Barak Obama, 44th President of the United States of America, is the epitome of the ‘American Story’. This child of a middle class family rose to fame and power by virtue of the conventional American values of hard work and education and the conviction that we should live a life of service to others.
FACT 1: Obama was born on 4th August, 1961, in Hawaii. His father was Kenyan and mother from Kansas. The family was patriotic and hardworking. His grandfather had served in Patton’s army and his grandmother, by dint of hard work raised herself from the secretarial pool to the middle management of the bank she worked for.
FACT 2: Following in their footsteps Obama put himself through college aided by scholarships and bank loans. He then moved to Chicago where he began his life of public service. He helped rebuild communities devastated by the closure of the local steel plants.
FACT 3: After completing Law School, he devoted his life to public service, believing that people it was essential to ‘unite people around a politics of purpose’
FACT 4: He was elected President on Nov 4th 2008. This is an election that will be marked in the pages of history. Less than five decades after the Civil Rights Movement, America had chosen its first African American President. His broad vision and empathetic governance, led to his re-election in 2012. He is currently serving his final term that will end in 2017.
FACT 5: Obama inherited a nation engaged in 2 wars and suffering its most serious financial problems since the Great Depression. His maxim –what we have already achieved gives us hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow – has helped him steer America back into a space of security.
FACT 6: During his tenure, Obama has tackled sensitive issued with extreme tact. The Immigration crisis needed to be urgently looked into. He cracked down on illegal immigration across the border. At the same time he instructed Homeland Security to deport ‘felons, not families’. He has created an atmosphere whereby undocumented individual have the opportunity to play by the rules.
FACT 7: The events of 2001 had created an atmosphere of fear in the United States. Obama’s tenet –hope over fear – has been an encouragement to all. Speaking on the growing power and violent actions of the ISIS he said ‘we will degrade and ultimately destroy’ then through sustained counter terrorism strategies. Closer to home, he adopted aggressive measures to control the spread of Ebola, a disease that was creating hysteria.
FACT 8: Obamas foreign policy has been one of conciliation and determination. He emphasised the oneness of the Americas o his visits to Cuba, Brazil, and Costa Rica. He reiterated a sense of common purpose between Europe and the US. He recalled the blood, shed by both parties in the first half of the 20th century and the determination of both in reuniting Europe in the 2nd half.
FACT 9: Speaking in Australia, Obama said that the key to the world’s future lay in the Asia Pacific region. More than half of humanity resides here and so do most of the world’s nuclear powers. The region will decide whether the world move on into conflict or cooperation, suffering or progress.
FACT 10: In sub Saharan Africa he pledged American support for building a strong, self-reliant. At the same time he spoke out against repressive governance and dictatorships, saying that their positive inputs were only temporary and detrimental to the progress of the people. America he stated is more interested in a street vendor in Tunisia than the most powerful dictator anywhere in the world.