Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the2008 presidential election.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.
Following an unsuccessful bid against the Democratic incumbent for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 2000, Obama ran for the United States Senate in 2004. Several events brought him to national attention during the campaign, including his victory in the March 2004 Illinois Democratic primary for the Senate election and his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He won election to the U.S. Senate in Illinois in November 2004. His presidential campaign began in February 2007, and after a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party's nomination. In the 2008 presidential election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. In October 2009, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
As president, Obama signed economic stimulus legislation in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Other domestic policy initiatives include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 and the Budget Control Act of 2011. In foreign policy, he ended the war in Iraq, increased troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered US involvement in the 2011 Libya military intervention, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. In April 2011, Obama declared his intention to seek re-election in the 2012 presidential election.
In Brave New World
2012 United States presidential election
On April 4, 2011, Obama announced his re-election 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.
Obama's campaign headquarters are in Chicago and key members of Obama's successful 2008 campaign, such as Jim Messina and David Axelrod, are returning to staff it. On the day of the announcement, the campaign released a promotional video showing supporters of Obama organizing for the re-election effort. As The Guardian noted, this was the first U.S. presidential re-election campaign to use Twitter and Facebook for promotion.
During a presidential address in Washington D.C. regarding the controversial SOPA bill, President Obama was nearly killed in an assassination attempt by a Viacom employee, as part of a plot by a group of mass media corporations to convert the United States into a corporate-run police state. Obama's head was grazed by one of the employee's bullets, which ultimately sent him into a coma for almost a month. Obama eventually regained consciousness and began to walk and talk normally until he returned to office. The assassination attempt was one of the chief causes of the Second American Civil War.