Barack Obama re-elected, with this second term extended his historic feat of 2008, as America’s first mixed race president.
He was born in Hawaii, of a Kenyan father – an economist – one of the country’s first foreign African students, and a white mother, from Wichita, Kansas. That was in 1961.
His mother was later married a second time, to an Indonesian, and young Barack Obama spent four years in Jakarta. On his return to Hawaii he was raised by his grandmother, and would go on to study law at Columbia and Harvard.
His political career saw him first state then national Senator of Illinois, which also prepared him for his first term as president, when the US faced its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. His strategy was slow to bear fruit but at last, in September this year, unemployment eased slightly, descending below eight percent for the first time since January 2009.
At the same time as wrestling with the economy, the president and the Democrats engineered groundbreaking healthcare reform – which the Republicans who had resisted it dubbed ‘Obamacare’.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aims to decrease the number of uninsured Americans and reduce the overall costs of health care.
Obama’s foreign policy triumph was the killing of enemy number one, Osama Bin Laden, in May 2011.
On Obama’s watch, the demise of the author of the 2001 terrorist attacks against the US lifted morale across the political divide.
The young president, now 51, wise to the power of Internet communication, also dotcommed his way to winning a second term.
Obama voted 12 days early, the first American head of state to avail himself of the possibility offered in several states.
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