124 Facts About President 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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President 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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President Obama signed many landmark bills into law during his first two years in office.

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

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President 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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President Obama ordered the counterterrorism raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

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

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

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

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

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

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President 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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President Obama lived with his mother and half-sister, Maya Soetoro, in Hawaii for three years from 1972 to 1975 while his mother was a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Hawaii.

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

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Two years after graduating from Columbia, President 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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President Obama worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988.

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

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

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

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

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In June 1989, President 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 President Obama daughters attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.

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

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

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President 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, D C, 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, President 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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President 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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President 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, President Obama gained bipartisan support for legislation that reformed ethics and health care laws.

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President 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, President Obama supported Republican Governor Ryan's payday loan regulations and predatory mortgage lending regulations aimed at averting home foreclosures.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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President 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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President Obama cosponsored the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act.

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In December 2006, President Bush signed into law the Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act, marking the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor.

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

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

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

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President 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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President Obama emphasized issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and reforming the health care system, in a campaign that projected themes of hope and change.

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President 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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President 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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President Obama became the first African-American to be elected president.

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

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

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

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President 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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President 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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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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President 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, President Obama called on his cabinet to accelerate the investment.

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

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In December 2013, President 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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President Obama urged Congress to ratify a 12-nation free trade pact called the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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

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In December 2016, President 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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President Obama emphasized the conservation of federal lands during his term in office.

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President 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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President 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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President 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, President Obama lifted a ban on using federal funds for stem cell research.

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President 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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In 2011, President 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 U S 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 President Obama administration proposed a series of arms deals with Saudi Arabia worth $115billion.

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

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Early in his presidency, Obama moved to bolster U S troop strength in Afghanistan.

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President Obama replaced the military commander in Afghanistan, General David D McKiernan, with former Special Forces commander Lt.

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

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The President 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, President 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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In 2015, Obama was harshly criticized by Israel for advocating and signing the Iran Nuclear Deal; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had advocated the U S congress to oppose it, said the deal was "dangerous" and "bad".

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

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

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

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In November 2013, the President 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, President Obama instructed agencies to consider LGBT rights when issuing financial aid to foreign countries.

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George Robertson, a former UK defense secretary and NATO secretary-general, said President Obama had "allowed Putin to jump back on the world stage and test the resolve of the West", adding that the legacy of this disaster would last.

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President Obama became the fourth U S 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 President 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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President 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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In 2019, Barack and Michelle President Obama bought a home on Martha's Vineyard from Wyc Grousbeck.

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

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

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In 2009, President 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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President Obama substantially escalated the use of drone strikes against suspected militants and terrorists associated with al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

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

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