Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States of America, sworn in as the 44th President on January 20th, 2009. He was an Illinois senator who declared his candidacy for President of the United States in February, 2007, and formally accepted the Democratic nomination for that office on August 28th, 2008 in Denver, Colorado.
2008 Presidential Campaign
On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for president of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois. The choice of the announcement site was viewed as symbolic because it was also where Abraham Lincoln delivered his historic "House Divided" speech in 1858. Throughout the campaign, Obama emphasized the issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence and providing universal health care.
A large number of candidates entered the Democratic Party presidential primaries. The field narrowed to a duel between Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton after early contests, with the race remaining close though out the primary process but with Obama gaining a steady lead in pledged delegates due to better long-range planning, superior fundraising, dominant organizing in caucus states, and better exploitation of delegate allocation rules. On June 3, with all states counted, Obama was named the presumptive nominee and delivered a victory speech in St. Paul, Minnesota. Clinton ending her campaign and endorsed him on June 7, 2008.
Obama proceeded to focus on the general election campaign against Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, in the lead up to the Democratic National Convention. He announced on August 23, 2008, that he had selected Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate. At the convention, held August 25 to August 28 in Denver, Colorado, Hillary Clinton called for her delegates and supporters to endorse Obama, and she and Bill Clinton gave convention speeches in support of Obama. Obama delivered his acceptance speech to over 75,000 supporters and presented his policy goals; the speech was viewed by over 38 million people worldwide.
During both the primary process and general election, Obama;s campaign set numerous fundraising records, particularly in the quantity of small donations. On June 19, 2008, Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976.
After McCain was nominated as the Republican candidate, three presidential debates were held between the contenders spanning September and October 2008. On November 4, Obama won the presidency by winning 365 electoral votes to 173 that McCain received, in the process capturing 52.9% of the popular vote to McCain's 45.7% to become the first African American to be elected president. Obama delivered his victory speech before hundreds of thousands of supporters in Chicago's Grant Park.
During his Senate service, Obama had a lifetime average conservative rating rating of 7.67% from the American Conservative Union and a lifetime average liberal rating of 90% from the Americans for Democratic Action.
In April 2005, Obama defended the New Deal social welfare policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and opposed Republican proposals to establish private accounts for Social Security. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Obama spoke out against government indifference to growing economic class divisions, calling on both political parties to take action to restore the social safety net for the poor. Obama said in 2007 that he supported universal health care in the United States. He has proposed rewarding teachers for performance from traditional merit pay systems, assuring unions that changes would be pursued through the collective bargaining process.
Obama has supported eliminating taxes for senior citizens with incomes of under $50,000, and raising taxes on income over $250,000, on capital gains, and on dividends. He has also supported simplifying tax filings and removing loopholes.
As an environmental initiative, Obama proposed a cap and trade auction system with no grandfathering to restrict carbon emissions and a ten year program of investments in new energy sources to reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil.
In foreign affairs, Obama was an early opponent of the George W. Bush administration's policies on Iraq. On October 2, 2002, the day President Bush and Congress agreed on the joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War, Obama addressed the first high-profile Chicago anti War rally in March 2003 and told the crowd that "it's not too late" to stop the war.
In a March 2007 speech, Obama said that the primary way to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons is through talks and diplomacy, without preconditions, but not ruling out military action. In August 2007, Obama remarked that "it was a terrible mistake to fail to act" against a 2005 meeting of al-Qaeda leaders that U.S. intelligence had confirmed to be taking place in Pakistan.
Obama stated in 2007 that he would enact budget cuts in the of tens of billions of dollars, stop investing in "unproven" missile defese systems, not weaponize space, "slow development of Future Combat Systems", and work towards eliminating all nuclear weapons. Obama favors ending development of new nuclear weapons. reducing the current U.S. nuclear stockpile, enacting a global ban on production of fissle material, and seeking negotiations with Russia to reduce the pressure on both sides for intercontinental ballistic missiles to be on high-alert status.
Obama has called for more assertive action to oppose genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. He has divested $180,000 in personal holdings of Sudan-related stock, and has urged divestment from companies doing business Iran.
The Political Machine
His high profile on the political scene made him a natural choice for inclusion in Stardock System's campaign simulator The Political Machine 2008, along with other presidential hopefuls like Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Mitt Romney.
Pandemic Studios released a free update to Mercenaries 2: World in Flames that includes Obama and Republican Vice President nominee Sarah Palin (who was more popular in the general media than the Republican Presidential nominee, John McCain) as playable characters.
Continuing the tradition of the original game, NBA Jam features several politicians as secret characters. Obama appears on a team of fellow Democrats including Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Hillary Clinton.
Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation
Shortly after his inauguration, Daletto announced that President Obama would appear in Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation as an alternate costume for Ryu, spouting his "Yes we can!" catchphrase.
Barack Obama is the first presidential candidate to have political ads put in video games. In early voting states, updates to a number of EA games added advertisements in forms such as posters and billboards. These games included Madden NFL 09 and Burnout Paradise. Unsurprisingly, all 10 states with in-game advertising are swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin. President Bush won all of those states in 2004 except for Wisconsin, but Obama carried the majority of these states in 2008.