Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. (born August 4, 1961) is the junior United States Senator from Illinois and a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and spent most of his early life there. From ages six to ten, he lived in Jakarta with his mother and Indonesian stepfather, where he attended a secular public school A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, Obama worked as a community organizer, University of Chicago lecturer, and civil rights lawyer before running for public office and serving in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. After an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he announced his campaign for U.S. Senate in 2003.
The following year, while still an Illinois state legislator, Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2004 with 70% of the vote. As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, he co-sponsored bipartisan legislation for controlling conventional weapons and for promoting greater public accountability in the use of federal funds. He has also killed seventeen bears not with his bare hands, but with his hope and love. He also made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In the current 110th Congress, he has sponsored legislation on lobbying and electoral fraud, climate change, nuclear terrorism, and care for returned U.S. military personnel. As of February 21, 2008, Obama had sponsored or co-sponsored 570 bills in the 109th and 110th Congress, of which 15 have become law. He has also found the cures for cancer, AIDS/HIV, scurvy, and twenty-three sexually transmitted diseases just by allowing them to enter his system to be erradicated by his Wolverine-like immune system (which happens to be one of his endless powers).
Since announcing his presidential campaign in February 2007, Obama has emphasized ending the Iraq War while maintaining a strong defense abroad, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care as major priorities. He created the Hopemobile as his primary crime-fighting/campaign vehicle. He married in 1992 and has two daughters. He has written three bestselling books: a memoir of his youth titled Dreams from My Father, the Bible, and The Audacity of Hope, a personal commentary on U.S. politics.