161 Facts About Obama


Barack Hussein Obama II is an American politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017.

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Obama previously served as a US senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and as an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004.

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Obama received national attention in 2004 with his March Senate primary win, his well-received July Democratic National Convention keynote address, and his landslide November election to the Senate.

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Obama was elected over Republican nominee John McCain in the general election and was inaugurated alongside his running mate Joe Biden, on January 20,2009.

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Obama signed many landmark bills into law during his first two years in office.

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In 2011, Obama ordered the drone-strike killing in Yemen of al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki, who was an American citizen.

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Obama ordered military involvement in Libya in order to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1973, contributing to the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

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Obama ordered the counterterrorism raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

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Obama's administration filed briefs that urged the Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional ; same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide in 2015 after the Court ruled so in Obergefell.

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Obama advocated for gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, indicating support for a ban on assault weapons, and issued wide-ranging executive actions concerning global warming and immigration.

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Obama left office on January 20,2017, and continues to reside in Washington, DC.

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Since leaving office, Obama has remained active in Democratic politics, including campaigning for candidates in the 2018 midterm elections, appearing at the 2020 Democratic National Convention and campaigning for Biden during the 2020 presidential election.

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Outside of politics, Obama has published three bestselling books: Dreams from My Father, The Audacity of Hope and A Promised Land.

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Obama was born on August 4,1961, at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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Obama is the only president born outside the contiguous 48 states.

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Obama was born to an American mother and a Kenyan father.

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Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita, Kansas and was mostly of English descent, though in 2007 it was discovered her great-great-grandfather Falmouth Kearney emigrated from the village of Moneygall, Ireland to the US in 1850.

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Obama's parents met in 1960 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father was a foreign student on a scholarship.

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Obama left to attend graduate school on a scholarship at Harvard University, where he earned an M A in economics.

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Obama visited his son in Hawaii only once, at Christmas 1971, before he was killed in an automobile accident in 1982, when Obama was 21 years old.

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In 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham.

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Obama attended Punahou School—a private college preparatory school—with the aid of a scholarship from fifth grade until he graduated from high school in 1979.

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Obama chose to stay in Hawaii when his mother and half-sister returned to Indonesia in 1975, so his mother could begin anthropology field work.

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Obama's mother spent most of the next two decades in Indonesia, divorcing Lolo in 1980 and earning a PhD degree in 1992, before dying in 1995 in Hawaii following unsuccessful treatment for ovarian and uterine cancer.

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In February 1981, Obama made his first public speech, calling for Occidental to participate in the disinvestment from South Africa in response to that nation's policy of apartheid.

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In mid-1981, Obama traveled to Indonesia to visit his mother and half-sister Maya, and visited the families of college friends in Pakistan for three weeks.

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Obama graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983 and a 3.

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Two years after graduating from Columbia, Obama moved from New York to Chicago when he was hired as director of the Developing Communities Project, a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale on Chicago's South Side.

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Obama worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988.

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Obama helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization in Altgeld Gardens.

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Obama worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.

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Obama was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year, president of the journal in his second year, and research assistant to the constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe while at Harvard for two years.

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In 1991, Obama accepted a two-year position as Visiting Law and Government Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School to work on his first book.

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Obama then taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years, first as a lecturer from 1992 to 1996, and then as a senior lecturer from 1996 to 2004.

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From April to October 1992, Obama directed Illinois's Project Vote, a voter registration campaign with ten staffers and seven hundred volunteer registrars; it achieved its goal of registering 150,000 of 400,000 unregistered African Americans in the state, leading Crain's Chicago Business to name Obama to its 1993 list of "40 under Forty" powers to be.

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Obama's mother was survived by her Kansas-born mother, Madelyn Dunham, until her death on November 2,2008, two days before his election to the presidency.

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Obama has roots in Ireland; he met with his Irish cousins in Moneygall in May 2011.

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Obama lived with anthropologist Sheila Miyoshi Jager while he was a community organizer in Chicago in the 1980s.

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Obama proposed to her twice, but both Jager and her parents turned him down.

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In June 1989, Obama met Michelle Robinson when he was employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin.

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The Obama daughters attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.

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Obama is a supporter of the Chicago White Sox, and he threw out the first pitch at the 2005 ALCS when he was still a senator.

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Obama is primarily a Chicago Bears football fan in the NFL, but in his childhood and adolescence was a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and rooted for them ahead of their victory in Super Bowl XLIII 12 days after he took office as president.

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In 2011, Obama invited the 1985 Chicago Bears to the White House; the team had not visited the White House after their Super Bowl win in 1986 due to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

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Obama plays basketball, a sport he participated in as a member of his high school's varsity team, and he is left-handed.

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In 2005, the Obama family applied the proceeds of a book deal and moved from a Hyde Park, Chicago condominium to a $1.

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Obama is a Protestant Christian whose religious views developed in his adult life.

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Obama met Trinity United Church of Christ pastor Jeremiah Wright in October 1987 and became a member of Trinity in 1992.

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Since moving to Washington, DC, in 2009, the Obama family has attended several Protestant churches, including Shiloh Baptist Church and St John's Episcopal Church, as well as Evergreen Chapel at Camp David, but the members of the family do not attend church on a regular basis.

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From 1994 to 2002, Obama served on the boards of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago—which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the Developing Communities Project—and of the Joyce Foundation.

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Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995 to 2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995 to 1999.

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Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, succeeding Democratic State Senator Alice Palmer from Illinois's 13th District, which, at that time, spanned Chicago South Side neighborhoods from Hyde Park–Kenwood south to South Shore and west to Chicago Lawn.

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Once elected, Obama gained bipartisan support for legislation that reformed ethics and health care laws.

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Obama sponsored a law that increased tax credits for low-income workers, negotiated welfare reform, and promoted increased subsidies for childcare.

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In 2001, as co-chairman of the bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, Obama supported Republican Governor Ryan's payday loan regulations and predatory mortgage lending regulations aimed at averting home foreclosures.

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Obama was reelected to the Illinois Senate in 1998, defeating Republican Yesse Yehudah in the general election, and was re-elected again in 2002.

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In January 2003, Obama became chairman of the Illinois Senate's Health and Human Services Committee when Democrats, after a decade in the minority, regained a majority.

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Obama sponsored and led unanimous, bipartisan passage of legislation to monitor racial profiling by requiring police to record the race of drivers they detained, and legislation making Illinois the first state to mandate videotaping of homicide interrogations.

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Obama resigned from the Illinois Senate in November 2004 following his election to the US Senate.

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In May 2002, Obama commissioned a poll to assess his prospects in a 2004 US Senate race.

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Obama created a campaign committee, began raising funds, and lined up political media consultant David Axelrod by August 2002.

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Obama was an early opponent of the George W Bush administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq.

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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-Iraq War rally, and spoke out against the war.

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Obama addressed another anti-war rally in March 2003 and told the crowd "it's not too late" to stop the war.

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In July 2004, Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, seen by nine million viewers.

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Obama's speech was well received and elevated his status within the Democratic Party.

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Obama's expected opponent in the general election, Republican primary winner Jack Ryan, withdrew from the race in June 2004.

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Obama took 92 of the state's 102 counties, including several where Democrats traditionally do not do well.

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Obama was sworn in as a senator on January 3,2005, becoming the only Senate member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

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Obama introduced two initiatives that bore his name: Lugar–Obama, which expanded the Nunn–Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction concept to conventional weapons; and the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, which authorized the establishment of USAspending.

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Later in 2007, Obama sponsored an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act to add safeguards for personality-disorder military discharges.

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Obama sponsored the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran's oil and gas industry, which was never enacted but later incorporated in the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010; and co-sponsored legislation to reduce risks of nuclear terrorism.

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Obama sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program, providing one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries.

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Obama held assignments on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works and Veterans' Affairs through December 2006.

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Obama became Chairman of the Senate's subcommittee on European Affairs.

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Obama met with Mahmoud Abbas before Abbas became President of the Palestinian National Authority, and gave a speech at the University of Nairobi in which he condemned corruption within the Kenyan government.

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Obama resigned his Senate seat on November 16,2008, to focus on his transition period for the presidency.

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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.

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Obama emphasized issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and reforming the health care system.

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Obama selected Biden from a field speculated to include former Indiana Governor and Senator Evan Bayh and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.

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Obama delivered his acceptance speech at Invesco Field at Mile High stadium to a crowd of about eighty-four thousand; the speech was viewed by over three million people worldwide.

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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.

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Obama delivered his victory speech before hundreds of thousands of supporters in Chicago's Grant Park.

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Obama is one of the three United States senators moved directly from the US Senate to the White House, the others are Warren G Harding and John F Kennedy.

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On November 6,2012, Obama won 332 electoral votes, exceeding the 270 required for him to be reelected as president.

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Obama ordered the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, but Congress prevented the closure by refusing to appropriate the required funds and preventing moving any Guantanamo detainee.

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Obama revoked President George W Bush's restoration of President Ronald Reagan's Mexico City policy which prohibited federal aid to international family planning organizations that perform or provide counseling about abortion.

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In March 2009, Obama reversed a Bush-era policy that had limited funding of embryonic stem cell research and pledged to develop "strict guidelines" on the research.

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Obama appointed two women to serve on the Supreme Court in the first two years of his presidency.

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Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor on May 26,2009, to replace retiring Associate Justice David Souter; she was confirmed on August 6,2009, becoming the first Supreme Court Justice of Hispanic descent.

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Obama nominated Elena Kagan on May 10,2010, to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens.

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Obama was confirmed on August 5,2010, bringing the number of women sitting simultaneously on the Court to three for the first time in American history.

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On March 11,2009, Obama created the White House Council on Women and Girls, which formed part of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, having been established by Executive Order 13506 with a broad mandate to advise him on issues relating to the welfare of American women and girls.

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Obama ended plans for a return of human spaceflight to the moon and development of the Ares I rocket, Ares V rocket and Constellation program, in favor of funding Earth science projects, a new rocket type, research and development for an eventual crewed mission to Mars, and ongoing missions to the International Space Station.

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On January 16,2013, one month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Obama signed 23 executive orders and outlined a series of sweeping proposals regarding gun control.

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On January 5,2016, Obama announced new executive actions extending background check requirements to more gun sellers.

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On January 5,2016, Obama announced new executive actions extending background check requirements to more gun sellers.

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Obama continued and expanded surveillance programs set up by George W Bush, while implementing some reforms.

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Obama supported legislation that would have limited the NSA's ability to collect phone records in bulk under a single program and supported bringing more transparency to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

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On October 30,2009, Obama lifted the ban on travel to the United States by those infected with HIV.

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On December 22,2010, Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, which fulfilled a promise made in the 2008 presidential campaign to end the don't ask, don't tell policy of 1993 that had prevented gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the United States Armed Forces.

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In 2013, the Obama administration filed briefs that urged the Supreme Court to rule in favor of same-sex couples in the cases of Hollingsworth v Perry and United States v Windsor.

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On February 17,2009, Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787billion economic stimulus package aimed at helping the economy recover from the deepening worldwide recession.

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Obama intervened in the troubled automotive industry in March 2009, renewing loans for General Motors and Chrysler to continue operations while reorganizing.

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In June 2009, dissatisfied with the pace of economic stimulus, Obama called on his cabinet to accelerate the investment.

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Obama signed into law the Car Allowance Rebate System, known colloquially as "Cash for Clunkers", which temporarily boosted the economy.

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Bush and Obama administrations authorized spending and loan guarantees from the Federal Reserve and the Department of the Treasury.

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In December 2013, Obama declared that growing income inequality is a "defining challenge of our time" and called on Congress to bolster the safety net and raise wages.

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Obama urged Congress to ratify a 12-nation free trade pact called the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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Obama visited the Gulf, announced a federal investigation, and formed a bipartisan commission to recommend new safety standards, after a review by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and concurrent Congressional hearings.

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Obama then announced a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling permits and leases, pending regulatory review.

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In December 2016, Obama permanently banned new offshore oil and gas drilling in most United States-owned waters in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans using the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Act.

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Obama emphasized the conservation of federal lands during his term in office.

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Obama used his power under the Antiquities Act to create 25 new national monuments during his presidency and expand four others, protecting a total of 553,000,000 acres of federal lands and waters, more than any other US president.

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Obama called for Congress to pass legislation reforming health care in the United States, a key campaign promise and a top legislative goal.

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Obama proposed an expansion of health insurance coverage to cover the uninsured, cap premium increases, and allow people to retain their coverage when they leave or change jobs.

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Obama's proposal was to spend $900billion over ten years and include a government insurance plan, known as the public option, to compete with the corporate insurance sector as a main component to lowering costs and improving quality of health care.

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In March 2009, Obama lifted a ban on using federal funds for stem cell research.

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Obama attempted to reach out to Arab leaders by granting his first interview to an Arab satellite TV network, Al Arabiya.

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On June 4,2009, Obama delivered a speech at Cairo University in Egypt calling for "A New Beginning" in relations between the Islamic world and the United States and promoting Middle East peace.

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On June 26,2009, Obama condemned the Iranian government's actions towards protesters following Iran's 2009 presidential election.

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In 2011, Obama ordered a drone strike in Yemen which targeted and killed Anwar al-Awlaki.

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In March 2015, Obama declared that he had authorized US forces to provide logistical and intelligence support to the Saudis in their military intervention in Yemen, establishing a "Joint Planning Cell" with Saudi Arabia.

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In 2016, the Obama administration proposed a series of arms deals with Saudi Arabia worth $115billion.

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Obama halted the sale of guided munition technology to Saudi Arabia after Saudi warplanes targeted a funeral in Yemen's capital Sanaa, killing more than 140 people.

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On February 27,2009, Obama announced that combat operations in Iraq would end within 18 months.

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The Obama administration scheduled the withdrawal of combat troops to be completed by August 2010, decreasing troop's levels from 142,000 while leaving a transitional force of about 50,000 in Iraq until the end of 2011.

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In June 2014, following the capture of Mosul by ISIL, Obama sent 275 troops to provide support and security for US personnel and the US Embassy in Baghdad.

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On December 1,2009, Obama announced the deployment of an additional 30,000 military personnel to Afghanistan and proposed to begin troop withdrawals 18 months from that date; this took place in July 2011.

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In February 2013, Obama said the US military would reduce the troop level in Afghanistan from 68,000 to 34,000 US troops by February 2014.

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Obama was living in seclusion in a large compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a suburban area 35 miles from Islamabad.

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Obama visited Havana, Cuba for two days in March 2016, becoming the first sitting US president to arrive since Calvin Coolidge in 1928.

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The Obama administration asked Congress to allocate money toward funding the Iron Dome program in response to the waves of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel.

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In March 2010, Obama took a public stance against plans by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue building Jewish housing projects in predominantly Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.

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Some Representatives questioned whether Obama had the constitutional authority to order military action in addition to questioning its cost, structure and aftermath.

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In 2012, Obama authorized multiple programs run by the CIA and the Pentagon to train anti-Assad rebels.

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In 2014, Obama authorized an air campaign aimed primarily at ISIL.

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On October 1,2009, the Obama administration went ahead with a Bush administration program, increasing nuclear weapons production.

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In November 2013, the Obama administration opened negotiations with Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, which included an interim agreement.

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In December 2011, Obama instructed agencies to consider LGBT rights when issuing financial aid to foreign countries.

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Obama experienced a small poll bounce shortly after the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2,2011.

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On October 9,2009, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that Obama had won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples, " which drew a mixture of praise and criticism from world leaders and media figures.

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Obama became the fourth US president to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and the third to become a Nobel laureate while in office.

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Trump winning the presidency right after Obama was described by some commentators as the culmination of decades of white backlash against Black Americans achieving social mobility in the face of racist policies against them.

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On September 2009, former President Jimmy Carter stated that “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man.

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Obama's presidency ended on January 20,2017, upon the inauguration of his successor, Donald Trump.

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Obama hosted the inaugural summit of the Obama Foundation in Chicago from October 31 to November 1,2017.

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Obama intends for the foundation to be the central focus of his post-presidency and part of his ambitions for his subsequent activities following his presidency to be more consequential than his time in office.

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Pipe bomb addressed to Obama was intercepted by the Secret Service on October 24,2018.

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In 2019, Barack and Michelle Obama bought a home on Martha's Vineyard from Wyc Grousbeck.

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On October 29,2019, Obama criticized "wokeness" and call-out culture at the Obama Foundation's annual summit.

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Obama was reluctant to make an endorsement in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries because he wanted to position himself to unify the party, no matter who the nominee was.

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Obama wrote a presidential memoir, in a $65million deal with Penguin Random House.

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On March 4,2022, Obama won an Audio Publishers Association Award in the best narration by the author category for the narration of his memoir A Promised Land.

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Many commentators credit Obama with averting a threatened depression and pulling the economy back from the Great Recession.

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In 2010, Obama signed into effect the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

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In 2009, Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, which contained in it the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr.

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Obama substantially escalated the use of drone strikes against suspected militants and terrorists associated with al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

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Obama left about 8,400 US troops in Afghanistan, 5,262 in Iraq, 503 in Syria, 133 in Pakistan, 106 in Somalia, seven in Yemen, and two in Libya at the end of his presidency.

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Obama left office in January 2017 with a 60 percent approval rating.

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Obama gained 10 spots from the same survey in 2015 from the Brookings Institution that ranked him the 18th-greatest American president.

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