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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs