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September 01, 2012

Democratic Convention to Nominate President Obama for Second Term

by Carolyn Presutti

Starting on September 4, the Democratic Party holds its convention to officially nominate President Barack Obama for a second four-year term. 

Four years ago, Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States.

The Democratic Party nominated him at a highly charged convention that focused on public disenchantment with the nation’s struggling economy.  Mr. Obama capitalized on the issue with his motto, “Change We Can Believe In.” 

President Obama has been in the White House now for nearly four years.  The economy has improved, but not as much as many had hoped.  Some political experts say Mr. Obama has learned the vast difference between campaigning and governing.

Jennifer Lawless directs the Women & Politics Institute at American University. “A lot of the promises he made were contingent on the idea there would be some kind of bipartisan effort in Washington.  And right after John Boehner was elected speaker of the House of Representatives, it became clear that the Republicans' number one goal was to make sure that was not going to happen," she said. 

One example is the so-called Dream Act. It would have granted citizenship to law-abiding immigrants who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children. It was endorsed by the president, but never made it out of Congress. 

In June, President Obama announced that the U.S. will temporarily stop deporting the immigrants who qualified under the Dream Act. 

Meanwhile, his administration has deported more illegal immigrants than any president in history. 

President Obama kept his campaign promise to reform the nation’s health care system.  While the resulting law has been highly controversial, the Supreme Court upheld its major provisions.

He pushed for, and Congress approved, a $787 billion economic stimulus package and then implemented a bailout for American automakers General Motors and Chrysler. 

On President Obama’s watch, Osama bin Laden, blamed for the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, was located in Pakistan and killed in a surprise military operation. 

The president withdrew U.S. forces from Iraq, increased the number of troops in Afghanistan and signed a new arms control treaty with Russia.

Barack Obama is the first African-American to be elected president.  He also is the first sitting president to support legalizing same sex marriage.

In public opinion polls, Mr. Obama scores high on likeability, but Americans view his rival Mitt Romney as better able to handle the economy. 

Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. He and his wife Michelle have two daughters, Malia and Sasha. 

Vice President Joe Biden will again join Mr. Obama on the Democratic ticket. Biden was a six-term U.S. senator and is considered a foreign policy expert, having chaired the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee. 

The president and vice president will speak at the Democratic National convention on Thursday, September 6.