It was August 4, 1961 when Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th and current President of the United States was born. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, this Columbia University and Harvard Law School graduate created history when he became the first African American to hold the office. Obama went on to win the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize within months of being elected the US President for the potential he holds to being peace and order in the world.
(Photo Courtesy: Chicago Tribune)
The seeds of the illustrious political career of Barack Obama were sown when he worked as a community organizer in Chicago before he obtained a law degree. After getting a law degree he went on to work as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and served three terms representing the 13th district in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. Before his victory in the 2008 presidential election Obama served as a Senator from Illinois (elected in November 2004).
One of the major events that helped him catch American imagination was his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. The gifted speaker began his presidential campaign in February 2007 which ended with a close fight against Hillary Clinton for Democratic Party nomination. Obama was also phenomenal in fundraising upto the tune of billions of dollars. He defeated Republican John McCain.
With 2012 US Presidential elections round the corner Obama has turned his 50th birthday celebration into a election campaign fundraising drive after weeks of damaging debt showdown with Republicans. Obama, who critics have accused of being weak and ineffectual during the recent debt battle, visited his hometown of Chicago on the eve of his birthday for a celebrity-studded bash and sought to recapture the energy of his last presidential campaign.
The president, who turned 50 on Thursday, signed a legislation on Tuesday to raise the nation’s debt limit by USD 2.4 trillion expected to cover debt payments through the end of 2012, while cutting federal deficits, and compromising with Republican demands in a bipartisan package.
Returning to the campaign trail after a month spent locked in debt talks, Obama used his appearances to defend his economic record.
Obama, who attended fundraisers here, said that the nation doesn’t have time to “play these partisan games.”
“I hope we can avoid another self-inflicted wound like we saw over the last couple weeks,” Obama said of the recent debt-ceiling gridlock at the Aragon Entertainment Center.
Around 2,400 people who attended the fundraising events paid at least USD 50 and wore cone-shaped birthday hats with the number ’50′ and the campaign’s logo, the newspaper reported.
“It’s been a long, tough year. But we have made some incredible strides together. Yes, we have. But the thing we all have to remember is, as much good as we’ve done, precisely because the challenges were so daunting, precisely because we were inheriting so many challenges, that we’re not even halfway there yet,” he said.
Obama read off a list of accomplishments dear to his base such as expanding health care coverage, allowing gays to serve openly in the military to winding down the war in Iraq.
“Now, when I said change we can believe it, I didn’t say, ‘change we can believe in tomorrow’. ‘Not, change we can believe in next week,’” he said.
“We knew this was going to take time because we’ve got this big, messy tough democracy.”
Obama was greeted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel when he arrived here.
Later, he attended two fundraisers on the North Side, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The main crowd in Chicago was entertained by singer-actor Jennifer Hudson, the hometown band OK Go and Hancock.
(With PTI inputs)