

Economy

Main article: Economic policy of the Barack Obama administration See also: Great Recession and Economy of the United States Economic indicators and federal finances under the Bush and Obama administrations
$ represent U.S. trillions of unadjusted dollars Year Unemploy-
ment[92] Real
GDP
Growth[93] U.S. Government[94][95] Receipts Outlays Deficit Debt ending Dec 31 (Calendar Year) Sep 30 (Fiscal Year)[3] 2007* 4.6% 1.9% $2.600 $2.788 ? $0.188 $5.1 2008* 5.8% -0.1% $2.465 $3.145 ? $0.680 $5.8 2009 9.3% -2.5% $2.045 $3.516 ? $1.471 $7.6 2010 9.6% 2.6% $2.206 $3.481 ? $1.275 $9.0 2011 8.9% 1.6% $2.326 $3.576 ? $1.250 $10.1 2012 8.1% 2.2% $2.509 $3.570 ? $1.061 $11.3 2013 7.4% 1.8% $2.825 $3.384 ? $0.560 $12.0 2014 6.2% 2.5% $3.093 $3.581 ? $0.488 $12.8 2015 5.3% 2.9% $3.275 $3.750 ? $0.478 $13.1 2016 4.9% 1.6% $3.275 $3.750 - $0.582 $14.2

Upon entering office, Obama focused on handling the global financial crisis and the subsequent Great Recession that had begun before his election,[96][97] which was generally regarded as the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.[98] On February 17, 2009, Obama signed into law a $787 billion economic stimulus bill that included spending for health care, infrastructure, education, various tax breaks and incentives, and direct assistance to individuals. The tax provisions of the law, including a $116 billion income tax cut, temporarily reduced taxes for 98 percent of taxpayers, bringing tax rates to their lowest levels in 60 years.[99][100] The Obama administration would later argue that the stimulus saved the United States from a "double-dip" recession.[101] Obama asked for a second major stimulus package in December 2009,[102] but no major second stimulus bill passed. Obama also launched a second bailout of US automakers, possibly saving General Motors and Chrysler from bankruptcy at the cost of $9.3 billion.[103] For homeowners in danger of defaulting on their mortgage due to the subprime mortgage crisis, Obama launched several programs, including HARP and HAMP.[104][105] Obama re-appointed Ben Bernanke as Chair of the Federal Reserve Board in 2009,[106] and appointed Janet Yellen to succeed Bernanke in 2013.[107] Short-term interest rates remained near zero for much of Obama's presidency, and the Federal Reserve did not raise interest rates during Obama's presidency until December 2015.[108]

There was a sustained increase of the U.S. unemployment rate during the early months of the administration,[109] as multi-year economic stimulus efforts continued.[110][111] The unemployment rate reached a peak in October 2009 at 10.0%.[112] However, the economy added non-farm jobs for a record 75 straight months between October 2010 and December 2016, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in December 2016.[113] The recovery from the Great Recession was marked by a lower labor force participation rate, some economists attributing the lower participation rate partially to an aging population and people staying in school longer, as well as long-term structural demographic changes.[114] The recovery also laid bare the growing income inequality in the United States,[115] which the Obama administration highlighted as a major problem.[116] The federal minimum wage increased during Obama's presidency to $7.25 per hour;[117] in his second term, Obama advocated for another increase to $12 per hour.[118]

Obama speaking with former President Bill Clinton and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett about job creation in July 2010

GDP growth returned in the third quarter of 2009, expanding at a 1.6% pace, followed by a 5.0% increase in the fourth quarter.[119] Growth continued in 2010, posting an increase of 3.7% in the first quarter, with lesser gains throughout the rest of the year.[119] The country's real GDP grew by about 2% in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, peaking at 2.9% in 2015.[120][121] In the aftermath of the recession, median household income (adjusted for inflation) declined during Obamas first term, before recovering to a new record high in his final year.[122] The poverty rate peaked at 15.1% in 2010 but declined to 12.7% in 2016, which was still higher than the 12.5% pre-recession figure of 2007.[123][124][125] The relatively small GDP growth rates in the United States and other developed countries following the Great Recession left economists and others wondering whether U.S. growth rates would ever return to the levels seen in the second half of the twentieth century.[126][127]

Taxation

See also: Taxation in the United States Federal income tax brackets under Clinton, Bush, and Obama[128] Year Clinton[4] Bush[5] Obama[6] Bottom 15% 10% 10% 2nd 28% 15% 15% 3rd 31% 25% 25% 4th 36% 28% 28% 5th - 33% 33% 6th - - 35% Top 39.6% 35% 39.6%

Obama's presidency saw an extended battle over taxes that ultimately led to the permanent extension of most of the Bush tax cuts, which had been enacted between 2001 and 2003. Those tax cuts were set to expire during Obama's presidency since they were originally passed using a Congressional maneuver known as reconciliation, and had to fulfill the long-term deficit requirements of the "Byrd rule." During the lame duck session of the 111th Congress, Obama and Republicans wrangled over the ultimate fate of the cuts. Obama wanted to extend the tax cuts for taxpayers making less than $250,000 a year, while Congressional Republicans wanted a total extension of the tax cuts, and refused to support any bill that did not extend tax cuts for top earners.[129][130] Obama and the Republican Congressional leadership reached a deal that included a two-year extension of all the tax cuts, a 13-month extension of unemployment insurance, a one-year reduction in the FICA payroll tax, and other measures.[131] Obama ultimately persuaded many wary Democrats to support the bill, though many liberals such as Bernie Sanders continued to oppose it.[132][133] The $858 billion Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 passed with bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress and was signed into law by Obama on December 17, 2010.[132][134]

Shortly after Obama's 2012 re-election, Congressional Republicans and Obama again faced off over the final fate of the Bush tax cuts. Republicans sought to make all tax cuts permanent, while Obama sought to extend the tax cuts only for those making under $250,000.[135] Obama and Congressional Republicans came to an agreement on the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which made permanent the tax cuts for individuals making less than $400,000 a year (or less than $450,000 for couples).[135] For earnings greater than that amount, the income tax increased from 35% to 39.6%, which was the top rate before the passage of the Bush tax cuts.[136] The deal also permanently indexed the alternative minimum tax for inflation, limited deductions for individuals making more than $250,000 ($300,000 for couples), permanently set the estate tax exemption at $5.12 million (indexed to inflation), and increased the top estate tax rate from 35% to 40%.[136] Though many Republicans did not like the deal, the bill passed the Republican House in large part due to the fact that the failure to pass any bill would have resulted in the total expiration of the Bush tax cuts.[135][137]

Budget and debt ceiling

See also: United States federal budget John Boehner (R-OH) served as Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2015.

US government debt grew substantially during the Great Recession, as government revenues fell and Obama largely eschewed the austerity policies followed by many European countries.[138] US government debt grew from 52% of GDP when Obama took office in 2009 to 74% in 2014, with most of the growth in debt coming between 2009 and 2012.[120] In 2010, Obama ordered the creation of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (also known as the "Simpson-Bowles Commission") in order to find ways to reduce the country's debt.[139] The commission ultimately released a report that called for a mix of spending cuts and tax increases.[139] Notable recommendations of the report include a cut in military spending, a scaling back of tax deductions for mortgages and employer-provided health insurance, a raise of the Social Security retirement age, and reduced spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and federal employees.[139] The proposal never received a vote in Congress, but it served as a template for future plans to reduce the national debt.[140]

After taking control of the House in the 2010 elections, Congressional Republicans demanded spending cuts in return for raising the United States debt ceiling, the statutory limit on the total amount of debt that the Treasury Department can issue. The 2011 debt-ceiling crisis developed as Obama and Congressional Democrats demanded a "clean" debt-ceiling increase that did not include spending cuts.[141] Though some Democrats argued that Obama could unilaterally raise the debt ceiling under the terms of the Fourteenth Amendment,[142] Obama chose to negotiate with Congressional Republicans. Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner attempted to negotiate a "grand bargain" to cut the deficit, reform entitlement programs, and re-write the tax code, but the negotiations eventually collapsed due to ideological differences between the Democratic and Republican leaders.[143][144][145] Congress instead passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, which raised the debt ceiling, provided for domestic and military spending cuts, and established the bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to propose further spending cuts.[146] As the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction failed to reach an agreement on further cuts, domestic and military spending cuts known as the "sequester" took effect starting in 2013.[147]

In October 2013, the government shut down for two weeks as Republicans and Democrats were unable to agree on a budget. House Republicans passed a budget that would defund Obamacare, but Senate Democrats refused to pass any budget that defunded Obamacare.[148] Meanwhile, the country faced another debt ceiling crisis. Ultimately the two sides agreed to a continuing resolution that re-opened the government and suspended the debt ceiling.[149] Months after passing the continuing resolution, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 and an omnibus spending bill to fund the government through 2014.[150] In 2015, after John Boehner announced that he would resign as Speaker of the House, Congress passed a bill that set government spending targets and suspended the debt limit until after Obama left office.[151]

LGBT rights

See also: LGBT rights in the United States

During his presidency, Obama, Congress, and the Supreme Court all contributed to a huge expansion of LGBT rights. In 2009, Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded hate crime laws to cover crimes committed because of the victim's sexual orientation.[152] In December 2010, Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, which ended the military's policy of disallowing openly gay and lesbian people from openly serving in the United States Armed Forces.[153] Obama also supported the passage of ENDA, which would ban discrimination against employees on the basis of gender or sexual identity for all companies with 15 or more employees,[154] and the similar but more comprehensive Equality Act.[155] Neither bill passed Congress. In May 2012, Obama became the first sitting president to support same-sex marriage, shortly after Vice President Joe Biden had also expressed support for the institution.[156] The following year, Obama appointed Todd M. Hughes to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, making Hughes the first openly gay federal judge in U.S. history.[157] In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, and Obama personally congratulated the plaintiff.[158] Obama also issued dozens of executive orders intended to help LGBT Americans,[159] including a 2010 order that extended full benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.[160] A 2014 order prohibited discrimination against employees of federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.[160] In 2015, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter ended the ban on women in combat roles,[161] and in 2016, he ended the ban on transgender individuals openly serving in the military.[162] On the international stage, Obama advocated for gay rights, particularly in Africa.[163]

Education

See also: Education in the United States

The Great Recession of 2008-09 caused a sharp decline in tax revenues in all cities and states. The response was to cut education budgets. Obama's $800 billion stimulus package included $100 billion for public schools, which every state used to protect its educational budget. However, in terms of sponsoring innovation, Obama and his Education Secretary Arne Duncan pursued K-12 education reform through the Race to the Top grant program. With over $15 billion of grants at stake, 34 states quickly revised their education laws according to the proposals of advanced educational reformers. In the competition points were awarded for allowing charter schools to multiply, for compensating teachers on a merit basis including student test scores, and for adopting higher educational standards. There were incentives for states to establish college and career-ready standards, which in practice meant adopting the Common Core State Standards Initiative that had been developed on a bipartisan basis by the National Governors Association, and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The criteria were not mandatory, they were incentives to improve opportunities to get a grant. Most states revised their laws accordingly, even though they realized it was unlikely they would when a highly competitive new grant. Race to the Top had strong bipartisan support, with centrist elements from both parties. It was opposed by the left wing of the Democratic Party, and by the right wing of the Republican Party, and criticized for centralizing too much power in Washington. Complaints also came from middle-class families, who were annoyed at the increasing emphasis on teaching to the test, rather than encouraging teachers to show creativity and stimulating students' imagination.[164][165]

Obama also advocated for universal pre-kindergarten programs,[166] and two free years of community college for everyone.[167] Through her Let's Move program and advocacy of healthier school lunches, First Lady Michelle Obama focused attention on childhood obesity, which was three times higher in 2008 than it had been in 1974.[168] In December 2015, Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan bill that reauthorized federally mandated testing but shrank the federal government's role in education, especially with regard to troubled schools.[169] The law also ended the use of waivers by the Education Secretary.[169] In post-secondary education, Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which ended the role of private banks in lending out federally insured student loans,[170] created a new income-based loan repayment plan known as Pay as You Earn, and increased the amount of Pell Grant awards given each year.[171] He also instituted new regulations on for-profit colleges, including a "gainful employment" rule that restricted federal funding from colleges that failed to adequately prepare graduates for careers.[172]

Immigration

See also: Immigration to the United States

From the beginning of his presidency, Obama supported comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for many immigrants illegally residing in the United States.[173] However, Congress did not pass a comprehensive immigration bill during Obama's tenure, and Obama turned to executive actions. In the 2010 lame-duck session, Obama supported passage of the DREAM Act, which passed the House but failed to overcome a Senate filibuster in a 55-41 vote in favor of the bill.[174] In 2013, the Senate passed an immigration bill with a path to citizenship, but the House did not vote on the bill.[175][176] In 2012, Obama implemented the DACA policy, which protected roughly 700,000 illegal immigrants from deportation; the policy applies only to those who were brought to the United States before their 16th birthday.[177] In 2014, Obama announced a new executive order that would have protected another four million illegal immigrants from deportation,[178] but the order was blocked by the Supreme Court in a 4-4 tie vote that upheld a lower court's ruling.[179] Despite executive actions to protect some individuals, deportations of illegal immigrants continued under Obama. A record high of 400,000 deportations occurred in 2012, though the number of deportations fell during Obama's second term.[180] In continuation of a trend that began with the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the percentage of foreign-born people living in the United States reached 13.7% in 2015, higher than at any point since the early 20th century.[181][182] After having risen since 1990, the number of illegal immigrants living in the United States stabilized at around 11.5 million individuals during Obama's presidency, down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007.[183][184]

The nation's immigrant population hit a record 42.2 million in 2014.[185] In November 2015, Obama announced a plan to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States.[186]

Energy

See also: Energy policy of the Obama administration President Obama during a call to the crew aboard the ISS

Energy production boomed during the Obama administration.[187] An increase in oil production was driven largely by a fracking boom spurred by private investment on private land, and played only a small role in this development.[187] The Obama administration promoted the growth of renewable energy,[188] and solar power generation tripled during Obama's presidency.[189] Obama also issued numerous energy efficiency standards, contributing to a flattening of growth of the total U.S. energy demand.[190] In May 2010, Obama extended a moratorium on offshore drilling permits after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which is generally considered to be the worst oil spill in U.S. history.[191][192] In December 2016, President Obama invoked the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to ban offshore oil and gas exploration in large parts of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.[193]

During Obama's tenure, the battle over the Keystone XL Pipeline became a major issue, with advocates arguing that it would contribute to economic growth and environmentalists arguing that its approval would contribute to global warming.[194] The proposed 1,000-mile (1,600km) pipeline would have connected Canada's oil sands with the Gulf of Mexico.[194] Because the pipeline crossed international boundaries, its construction required the approval of the US federal government, and the US State Department engaged in a lengthy review process.[194] President Obama vetoed a bill to construct the Keystone Pipeline in February 2015, arguing that the decision of approval should rest with the executive branch.[195] It was the first major veto of his presidency, and Congress was unable to override it.[196] In November 2015, Obama announced that he would not approve of the construction of the pipeline.[194] On vetoing the bill, he stated that the pipeline played an "overinflated role" in U.S. political discourse and would have had relatively little impact on job creation or climate change.[194]

Drug policy and criminal justice reform

See also: Criminal justice reform in the United States and Federal drug policy of the United States

The Obama administration took a few steps to reform the criminal justice system at a time when many in both parties felt that the US had gone too far in incarcerating drug offenders,[197] and Obama was the first president since the 1960s to preside over a reduction in the federal prison population.[198] Obama's tenure also saw a continued decline of the national violent crime rate from its peak in 1991, though there was an uptick in the violent crime rate in 2015.[199][200] In October 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a directive to federal prosecutors in states with medical marijuana laws not to investigate or prosecute cases of marijuana use or production done in compliance with those laws.[201] In 2009, President Obama signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, which repealed a 21-year-old ban on federal funding of needle exchange programs.[202] In August 2010, Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine.[203] In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize non-medical marijuana,[204] and six more states legalized recreational marijuana by the time Obama left office.[205] Though any use of marijuana remained illegal under federal law, the Obama administration generally chose not to prosecute those who used marijuana in states that chose to legalize it.[206] However, some liberals and libertarians criticized Obama for continuing or even expanding the war on drugs, particularly in regards to medical marijuana.[207][208] In 2016, Obama announced that the federal government would phase out the use of private prisons.[209] Obama commuted the sentences of over 1,000 individuals, a higher number of commutations than any other president, and most of Obama's commutations went to nonviolent drug offenders.[210][211]

During Obama's presidency, there was a sharp rise in opioid mortality. Many of the deaths then and now result from fentanyl consumption where an overdose is more likely than with heroin consumption. And many people died because they were not aware of this difference or thought that they would administer themselves heroin or a drug mixture but actually used pure fentanyl.[212] Health experts criticized the government's response as slow and weak.[213][214]

Gun control

See also: Gun politics in the United States ">File:President Obama Makes a Statement on the Shooting in Newtown.ogvPlay media Obama's statement on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting

Obama called for gun control measures in the aftermath of several mass shootings, but was unable to pass a major bill. In 2009, Obama discussed reinstating the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, but did not make a strong push to pass it through Congress at that time.[215] Following the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Obama outlined a series of sweeping gun control proposals, urging Congress to reintroduce an expired ban on "military-style" assault weapons, impose limits on ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, introduce background checks on all gun sales, pass a ban on possession and sale of armor-piercing bullets, introduce harsher penalties for gun-traffickers, and approve the appointment of the head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the first time since 2006.[216] Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) attempted to pass a more limited gun control measure that would have expanded background checks, but the bill was blocked in the Senate.[217] Despite Obama's advocacy and subsequent mass shootings such as the Charleston church shooting, no major gun control bill passed Congress during Obama's presidency, in part due to the power of 2nd Amendment activists such as the National Rifle Association.[218] Obama's presidency ironically saw expansion of gun rights in the United States, as the Supreme Court ruled in McDonald v. City of Chicago that the Second Amendment applies to the states in addition to the federal government. Obama signed into law two bills containing amendments reducing restrictions on gun owners, one which permitted guns to be transported in checked baggage on Amtrak trains[219] and another which allowed the carrying of loaded firearms in national parks located in states allowing concealed carry.[220][221]

Cybersecurity

See also: Cyberwarfare in the United States

Cybersecurity emerged as an important issue during Obama's presidency. In 2009, the Obama administration established United States Cyber Command, an armed forces sub-unified command charged with defending the military against cyber attacks.[222] Sony Pictures suffered a major hack in 2014, which the US government alleges originated from North Korea in retaliation for the release of the film The Interview.[223] China also developed sophisticated cyber-warfare forces.[224] In 2015, Obama declared cyber-attacks on the US a national emergency.[223] Later that year, Obama signed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act into law.[225] In 2016, the Democratic National Committee and other US organizations were hacked,[226] and the FBI and CIA concluded that Russia sponsored the hacking in hopes of helping Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.[227] The email accounts of other prominent individuals, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell and CIA Director John O. Brennan, were also hacked, leading to new fears about the confidentiality of emails.[228]

Racial issues

See also: Race and ethnicity in the United States "Beer Summit" at the White House, July 30, 2009

In his speeches as president, Obama did not make more overt references to race relations than his predecessors,[229][230] but according to one study, he implemented stronger policy action on behalf of African-Americans than any president since the Nixon era.[231]

Following Obama's election, many pondered the existence of a "postracial America."[232][233] However, lingering racial tensions quickly became apparent,[232][234] and many African-Americans expressed outrage over what they saw as "racial venom" directed at Obama's presidency.[235] In July 2009, prominent African-American Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was arrested at his Cambridge, Massachusetts home by a local police officer, sparking a controversy after Obama stated that the police acted "stupidly" in handling the incident. To reduce tensions, Obama invited Gates and the police officer to the White House in what became known as the "Beer Summit".[236] Several other incidents during Obama's presidency sparked outrage in the African-American community and/or the law enforcement community, and Obama sought to build trust between law enforcement officials and civil rights activists.[237] The acquittal of George Zimmerman following the shooting of Trayvon Martin sparked national outrage, leading to Obama giving a speech in which he noted that "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago."[238] The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri sparked a wave of protests.[239] These and other events led to the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement, which campaigns against violence and systemic racism toward black people.[239] Some in the law enforcement community criticized Obama's condemnation of racial bias after incidents in which police action led to the death of African-American men, while some racial justice activists criticized Obama's expressions of empathy for the police.[237] Though Obama entered office reluctant to talk about race, by 2014 he began openly discussing the disadvantages faced by many members of minority groups.[240] In a March 2016 Gallup poll, nearly one third of Americans said they worried "a great deal" about race relations, a higher figure than in any previous Gallup poll since 2001.[241]

NASA

Main article: Space policy of the Barack Obama administration President Obama speaks at Kennedy Space Center, April 15, 2010.

In July 2009, Obama appointed Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, as NASA Administrator.[242] That same year, Obama set up the Augustine panel to review the Constellation program. In February 2010, Obama announced that he was cutting the program from the 2011 United States federal budget, describing it as "over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation."[243][244] After the decision drew criticism in the United States, a new "Flexible path to Mars" plan was unveiled at a space conference in April 2010.[245][246] It included new technology programs, increased R&D spending, an increase in NASA's 2011 budget from $18.3 billion to $19 billion, a focus on the International Space Station, and plans to contract future transportation to Low Earth orbit to private companies.[245] During Obama's presidency, NASA designed the Space Launch System and developed the Commercial Crew Development and Commercial Orbital Transportation Services to cooperate with private space flight companies.[247][248] These private companies, including SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, Boeing, and Bigelow Aerospace, became increasingly active during Obama's presidency.[249] The Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, and NASA relied on the Russian space program to launch its astronauts into orbit for the remainder of the Obama administration.[247][250] Obama's presidency also saw the launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Science Laboratory. In 2016, Obama called on the United States to land a human on Mars by the 2030s.[249]

Other initiatives

Obama took steps to promote various technologies and the technological prowess of the United States. The number of American adults using the internet grew from 74% in 2008 to 84% in 2013,[251] and Obama pushed programs to extend broadband internet to lower income Americans.[252] Over the opposition of many Republicans, the Federal Communications Commission began regulating internet providers as public utilities, with the goal of protecting "net neutrality."[253] Obama launched 18F and the United States Digital Service, two organizations devoted to modernizing government information technology.[254][255] The stimulus package included money to build high-speed rail networks such as the proposed Florida High Speed Corridor, but political resistance and funding problems stymied those efforts.[256] In January 2016, Obama announced a plan to invest $4 billion in the development of self-driving cars, as well as an initiative by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop regulations for self-driving cars.[257] That same month, Obama called for a national effort led by Vice President Biden to develop a cure for cancer.[258]

Foreign affairs

Main article: Foreign policy of the Barack Obama administration See also: List of presidential trips made by Barack Obama

The Obama administration inherited a war in Afghanistan, a war in Iraq, and a global "War on Terror," all launched by Congress during the term of President Bush in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Upon taking office, Obama called for a "new beginning" in relations between the Muslim world and the United States,[259][260] and he discontinued the use of the term "War on Terror" in favor of the term "Overseas Contingency Operation."[261] Obama pursued a "light footprint" military strategy in the Middle East that emphasized special forces, drone strikes, and diplomacy over large ground troop occupations.[262] However, American forces continued to clash with Islamic militant organizations such as al-Qaeda, ISIL, and al-Shabaab[263] under the terms of the AUMF passed by Congress in 2001.[264] Though the Middle East remained important to American foreign policy, Obama pursued a "pivot" to East Asia.[265][266] Obama also emphasized closer relations with India, and was the first president to visit the country twice.[267] An advocate for nuclear non-proliferation, Obama successfully negotiated arms-reduction deals with Iran and Russia.[268] In 2015, Obama described the Obama Doctrine, saying "we will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities."[269] Obama also described himself as an internationalist who rejected isolationism and was influenced by realism and liberal interventionism.[270]

Iraq and Afghanistan

Troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan[271] Year Iraq Afghanistan 2007* 137,000[272] 26,000[272] 2008* 154,000[272] 27,500[272] 2009 139,500[272] 34,400[272] 2010 107,100[272] 71,700[272] 2011 47,000[272] 97,000[272] 2012 150[273] 91,000[274] 2013 ?150 66,000[275] 2014 ?150 38,000[276] 2015 2,100[277] 12,000[278] 2016 4,450[279] 9,800[280] 2017 5,200[281] 8,400[282] Main articles: Iraq War and War in Afghanistan (2001present)

During the 2008 presidential election, Obama strongly criticized the Iraq War,[283] and Obama withdrew the vast majority of U.S. soldiers in Iraq by late 2011. On taking office, Obama announced that U.S. combat forces would leave Iraq by August 2010, with 35,00050,000 American soldiers remaining in Iraq as advisers and trainers,[284] down from the roughly 150,000 American soldiers in Iraq in early 2009.[285] In 2008, President Bush had signed the U.S.Iraq Status of Forces Agreement, in which the United States committed to withdrawing all forces by late 2011.[286][287] Obama attempted to convince Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to allow U.S. soldiers to stay past 2011, but the large presence of American soldiers was unpopular with most Iraqis.[286] By late-December 2011, only 150 American soldiers remained to serve at the US embassy.[273] However, in 2014, the U.S. began a campaign against ISIL, an Islamic extremist terrorist group operating in Iraq and Syria that grew dramatically after the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers from Iraq and the start of the Syrian Civil War.[288][289] By June 2015, there were about 3500 American soldiers in Iraq serving as advisers to anti-ISIL forces in the Iraqi Civil War,[290] and Obama left office with roughly 5,262 U.S. soldiers in Iraq and 503 of them in Syria.[291]

Obama increased the number of American soldiers in Afghanistan during his first term before withdrawing most military personnel in his second term. On taking office, Obama announced that the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan would be bolstered by 17,000 new troops by Summer 2009,[292] on top of the roughly 30,000 soldiers already in Afghanistan at the start of 2009.[293] Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Michael Mullen all argued for further troops, and Obama dispatched additional soldiers after a lengthy review process.[294][295] The number of American soldiers in Afghanistan would peak at 100,000 in 2010.[272] In 2012, the U.S. and Afghanistan signed a strategic partnership agreement in which the U.S. agreed to hand over major combat operation to Afghan forces.[296] That same year, the Obama administration designated Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally.[297] In 2014, Obama announced that most troops would leave Afghanistan by late 2016, with a small force remaining at the US embassy.[298] In September 2014, Ashraf Ghani succeeded Hamid Karzai as the President of Afghanistan after the U.S. helped negotiate a power-sharing agreement between Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah.[299] On January 1, 2015, the U.S. military ended Operation Enduring Freedom and began Resolute Support Mission, in which the U.S. shifted to more of a training role, although some combat operations continued.[300] In October 2015, Obama announced that U.S. soldiers would remain in Afghanistan indefinitely in order support the Afghan government in the civil war against the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and ISIL.[301] Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Martin Dempsey framed the decision to keep soldiers in Afghanistan as part of a long-term counter-terrorism operation stretching across Central Asia.[302] Obama left office with roughly 8,400 U.S. soldiers remaining in Afghanistan.[282]

East Asia

See also: East Asian foreign policy of the Barack Obama administration

Though other areas of the world remained important to American foreign policy, Obama pursued a "pivot" to East Asia, focusing the U.S.'s diplomacy and trade in the region.[265][266] China's continued emergence as a major power was a major issue of Obama's presidency; while the two countries worked together on issues such as climate change, the China-United States relationship also experienced tensions regarding territorial claims in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.[303] In 2016, the United States hosted a summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the first time, reflecting the Obama administration's pursuit of closer relations with ASEAN and other Asian countries.[304] After helping to encourage openly contested elections in Myanmar, Obama lifted many US sanctions on Myanmar.[305][306] Obama also increased US military ties with Vietnam,[307] Australia, and the Philippines, increased aid to Laos, and contributed to a warming of relations between South Korea and Japan.[308] Obama designed the Trans-Pacific Partnership as the key economic pillar of the Asian pivot, though the agreement remains unratified.[308] Obama made little progress with relations with North Korea, a long-time adversary of the United States, and North Korea continued to develop its WMD program.[309]

Russia

See also: NATORussia relations The first meeting between Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama before the G20 summit in London on April 1, 2009

On taking office, Obama called for a "reset" in relations with Russia, which had declined following the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.[310] While President Bush had successfully pushed for NATO expansion into former Eastern bloc states, the early Obama era saw NATO put more of an emphasis on creating a long-term partnership with Russia.[311] Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev worked together on a new treaty to reduce and monitor nuclear weapons, Russian accession to the World Trade Organization, and counterterrorism.[310] On April 8, 2010, Obama and Medvedev signed the New START treaty, a major nuclear arms control agreement that reduced the nuclear weapons stockpiles of both countries and provided for a monitoring regime.[312] In December 2010, the Senate ratified New START in a 7126 vote, with 13 Republicans and all Democrats voting in favor of the treaty.[313] In 2012, Russia joined the World Trade Organization and Obama normalized trade relations with Russia.[314]

USRussia relations declined after Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency in 2012.[310] Russia's intervention in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea in response to the Euromaidan movement led to a strong condemnation by Obama and other Western leaders, who imposed sanctions on Russian leaders.[310][315] The sanctions contributed to a Russian financial crisis.[316] Some members of Congress from both parties also called for the US to arm Ukrainian forces, but Obama resisted becoming closely involved in the War in Donbass.[317] In 2016, following several cybersecurity incidents, the Obama administration formally accused Russia of engaging in a campaign to undermine the 2016 election, and the administration imposed sanctions on some Russian-linked people and organizations.[318][319] In 2017, after Obama left office, Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel to investigate Russian's involvement in the 2016 election, including allegations of conspiracy or coordination between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.[320] The Mueller Report, released in 2019, concludes that Russia undertook a sustained social media campaign and cyberhacking operation to bolster the Trump campaign.[321] The report did not reach a conclusion on allegations that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia, but, according to Mueller, his investigation did not find evidence "sufficient to charge any member of the [Trump] campaign with taking part in a criminal conspiracy."[322]

Israel

The relationship between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu (who held office for all but two months of Obama's presidency) was notably icy, with many commenting on their mutual distaste for each other.[323][324] On taking office, Obama appointed George J. Mitchell as a special envoy to the Middle East to work towards a settlement of the IsraeliPalestinian conflict, but Mitchell made little progress before stepping down in 2011.[325] In March 2010, Secretary of State Clinton criticized the Israeli government for approving expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem.[326] Netanyahu strongly opposed Obama's efforts to negotiate with Iran and was seen as favoring Mitt Romney in the 2012 US presidential election.[323] However, Obama continued the US policy of vetoing UN resolutions calling for a Palestinian state, and the administration continued to advocate for a negotiated two-state solution.[327] Obama also increased aid to Israel, including funding for the Iron Dome air defense program.[328]

During Obama's last months in office, his administration chose not to veto United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which urged the end of Israeli settlement in the territories that Israel captured in the Six-Day War of 1967. The Obama administration argued that the abstention was consistent with long-standing American opposition to the expansion of settlements, while critics of the abstention argued that it abandoned a close U.S. ally.[329]

Trade agreements

See also: United States free trade agreements The Obama administration maintained existing trade agreements and concluded new ones with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea

Like his predecessor, Obama pursued free trade agreements, in part due to the lack of progress at the Doha negotiations in lowering trade barriers worldwide.[330] In October 2011, the United States entered into free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. Congressional Republicans overwhelmingly supported the agreements, while Congressional Democrats cast a mix of votes.[331] The three agreements had originally been negotiated by the Bush administration, but Obama re-opened negotiations with each country and changed some terms of each deal.[331]

Obama promoted two significantly larger, multilateral free trade agreements: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with eleven Pacific Rim countries, including Japan, Mexico, and Canada, and the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union.[332] TPP negotiations began under President Bush, and Obama continued them as part of a long-term strategy that sought to refocus on rapidly growing economies in East Asia.[333][333] The chief administration goals in the TPP, included: (1) establishing free market capitalism as the main normative platform for economic integration in the region; (2) guaranteeing standards for intellectual property rights, especially regarding copyright, software, and technology; (3) underscore American leadership in shaping the rules and norms of the emerging global order; (4) and blocking China from establishing a rival network.[334]

After years of negotiations, the 12 countries reached a final agreement on the content of the TPP in October 2015,[335] and the full text of the treaty was made public in November 2015.[336] The Obama administration was criticized from the left for a lack of transparency in the negotiations, as well as the presence of corporate representatives who assisted in the drafting process.[337][338][339] In July 2015, Congress passed a bill giving trade promotion authority to the president until 2021; trade promotion authority requires Congress to vote up or down on trade agreements signed by the president, with no possibility of amendments or filibusters.[340] The TPP became a major campaign issue in the 2016 elections, with both major party presidential nominees opposing its ratification.[341] After Obama left office, President Trump pulled the United States out of the TPP negotiations, and the remaining TPP signatories later concluded a separate free trade agreement known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.[342]

Guantanamo Bay detention camp

In 2002, the Bush administration established the Guantanamo Bay detention camp to hold alleged "enemy combatants" in a manner that did not treat the detainees as conventional prisoners of war.[343] Obama repeatedly stated his desire to close the detention camp, arguing that the camp's extrajudicial nature provided a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations.[343] On his first day in office, Obama instructed all military prosecutors to suspend proceedings so that the incoming administration could review the military commission process.[344] On January 22, 2009, Obama signed an executive order restricting interrogators to methods listed and authorized by an Army Field Manual,[345] ending the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques."[346] In March 2009, the administration announced that it would no longer refer to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay as enemy combatants, but it also asserted that the president had the authority to detain terrorism suspects there without criminal charges.[347] The prisoner population of the detention camp fell from 242 in January 2009 to 91 in January 2016, in part due to the Periodic Review Boards that Obama established in 2011.[348] Many members of Congress strongly opposed plans to transfer Guantanamo detainees to prisons in U.S. states, and the Obama administration was reluctant to send potentially dangerous prisoners to other countries, especially unstable countries such as Yemen.[349] Though Obama continued to advocate for the closure of the detention camp,[349] 41 inmates remained in Guantanamo when Obama left office.[350][351]

Killing of Osama bin Laden

Main article: Death of Osama bin Laden Obama, sitting next to Biden, with the U.S. national security team gathered in the Situation Room to monitor the progress of Operation Neptune Spear. Wikisource has original text related to this article: Remarks by the President on Osama bin Laden

The Obama administration launched a successful operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, a global Sunni Islamist militant organization responsible for the September 11 attacks and several other terrorist attacks.[352] Starting with information received in July 2010, the CIA determined what they believed to be the location of Osama bin Laden in a large compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a suburban area 35 miles (56km) from Islamabad.[353] CIA head Leon Panetta reported this intelligence to Obama in March 2011. Meeting with his national security advisers over the course of the next six weeks, Obama rejected a plan to bomb the compound, and authorized a "surgical raid" to be conducted by United States Navy SEALs. The operation took place on May 1, 2011, resulting in the death of bin Laden and the seizure of papers and computer drives and disks from the compound.[354] Bin Laden's body was identified through DNA testing, and buried at sea several hours later.[355] Reaction to the announcement was positive across party lines, including from predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton,[356] and from many countries around the world.[357]

Drone warfare

See also: Drone attacks in Pakistan

Obama expanded the drone strike program begun by the Bush administration, and the Obama administration conducted drone strikes against targets in Yemen, Somalia, and, most prominently, Pakistan.[358] Though the drone strikes killed high-ranking terrorists, they were also criticized for resulting in civilian casualties.[359] A 2013 Pew research poll showed that the strikes were broadly unpopular in Pakistan,[360] and some former members of the Obama administration have criticized the strikes for causing a backlash against the United States.[359] However, based on 147 interviews conducted in 2015, professor Aqil Shah argued that the strikes were popular in North Waziristan, the area in which most of the strikes take place, and that little blowback occurred.[361] In 2009, the UN special investigator on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions called the United States' reliance on drones "increasingly common" and "deeply troubling", and called on the U.S. to justify its use of targeted assassinations rather than attempting to capture al Qaeda or Taliban suspects.[362][363] In 2013, Obama appointed John Brennan as the new CIA Director and announced a new policy that required CIA operatives to determine with a "near-certainty" that no civilians would be hurt in a drone strike.[358] The number of drone strikes fell substantially after the announcement of the new policy,[358][359]

As of 2015, US drone strikes had killed eight American citizens, one of whom, Anwar al-Aulaqi, was specifically targeted.[359] The targeted killing of a United States citizen raised Constitutional issues, as it is the first known instance of a sitting U.S. president ordering the extrajudicial killing of a U.S. citizen.[364][365] Obama had ordered the targeted killing of al-Aulaqi, a Muslim cleric with ties to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, after al-Aulaqi allegedly shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them.[366][367] The Obama administration continually sought to keep classified the legal opinions justifying drone strikes, but it said that it conducted special legal reviews before targeting Americans in order to purportedly satisfy the due process requirements of the Constitution.[359][368]

Cuban thaw

Main article: Cuban thaw See also: CubaUnited States relations

The Obama presidency saw a major thaw in relations with Cuba, which the United States embargoed following the Cuban Revolution and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Starting in the spring of 2013 secret meetings were conducted between the United States and Cuba, with the meetings taking place in the neutral locations of Canada and Vatican City.[369] The Vatican was consulted initially in 2013 as Pope Francis advised the U.S. and Cuba to exchange prisoners as a gesture of goodwill.[370] On December 10, 2013, Cuban President Raul Castro, in a significant public moment, shook hands with and greeted Obama at Nelson Mandela's memorial service in Johannesburg.[371] In December 2014, Cuba released Alan Gross in exchange for the remaining members of the Cuban Five.[370] That same month, President Obama ordered the restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba.[372] Obama stated that he was normalizing relationships because the economic embargo had been ineffective in persuading Cuba to develop a democratic society.[373] In May 2015, Cuba was taken off the United States's list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.[374] In August 2015, following the restoration of official diplomatic relations, the United States and Cuba reopened their respective embassies.[375] In March 2016, Obama visited Cuba, making him the first American president to set foot on the island since Calvin Coolidge.[376] In 2017, Obama ended the "wet feet, dry feet policy," which had given special rights to Cuban immigrants to the United States.[377] The restored ties between Cuba and the U.S. were seen as a boon to broader Latin AmericaUnited States relations, as Latin American leaders unanimously approved of the move.[378][379] Presidential candidate Donald Trump promised to reverse the Obama policies and return to a hard line on Cuba.[380]

Iranian nuclear negotiations

Further information: Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

Iran and the United States have had a poor relationship since the Iranian Revolution and the Iran hostage crisis, and tensions continued during Obama's presidency due to issues such as the Iranian nuclear program and Iran's alleged sponsorship of terrorism. On taking office, Obama focused on negotiations with Iran over the status of its nuclear program, working with the other P5+1 powers to adopt a multilateral agreement.[381] Obama's stance differed dramatically from the more hawkish position of his predecessor, George W. Bush,[382] as well as the stated positions of most of Obama's rivals in the 2008 presidential campaign.[383] In June 2013, Hasan Rouhani won election as the new President of Iran, and Rouhani called for a continuation of talks on Iran's nuclear program.[384] In November 2013, Iran and the P5 announced an interim agreement,[384] and in April 2015, negotiators announced that a framework agreement had been reached.[385] Congressional Republicans, who along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had strongly opposed the negotiations,[386] attempted but failed to pass a Congressional resolution rejecting the six-nation accord.[387] Under the agreement, Iran promised to limit its nuclear program and to provide access to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors, while the U.S. and other countries agreed to reduce sanctions on Iran.[388] The partisan fight over the Iran nuclear deal exemplified a broader ideological disagreement regarding American foreign policy in the Middle East and how to handle adversarial regimes, as many opponents of the deal considered Iran to be an implacably hostile adversary who would inevitably break any agreement.[389]

Arab Spring and its aftermath

See also: Arab Spring Most Arab states experienced turmoil during the Arab Spring.
Civil war Government overthrown multiple times Government overthrown Protests and governmental changes Major protests Minor protests

After a sudden revolution in Tunisia in 2011,[390] protests occurred in almost every Arab state. The wave of demonstrations became known as the Arab Spring, and the handling of the Arab Spring played a major role in Obama's foreign policy.[391] After three weeks of unrest, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned at the urging of President Obama.[392] General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi eventually took power from Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in a 2013 coup d'etat, prompting the US to cut off arms shipments to its long-time ally.[393] However, Obama resumed the shipments in 2015.[393] Yemen experienced a revolution and then civil war, leading to a Saudi military campaign that received logistical and intelligence assistance from the United States.[394] The Obama administration announced its intention to review U.S. military assistance to Saudi Arabia after Saudi warplanes targeted a funeral in Yemen's capital Sanaa, killing more than 140 people.[395] The UN accused the Saudi-led coalition of "complete disregard for human life".[396][397][398]

Libya

Libya was strongly affected by the Arab Spring. Anti-government protests broke out in Benghazi, Libya, in February 2011,[399] and the Gaddafi government responded with military force.[400] The Obama administration initially resisted calls to take strong action[401] but relented after the Arab League requested Western intervention in Libya.[402] In March 2011, international reaction to Gaddafi's military crackdown culminated in a United Nations resolution to enforce a no fly zone in Libya. Obama authorized U.S. forces to participate in international air attacks on Libyan air defenses using Tomahawk cruise missiles to establish the protective zone.[403][404] The intervention was led by NATO, but Sweden and three Arab nations also participated in the mission.[405] With coalition support, the rebels took Tripoli the following August.[406] The Libyan campaign culminated in the toppling of the Gaddafi regime, but Libya experienced turmoil in the aftermath of the civil war.[407] Obama's intervention in Libya provoked criticism from members of Congress and ignited a debate over the applicability of the War Powers Resolution.[408] In September 2012, Islamic militants attacked the American consulate in Benghazi, killing Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.[409] Republicans strongly criticized the Obama administration's handling of the Benghazi attack, and established a select committee in the House to investigate the attack.[410] After his presidency, Obama acknowledged his "worst mistake" of his presidency was being unable to anticipate the aftermath of ousting Gaddafi.[411]

Syrian civil war

See also: Syrian Civil War

Syria was one of the states most heavily affected by the Arab Spring, and by the second half of March 2011, major anti-government protests were being held in Syria.[412] Though Syria had long been an adversary of the United States, Obama argued that unilateral military action to topple the Bashar al-Assad regime would be a mistake.[413] As the protests continued, Syria fell into a protracted civil war,[414] and the United States supported the Syrian opposition against the Assad regime.[415] US criticism of Assad intensified after the Ghouta chemical attack, eventually resulting in a Russian-backed deal that saw the Syrian government relinquish its chemical weapons.[416] In the chaos of the Syrian Civil War, an Islamist group known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took control of large portions of Syria and Iraq.[417] ISIL, which had originated as al-Qaeda in Iraq under the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,[289] eventually challenged al-Qaeda as the most prominent global terrorist group during Obama's second term.[418] Starting in 2014, the Obama administration launched air strikes against ISIL and trained anti-ISIL soldiers, while continuing to oppose Assad's regime.[415][416] The Obama administration also cooperated with Syrian Kurds in opposing the ISIL, straining relations with Turkey, which accused the Syrian Kurds of working with the Kurdish terrorist groups inside Turkey.[419] Russia launched its own military intervention to aid Assad's regime, creating a complicated multi-party proxy war, though the United States and Russia sometimes cooperated to fight ISIL.[420] In November 2015, Obama announced a plan to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States.[421] Obama's "light-footprint" approach to the Syrian conflict was criticized by many as the Syrian Civil War became a major humanitarian catastrophe, but supporters of Obama argued that he deserved credit for keeping the United States out of another costly ground war in the Middle East.[422][423][291]

Foreign and domestic surveillance

See also: Barack Obama on mass surveillance

The Obama administration inherited several government surveillance programs from the Bush administration, and Obama attempted to strike a balance between protecting civil liberties and tracking terrorist threats, but Obama's continuation of many programs disappointed many civil libertarians.[424] The New York Times reported in 2009 that the NSA had been intercepting communications of American citizens including a Congressman, although the Justice Department believed that the NSA had corrected its errors.[425] In 2011, Obama signed a four-year extension of some provisions of the Patriot Act.[426] In June 2013 the existence of PRISM, a clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) since 2007, was leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who warned that the extent of mass data collection was far greater than the public knew.[427] In the face of international outrage, U.S. government officials defended the PRISM surveillance program by asserting it could not be used on domestic targets without a warrant, that it helped to prevent acts of terrorism, and that it received independent oversight from the federal government's executive, judicial and legislative branches.[428] In June 2013, Obama stated that the NSA's data gathering practices constitute "a circumscribed, narrow system directed at us being able to protect our people."[429] In 2015, Obama signed the USA Freedom Act, which extended several provisions of the Patriot Act but ended the collection of bulk telephone records by the NSA.[424][430]

Ethics

Lobbying reform

See also: Lobbying in the United States

Early in his presidential campaign, Obama stated that lobbyists "won't find a job in my White House", but softened his stance after taking office.[431] On January 21, 2009, Obama issued an executive order for all future appointees to his administration, which ordered that no appointee who was a registered lobbyist within the two years before his appointment could participate on matters in which he lobbied for a period of two years after the date of appointment.[25] Three formal waivers were initially issued in early 2009, out of 800 executive appointments:[432] The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington criticized the administration, claiming that Obama retreated from his own ethics rules barring lobbyists from working on the issues about which they lobbied during the previous two years by issuing waivers.[433] A 2015 Politico investigation found that, while Obama had instituted incremental reforms and the number of lobbyists fell during Obama's presidency, Obama had failed to close the "revolving door" of officials moving between government and business.[434] However, the Obama administration avoided "conflict of interest" scandals that previous administrations had experienced, in part due to the administration's lobbyist rules.[435]

Transparency

">File:20090124 WeeklyAddress.ogvPlay media Obama presents his first weekly address as President of the United States, discussing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Obama promised that he would run the "most transparent" administration in US history, with mixed results.[436] On taking office, the Obama administration said that all executive orders, non-emergency legislation, and proclamations would be posted to the official White House website, whitehouse.gov, allowing the public to review and comment for five days before the President signs the legislation,[437] but this pledge was twice broken during Obama's first month in office.[438][439] On January 21, 2009, by executive order, Obama revoked Executive Order 13233, which had limited access to the records of former United States presidents.[440] Obama issued instructions to all agencies and departments in his administration to "adopt a presumption in favor" of Freedom of Information Act requests.[441] These actions helped the rate of classification fall to record lows during the Obama administration.[436] In April 2009, the United States Department of Justice released four legal memos from the Bush administration describing in detail controversial interrogation methods the CIA had used on prisoners suspected of terrorism.[442][443] The Obama administration also introduced the Open Government Directive, which encouraged government agencies to publish data and collaborate with the public, and the Open Government Partnership, which advocated open government norms.[436] However, Obama continued to make use of secret memos and the state secrets privilege, and continued to prosecute whistleblowers.[436]

The Obama administration has been characterized as much more aggressive than the Bush and other previous administrations in their response to whistleblowing and leaks to the press,[444] prompting critics to describe the Obama administration's crackdown as a "war on whistleblowers."[445][446] Several people were charged under the previously rarely used leak-related provisions of the Espionage Act of 1917, including Thomas Andrews Drake, a former National Security Agency employee,[447][448] Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a State Department contractor,[449] and Jeffrey Sterling. Others prosecuted for leaking information include Shamai Leibowitz, a contract linguist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation,[450] John Kiriakou, a former CIA analyst,[451] and Chelsea Manning, an intelligence analyst for the US Army whose trial received wide coverage.[452] Most notably, Edward Snowden, a technical contractor for the NSA, was charged with theft and the unauthorized disclosure of classified information to columnist Glenn Greenwald.[453] Snowden's disclosures provoked wide array of reactions; many called for Snowden to be pardoned, while others called him a traitor.[454][455]

Elections during the Obama presidency

Democratic seats in Congress[7] Congress Senate House 111th[8] 59[9] 257 112th 53 193 113th 55 201 114th 46 188 115th[10] 48 194

2010 mid-term elections

Main article: 2010 United States elections

Attacking Obama relentlessly, emphasizing the stalled economy, and fueled by the anger of the Tea Party Movement, Republicans scored a landslide in the 2010 midterm elections, winning control of the House and gaining seats in the Senate. After the election, John Boehner replaced Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, and Pelosi became the new House Minority Leader. Boehner pledged to repeal Obamacare and cut federal spending.[456]

Obama called the elections "humbling" and a "shellacking", arguing that the defeat came because not enough Americans had felt the effects of the economic recovery.[457] The newly empowered House Republicans quickly confronted Obama on issues such as Obamacare and the debt ceiling.[143] The Republican victory in the election also gave Republicans the upper hand in the redistricting that occurred after the 2010 United States census.[458]

2012 re-election campaign

Main articles: Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2012 and United States elections, 2012 Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

On April 4, 2011, Obama announced that he would seek re-election in the 2012 presidential election. Obama did not face any significant rivals for the 2012 Democratic nomination. Obama's Republican opponent in the general election, former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, advocated for lower taxes, spending cuts, an increase in defense spending, and a repeal of Obamacare (which was ironically based on a Massachusetts healthcare plan developed under Romney).[459] Obama's campaign was based in Chicago and run by many former members of the White House staff and members of the successful 2008 campaign.[460] Obama won re-election with 332 (out of a total of 538) electoral votes and 51.1% of the popular vote, making him the first person since Dwight Eisenhower to twice win 51 percent of the vote.[461] According to exit polls, Obama won a majority of the vote from women, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, people under 45, people making less than $50,000 per year, people inhabiting large or mid-sized cities, liberals, moderates, the unmarried, gays, and people with no college education, some college education, or graduate degrees.[462] In addition to the presidential election victory, the Democrats also picked up seats in both houses of Congress, but Republicans retained control of the House.

2014 mid-term elections

Main article: 2014 United States elections Congressional party leaders Senate leaders House leaders Year Majority Minority Speaker Minority 20092010 Reid McConnell Pelosi Boehner 20112014 Reid McConnell Boehner Pelosi 2015 McConnell Reid Boehner[11] Pelosi 20152016 McConnell Reid Ryan Pelosi 2017[12] McConnell Schumer Ryan Pelosi

Obama's second mid-term election turned into another wave election, as Republicans won control of the Senate and picked up several governorships.[463] Mitch McConnell replaced Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader, while Reid became the Senate Minority Leader. Republican control of the Senate gave the party the power to block Obama's executive and judicial nominees.[19] The Republican waves in 2010 and 2014 defeated many young Democratic candidates, weakening the farm team of several state Democratic parties.[464]

2016 elections and transition period

Main article: 2016 United States elections Republican Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

The 2016 elections took place on November 8. Obama was term-limited in 2016 due to the 22nd Amendment, though Obama's approval ratings may have impacted his party's ability to win the race.[465] In June 2016, with the Democratic primaries nearly complete, Obama endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as his successor.[466] However, according to Glenn Thrush of Politico, Obama had long supported Clinton as his preferred successor, and Obama dissuaded Vice President Biden from running against Clinton.[467] Obama spoke in favor of Clinton at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and he continued to campaign for Clinton and other Democrats in the months leading up to Election Day.[468] However, in the general election, Clinton was defeated by Republican nominee Donald Trump, who prominently questioned Obama's place of birth during Obama's first term.[469] Republicans also retained control of the House and Senate. During the eight years of Obama's presidency, the Democratic Party experienced a net loss of 1,041 governorships and state and federal legislative seats.[470] Ronald Brownstein of The Atlantic noted that these losses were similar to those of other post-World War II two-term presidents.[471][472]

Trump and Obama frequently communicated during the transition period, and Trump stated that he sought Obama's advice regarding presidential appointments.[473] However, President-elect Trump also criticized some of Obama's actions, including Obama's refusal to veto a UN Resolution condemning Israel settlements.[474] In his farewell address, Obama expressed concerns about a divisive political environment, economic inequality, and racism, but remained optimistic about the future.[475][476]

Approval ratings and other opinions

See also: Historical rankings of Presidents of the United States, United States presidential approval rating, and Public image of Barack Obama Gallup poll approval ratings[477] Date Approve Disapprove Jan 2009 67 13 July 2009 58 34 Jan 2010 51 43 July 2010 46 47 Jan 2011 48 45 July 2011 46 45 Jan 2012 46 47 July 2012 45 46 Jan 2013 53 40 July 2013 46 46 Jan 2014 41 53 July 2014 42 53 Jan 2015 46 48 July 2015 46 49 Jan 2016 47 49 Jul 2016 51 45 Jan 2017 55 42

After his transition period, Obama entered office with an approval rating of 82% according to Gallup,[478] Obama's approval rating fell to 69% after he took office and announced his first policy decisions.[479] Obama received the support of 90% of Democrats, 60% of independents, and 40% of Republicans in January 2009 polls.[479] By December 2009, Obama's approval rating had fallen to 51%, with Obama receiving approval from roughly 85% of Democrats, 45% of independents, and just 18% of Republicans.[479] In July 2010, after the passage of the Dodd-Frank and Obamacare, Obama's approval rating stood at 45%, with 47% disapproving.[479] Obama's approval rating would remain stable until the 2010 elections,[479] when Republicans won major gains in both houses of Congress and took control of the House.[456] Obama's approval ratings climbed back to 50% in January 2011, but fell to 40% in August 2011 following the 2011 debt-ceiling crisis.[479] Obama's approval ratings slowly increased during 2012, and they rose above 50% shortly before the 2012 election, in which Obama defeated Mitt Romney.[479] After his re-election, Obama's approval ratings reached 57%, but that number fell into the low 40s after the federal government shutdown in October 2013.[479] Obama's approval ratings remained in the mid-to-low 40s until the 2014 elections, when Republicans won gains in both houses of Congress and took control of the Senate.[479] In 2015, Obama's approval ratings climbed to the mid-to-high 40s, with his approval and disapproval ratings roughly matching each other.[479] His approval ratings rose into the 50s during the 2016 presidential campaign, and Obama registered a 57% approval rating in November 2016.[479] In a Gallup poll taken in the final week of his presidency, Obama registered a 95% approval rating with Democrats, a 61% approval rating with independents, and a 14% approval rating with Republicans.[479]

Obama's election also provoked a reaction to his race, birthplace, and religion. As president, Obama faced numerous taunts and racial innuendos, though most overt racist comments were limited to a small fringe.[480] Donald Trump theorized that Obama had been born in Kenya; an April 2011 CNN poll taken shortly before Obama released his long-form birth certificate found that 40% of Republicans believed that Obama had been born in Kenya.[469] Many of these "birthers" argued that because Obama was (allegedly) not a citizen, he was not eligible to serve as president under the natural-born-citizen requirements of the Constitution. Despite Obama's release of his long-form birth certificate, which affirmed that Obama was born in Hawaii, a 2015 CNN poll found that 20% of Americans believed that Obama was born outside of the country.[481] Many also claimed that Obama practiced Islam, and a 2015 CNN poll found that 29% of Americans and 43% of Republicans believed Obama to be a Muslim.[481] Even prior to his election as president, Obama had clarified that he was a long-time member of a church affiliated with the United Church of Christ, a mainline Protestant denomination.[482]

In a January 2010 survey by the Siena Research Institute at Siena College in Loudonville, New Yorkone year into the Obama presidency238 U.S. history and political science professors ranked Obama 15th of 43 U.S. presidents.[483] In a September 2010 survey by the United States Presidency Centre of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London School of Advanced Studyone year and eight months into the Obama presidency47 unnamed respondents who were UK academic specialists on American history and politics ranked 40 of 42 U.S. presidents from 1789 to 2009, not including Obama; if Obama had been included he would have ranked 8th, behind Harry S. Truman but ahead of Ronald Reagan and all other post-World War II U.S. presidents.[484][485][486] In a June 2012 survey by Newsweek magazinethree years and five months into the Obama presidencyten selected American historians and biographers ranked Obama 10th of 20 U.S. presidents since 1900.[487][488] In an April 2013 survey by History News Network (HNN) website in Seattlefour years and three months into the Obama presidency203 scholars from 69 top U.S. colleges and universities gave Obama a B- grade on an AF scale.[489] A February 2015 Brookings Institution survey of members of the American Political Science Association put Obama in 18th place out of the 43 presidents.[490] Additionally, a 2011 Gallup poll found that 5% of Americans saw Obama as the country's greatest president.[491]

As Obama left office, historians expressed various opinions about his effectiveness as president, with many noting that subsequent events would determine his ultimate legacy.[492][493] There was universal agreement that Obama would long be remembered as the first African-American president.[492][493][494] Many noted that Obama presided over an economic recovery and passed major domestic legislation, but failed to bridge a partisan divide and left office with his party in a weakened state.[492]

See also

.mw-parser-output .portal{border:solid #aaa 1px;padding:0}.mw-parser-output .portal.tleft{margin:0.5em 1em 0.5em 0}.mw-parser-output .portal.tright{margin:0.5em 0 0.5em 1em}.mw-parser-output .portal>ul{display:table;box-sizing:border-box;padding:0.1em;max-width:175px;background:#f9f9f9;font-size:85%;line-height:110%;font-style:italic;font-weight:bold}.mw-parser-output .portal>ul>li{display:table-row}.mw-parser-output .portal>ul>li>span:first-child{display:table-cell;padding:0.2em;vertical-align:middle;text-align:center}.mw-parser-output .portal>ul>li>span:last-child{display:table-cell;padding:0.2em 0.2em 0.2em 0.3em;vertical-align:middle}
  • Speeches of Barack Obama
  • List of people pardoned by Barack Obama
  • Federal political scandals, Barack Obama administration
  • Roberts Court
  • Barack Obama
  • Barack Obama 2008 presidential campaign

Notes

^ A small portion of the 111th Congress (January 3, 2009 January 19, 2009) took place under President Bush, while only a small portion of the 115th Congress (January 3, 2017 January 19, 2017) took place during Obama's second term. ^ The income, outlay, and deficit numbers reflect fiscal years which last from October to September; for example, the 2014 fiscal year lasted from October 2013 to September 2014. ^ Numbers reflect post-OBRA 93 tax brackets. ^ Numbers reflect post-Bush tax cuts tax brackets. ^ Numbers reflect post-American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 tax brackets. ^ Democratic seats at the start of each session of Congress. Independents caucusing with the Democratic Party (Senators Bernie Sanders, Joe Lieberman, and Angus King) are counted as Democrats for the purposes of this table. Throughout Obama's presidency, there were a total of 100 Senate seats in 435 House seats, so a Democratic majority in the Senate required 50 seats (since Democratic Vice President Joe Biden could provide the tie-breaking vote), and a Democratic majority in the House required 218 seats (assuming no vacancies). ^ In 2009, Democrats briefly gained a "filibuster-proof" 60 Senate seats after Al Franken won an extremely close election and Arlen Specter switched parties, but the number of Senate Democrats went down to 59 seats after Scott Brown won a January 2010 special election in Massachusetts. ^ Paul Ryan succeeded John Boehner as Speaker of the House in October 2015.

References

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Retrieved September 20, 2008..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em} ^ "Obama: I will be the Democratic nominee". 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"Breaking down the 2014 Republican wave". PBS. Retrieved November 13, 2015. ^ Gay Stolberg, Sheryl (November 12, 2015). "In Obama Era, G.O.P. Bolsters Grip in the States". The New York Times. Retrieved November 13, 2015. ^ Kondik, Kyle (April 17, 2015). "Clinton's Real Opponent: Barack Obama". Politico. Retrieved November 15, 2015. ^ Thrush, Glenn (June 9, 2016). "Why Obama Waited". Politico. Retrieved June 10, 2016. ^ Thrush, Glenn (July 2016). "Party of Two". Politico. Retrieved July 18, 2016. ^ Rhodan, Maya (October 10, 2016). "President Obama Is Now Campaigning for His Legacy". Time. Retrieved October 18, 2016. ^ a b Silverleib, Alan (April 27, 2011). "Obama releases original long-form birth certificate". CNN. Retrieved November 18, 2015. ^ "Democrats Lost Over 1,000 Seats Under Obama". Fox News. December 27, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2016. ^ Brownstein, Ronald (January 12, 2017). "What Happens to the Democratic Party After Obama?". The Atlantic. Retrieved January 12, 2017. ^ Malone, Claire (January 19, 2017). "Barack Obama Won The White House, But Democrats Lost The Country". Fivethirtyeight. Retrieved January 20, 2017. ^ Naftali, Tim (December 8, 2016). "Why Trump and Obama are phone buddies". CNN. Retrieved December 9, 2016. ^ Wagner, John (December 28, 2016). "Trump accuses Obama of putting up 'roadblocks' to a smooth transition". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 28, 2016. ^ Eilperin, Juliet; Greg, Jaffe (January 10, 2017). "In stark farewell, Obama warns of threat to U. S. democracy". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 11, 2017. ^ Landler, Mark; Bosman, Julie (January 11, 2017). "Obama, Saying Goodbye, Warns of Threats to National Unity". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2017. ^ "Presidential Approval Ratings -- Barack Obama". Gallup. Gallup. Retrieved January 6, 2017. The first poll of the month is used for each table entry. ^ "Barack Obama's initial approval rating is highest since JFK". Los Angeles Times. January 27, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2009. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Presidential Approval Ratings -- Barack Obama". Gallup. Gallup. Retrieved January 25, 2017.. ^ Netter, Sarah (January 27, 2010). "Racism in Obama's America One Year Later". ABC. Retrieved November 18, 2015. ^ a b Agiesta, Jennifer (September 14, 2015). "Misperceptions persist about Obama's faith, but aren't so widespread". CNN. Retrieved November 18, 2015. ^ "Obama sets record straight on his religion". NBC. Associated Press. January 21, 2008. Retrieved November 18, 2015. ^ Lonnstrom, Douglas A.; Kelly, Thomas O., II (September 2003). "The contemporary presidency: rating the presidents: a tracking study" (PDF). Presidential Studies Quarterly. 33 (3): 625634. doi:10.1111/1741-5705.00009. JSTOR27552516. Retrieved October 7, 2014. ^ United States Presidency Centre, Institute for the Studies of the Americas (January 10, 2011). "Results of first UK scholars' survey of US presidents: George Washington to Barack Obama to be released 17 January 2011". London: University of London School of Advanced Study. Retrieved October 7, 2014. ^ Morgan, Iwan (January 17, 2011). "UK survey of US presidents: results and analysis; Franklin D. Roosevelt comes first; George W. Bush is in bottom ten; Barack Obama is highly rated" (PDF). London: United States Presidency Centre, Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London School of Advanced Study. Retrieved October 7, 2014. ^ Morgan, Iwan (January 17, 2011). "The top US presidents: first poll of UK experts". London: BBC News. Retrieved October 7, 2014. ^ "From Franklin Delano Roosevelt to John F. Kennedy, Newsweek's 10 best presidents (photos)". The Daily Beast. New York. September 24, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2014. ^ Kevles, Daniel (Autumn 2012). "The 10 best American presidents; understanding what makes our greatest modern presidents great". Newsweek. pp.2628. ^ "Historians give Barack Obama a B-". Seattle: History News Network. September 10, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2014. ^ Rottinghaus, Brandon (February 13, 2015). "Measuring Obama against the great presidents". Brookings Institution. Retrieved November 16, 2015. ^ "Measuring Obama against the great presidents | Brookings Institution". Brookings. March 9, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2017. ^ a b c "10 Historians on What Will Be Said About President Obama's Legacy". Time. January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 19, 2017. ^ a b Lewis, Andrew; Djupe, Paul (January 18, 2017). "How Will Obama Be Graded By History?". Fivethirtyeight. Retrieved January 19, 2017. ^ Feldmann, Linda (January 18, 2017). "Was Barack Obama a transformative president?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved January 19, 2017.

Further reading

Main article: Bibliography of Barack Obama .mw-parser-output .refbegin{font-size:90%;margin-bottom:0.5em}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>ul{list-style-type:none;margin-left:0}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>ul>li,.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>dl>dd{margin-left:0;padding-left:3.2em;text-indent:-3.2em;list-style:none}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-100{font-size:100%}
  • Alter, Jonathan (2011). The Promise: President Obama, Year One. ISBN978-1439101193.
  • Baker, Peter (2017). Obama: The Call of History. New York Times/Callaway. ISBN978-0935112900.
  • Crotty, William, ed. (2012). The Obama Presidency: Promise and Performance. Lexington Books. ISBN978-0739172346.
  • Dowdle, Andrew; Van Raemdonck, Dirk C.; Maranto, Robert (2011). The Obama Presidency: Change and Continuity. ISBN978-0415887700.
  • Esposito, Luigi; Finley, Laura L. (2012). Grading the 44th President: A Report Card on Barack Obama's First Term as a Progressive Leader. ISBN978-0313398438.
  • Indyk, Martin; Lieberthal, Kenneth; O'Hanlon, Michael E. (2012). Bending History: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy. ISBN978-0815721826.
  • Gates, Robert M. (2014). Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN978-0307959478.
  • Green, Michael J. By more than providence: grand strategy and American power in the Asia Pacific since 1783 (2017) excerpt pp 518-40.
  • Keller, Morton (2015). Obama's Time: A History. ISBN978-0199383375.
  • McElya, Micki (2011). "To "Choose Our Better History": Assessing the Obama Presidency in Real Time". American Quarterly. 63: 179189. doi:10.1353/aq.2011.0012.
  • Mann, Jim (2012). The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power. ISBN978-0670023769.
  • Pomante (Ii), Michael J.; Schraufnagel, Scot (2018). Historical Dictionary of the Barack Obama Administration. ISBN978-1538111512.
  • Rockman, Bert A.; Rudalevige, Andrew; Campbell, Colin (July 26, 2011). The Obama Presidency: Appraisals and Prospects. ISBN978-1608716852.
  • Rosenberg, Jerry M. (2012). The Concise Encyclopedia of The Great Recession 20072012. Scarecrow Press 2nd edition 708pp. ISBN9780810883406.
  • Rudalevige, Andrew (2012). ""A Majority is the Best Repartee": Barack Obama and Congress, 2009-2012". Social Science Quarterly. 93 (5): 12721294. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6237.2012.00910.x.
  • Rudalevige, Andrew (2016). "The Contemporary Presidency: The Obama Administrative Presidency: Some Late-Term Patterns". Presidential Studies Quarterly. 46 (4): 868890. doi:10.1111/psq.12323.
  • Skocpol, Theda; Jacobs, Lawrence R. (2012). "Accomplished and Embattled: Understanding Obama's Presidency". Political Science Quarterly. 127: 124. doi:10.1002/j.1538-165X.2012.tb00718.x.
  • "Ambitious Governance, Economic Meltdown, and Polarized Politics in Obama's First Two Years". Reaching for a New Deal. Russell Sage Foundation. 2011. ISBN9780871548559. JSTOR10.7758/9781610447119.
  • Thurber, James A. (2011). Obama in Office. ISBN978-1594519932.
  • Watson, Robert P.; Covarrubias, Jack; Lansford, Tom; Brattebo, Douglas M. (July 2012). The Obama Presidency: A Preliminary Assessment. ISBN978-1-4384-4329-4.
  • Wilson, John K. (2009). President Barack Obama: A More Perfect Union. ISBN978-1594514777.
  • Zelizer, Julian E. (March 13, 2018). The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment. ISBN978-0691160283.

External links

  • Obama White House archives
  • The Obama White House's channel on YouTube
  • "Obama's People" (photography: Nadav Kander)
  • "President Barack Obama's Inaugural Address". The White House.
  • "Wrapping Up Open for Questions". The White House.
  • "President Obama's State of the Union Address" C-SPAN.
  • Statistics comparing the beginning and ending of the Obama presidency
  • v
  • t
  • e
Barack Obama
  • 44th President of the United States (20092017)
  • U.S. Senator from Illinois (20052008)
  • Illinois Senator from the 13th district (19972004)
Life and politics
  • Early life and career
  • Illinois Senate career
  • 2004 Democratic National Convention
  • U.S. Senate career
  • Political positions
    • Administration foreign policy
    • Economic
    • Energy
    • Loggerhead sea turtles
    • Mass surveillance
    • Social
    • Space
  • Nobel Peace Prize
  • West Wing Week
Presidency
  • Transition
  • 2009 inauguration
  • 2013 inauguration
  • First 100 days
  • Timeline
    • 2009
    • 2010
    • 2011
    • 2012
    • 2013
    • 2014
    • 2015
    • 2016
    • January 2017
  • Foreign policy
    • War in Afghanistan
    • Iraq withdrawal
    • Death of Osama bin Laden
    • Benghazi attack
    • Iran deal
    • Cuban thaw
    • Obama Doctrine
  • Health Care reform
  • Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act
  • New START
  • Pardons
  • Presidential trips
    • international
    • 2009
    • 2010
    • 2011
    • 2012
    • 2013
    • 2014
    • 2015
    • 2016
  • Judicial appointments
    • Supreme Court
    • controversies
  • Cabinet
  • Presidential Library and Center
  • Executive Orders
  • Presidential Proclamations
Books
  • Dreams from My Father (1995)
  • The Audacity of Hope (2006)
  • Of Thee I Sing (2010)
Speeches
  • "The Audacity of Hope" (2004)
  • "Yes We Can" (2008)
  • "A More Perfect Union" (2008)
  • "Change Has Come to America" (2008)
  • "A New Birth of Freedom" (2009)
  • Joint session of Congress (2009)
  • "A New Beginning" (2009)
  • Joint session of Congress (health care reform) (2009)
  • State of the Union Address
    • 2010
    • 2011
    • 2012
    • 2013
    • 2014
    • 2015
    • 2016
  • Tucson memorial speech (2011)
  • Joint session of Congress (jobs) (2011)
  • "You didn't build that" (2012)
  • Selma 50th anniversary (2015)
  • Farewell address (2017)
Elections
  • Illinois State Senate election, 1996, 1998, 2002
  • 2000 Illinois's 1st congressional district election
  • 2004 United States Senate election
  • 2008 Democratic presidential primaries
  • 2012
    • 2008 Obama primary campaign
  • Democratic National Convention
    • 2008
    • 2012
  • 2008 Presidential campaign
    • endorsements
    • GOP/conservative support
  • 2008 Presidential election
  • 2012 Presidential campaign
    • endorsements
  • 2012 Presidential election
    • international reactions
Family
  • Michelle Obama (wife)
  • Ann Dunham (mother)
  • Barack Obama Sr. (father)
  • Lolo Soetoro (step-father)
  • Maya Soetoro-Ng (maternal half-sister)
  • Stanley Armour Dunham (maternal grandfather)
  • Madelyn Dunham (maternal grandmother)
  • Marian Shields Robinson (mother-in-law)
  • Craig Robinson (brother-in-law)
  • Bo (family dog)
  • Sunny (family dog)
Public imageNews and
political events
  • Oprah Winfrey's endorsement
  • Citizenship conspiracy theories
    • litigation
    • legislation
  • Religion conspiracy theories
  • Bill Ayers controversy
  • Jeremiah Wright controversy
  • Republican and conservative support (2008)
  • Assassination threats
    • 2008 Denver
    • 2008 Tennessee
  • First inauguration invitations
  • Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial
  • Citizen's Briefing Book
  • Tea Party protests
  • New Energy for America
  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
  • Gates-Crowley Rose Garden meeting
  • Firing of Shirley Sherrod
  • Impeachment efforts
Books about
  • Bibliography
  • Obama: From Promise to Power
  • Barack Obama: Der schwarze Kennedy
  • Redemption Song
  • The Case Against Barack Obama
  • The Obama Nation
  • Culture of Corruption
  • Catastrophe
  • Barack and Michelle
  • The Speech
  • The Obama Story
  • Game Change
  • Game Change 2012
  • Rising Star
Music
  • Obama Girl
    • "I Got a Crush... on Obama"
  • "Barack the Magic Negro"
  • will.i.am
    • "Yes We Can"
    • "We Are the Ones"
  • "There's No One as Irish as Barack O'Bama"
  • "Si Se Puede Cambiar"
  • "My President"
  • "Deadheads for Obama"
  • "Air and Simple Gifts"
  • Change Is Now
  • Hope! Das Obama Musical
  • "Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney"
  • Barack's Dubs
  • "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours"
Film
  • By the People: The Election of Barack Obama (2009)
  • Change (2010)
  • 2016: Obama's America (2012)
  • The Road We've Traveled (2012)
  • Southside with You (2016)
  • Barry (2016)
Other media
  • On social media
  • Artists for Obama
  • "Hope" poster
  • "Joker" poster
  • Situation Room
  • Obama logo
  • In comics
Miscellaneous
  • Barack Obama Day (Illinois)
  • Obama Day (Kenya)
  • Awards and honors
  • Namesakes
  • "One Last Time (44 Remix)"
  • < George W. Bush
  • Donald Trump >
  • Wikipedia book Book
  • Category Category
  • v
  • t
  • e
Presidents of the United States George Washington (17891797) John Adams (17971801) Thomas Jefferson (18011809) James Madison (18091817) James Monroe (18171825) John Quincy Adams (18251829) Andrew Jackson (18291837) Martin Van Buren (18371841) William Henry Harrison (1841) John Tyler (18411845) James K. Polk (18451849) Zachary Taylor (18491850) Millard Fillmore (18501853) Franklin Pierce (18531857) James Buchanan (18571861) Abraham Lincoln (18611865) Andrew Johnson (18651869) Ulysses S. Grant (18691877) Rutherford B. Hayes (18771881) James A. Garfield (1881) Chester A. Arthur (18811885) Grover Cleveland (18851889) Benjamin Harrison (18891893) Grover Cleveland (18931897) William McKinley (18971901) Theodore Roosevelt (19011909) William Howard Taft (19091913) Woodrow Wilson (19131921) Warren G. Harding (19211923) Calvin Coolidge (19231929) Herbert Hoover (19291933) Franklin D. Roosevelt (19331945) Harry S. Truman (19451953) Dwight D. Eisenhower (19531961) John F. Kennedy (19611963) Lyndon B. Johnson (19631969) Richard Nixon (19691974) Gerald Ford (19741977) Jimmy Carter (19771981) Ronald Reagan (19811989) George H. W. Bush (19891993) Bill Clinton (19932001) George W. Bush (20012009) Barack Obama (20092017) Donald Trump (2017present) Presidency timelines
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Authority control Edit this at Wikidata
  • LCCN: no2008168642
  • VIAF: 261566233
  • WorldCat Identities (via VIAF): 261566233

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