Forty-Fourth President of the United States
|Term:||January 20, 2009 – Present|
|Full name:||Barack Hussein Obama|
|Nickname:||No Drama Obama|
|Education:||Columbia University; Harvard Law School|
|Vocation:||Civil Rights Attorney; Law Teacher|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (185 cm )|
|Eye Color:||Dark Brown|
|Religion:||United Church of Christ|
|Spouse:||Michelle LaVaughn Obama|
|Children:||Malia Ann Obama (b. 1998)
Natasha “Sasha” Obama (b. 2001)
Facts About Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II was the 44th President of the United States. Much controversy has surrounded Obama – arguably even more than that which would be expected for any US President – some of it occasionally straying into the absurd. For a number of years following his election in 2008, a small but sizable contingent of far-right conservatives questioned his eligibility for the office, claiming that he had been born in the African nation of Kenya and was thus not a natural-born American citizen (a requirement of the President as decreed by the constitution). These people famously demanded to see his birth certificate, and even when that document was produced, many went on to challenge its authenticity. Adherents to this skepticism surrounding Obama’s birthplace have been widely ridiculed in mainstream American culture with the derogatory nickname “birthers” (a reference to the “truthers” who believe that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were orchestrated by the American government), and are generally not taken seriously. For the record, Obama’s pertinent documents give his birthplace as Honolulu, Hawaii, and his father’s Kenyan heritage makes him the first person of African-American descent to occupy the office of President.
Obama’s signature legislative achievement, sure to factor prominently in his legacy, has been the passing of the Affordable Care Act – colloquially known as “Obamacare”. This much-debated and still extremely controversial healthcare law prohibits, among other things, private health insurers from refusing to cover prospective customers with pre-existing medical conditions, essentially meaning that it is possible for anyone to acquire insurance. In fact, the law requires them to do so, assessing penalties through the IRS for any person refusing to purchase the service. Government subsidies are also included for those financially unable to comply. The law was extensively argued in congress and was subjected to a veritable Frankenstein’s mix of provisions to satisfy various interests before finally being passed, and even now, millions on the political right clamor for its repeal. Leftists, meanwhile, hail it as a legislative breakthrough for the United States.
Obama has also been celebrated for locating the hated terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden – something his predecessor famously failed to do – and dispatching a Navy SEAL team to assassinate him. Together with his involvement in Afghanistan, his efforts to withdraw from Iraq, and addressing the concerns of the new Islamic group ISIS, Obama is sure to be known by history as a President active in foreign policy – while having shaken things up at home, too.