A Look at President Barack Obama's First Term

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at the University of Colorado Boulder, November 1, 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at the University of Colorado Boulder, November 1, 2012.
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.

  • Barack Obama is sworn in as 44th US president by Chief Justice John Roberts beside wife Michelle on January 20, 2009 at the Capitol in Washington, DC.
  • President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama dance at the Commander in Chief Inaugural Ball at the National Building Museum in Washington, Jan. 20, 2009.
  • President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speak together sitting at a picnic table, on the South Lawn of the White House, May 9, 2009. ( White House/Pete Souza)
  • President Barack Obama greets troops after delivering remarks at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, Aug. 31, 2012. (White House/Pete Souza)
  • President Barack Obama hugs Donna Vanzant, the owner of North Point Marina, as he tours damage from Hurricane Sandy in Brigantine, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012. (White House/Pete Souza)
  • President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom stand during the playing of the national anthem during the Official Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn, March 14, 2012. (White House/Pete Souza)
  • President Barack Obama looks at the Nobel Peace Prize medal for the first time at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway. December 10, 2009. (White House/Pete Souza)
  • President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia, right, and Sasha walk from the White House to St. John's Episcopal Church for Easter service in Washington Sunday, April 8, 2012.
  • President Barack Obama gestures as speaks at a campaign event at Cornell College, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in Mt. Vernon, Iowa.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: heshukui from: china
November 02, 2012 2:27 PM
Extremely dissatisfaction to some of the rogue in congress will come!

by: Tony Carvajal from: Texas
November 02, 2012 2:23 PM
No mention of the Fast and Furious gun tracking fiasco; Obama promising immigration reform in his first year and only now mentioning immigration reform when faced with reelection; Won't answer direct questions regarding who gave the military orders to stand down three times while the US embassy in Benghazi was being attacked by terrorists; Obama blocking the continued construction of the Keystone Pipeline; and like a kid on a playground, mocking those who disagree with his policies. Very unprofessional and unbecoming of a president.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs