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November 02, 2012

A Look at President Barack Obama's First Term

by VOA News

Democratic President Barack Obama, who is seeking a second four-year term, is in a close race against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Since becoming the 44th U.S. president in 2008, Obama has kept a campaign promise to revise the U.S. health care system.  While the resulting law has been highly controversial, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld its major provisions.

In a bid to help the slumping U.S. economy, Obama pushed for, and Congress approved, a $787 billion economic stimulus package. He also implemented a bailout for the troubled U.S. auto industry.

He scored a major foreign policy victory in 2011, when he gave the go-ahead for the special operation in which U.S. forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.

Obama also withdrew U.S. forces from Iraq and has pledged to remove combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

However, the president has faced headwinds in trying to lower the U.S. unemployment rate and bring about a full economic recovery. Opponents also blame him for a federal budget deficit that has topped $1 trillion each year that he has been in office.

He has also struggled to get legislation passed since Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term election.

Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. He is the first African-American to be elected president. He is also the first sitting president to support the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Obama is a married father of two.

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