Barack Obama

I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.

Experts Discuss the Strategy Obama Used to His Advantage Kathleen Jamieson and others discuss how Obama overpowered Hillary Clinton's advantages. When Democratic Illinois Sen. Barack Obama announced his presidential candidacy at a rally in front of the Old State House in Springfield, Ill., in February 2007, few Americans knew all that much about him. But relying heavily on the Internet, the Obama campaign mobilized a massive grassroots organization of volunteers and donors that would re-write the presidential campaign playbook.  

Born and raised in Hawaii, and after earning a law degree from Harvard, Obama moved to Chicago, where he served as a community organizer before getting elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and the U.S. Senate in 2004. En route to becoming the 44th President of the United States, and the nation’s first African American Commander-in-Chief, in 2008, Barack Obama would best two of the nation’s leading political figures, Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

Despite early debate struggles and trailing Clinton by up to 30 points in early polls, Obama would ride a wave of new minority and young voters to early victories in the Iowa caucuses and South Carolina primary, eventually securing the nomination after a prolonged fight that went into the summer.

That fall’s contest against McCain, the GOP nominee, was overshadowed by an escalating financial crisis but the calm, confident Obama was able to outspend and outmaneuver his opponent en route to his historic victory. Obama won re-election in 2012 (against Republican Mitt Romney) and, as president, has helped the U.S. rebounded from recession, pass the Affordable Care Act, and kill Osama Bin Laden.


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