Barack Obama, a Catalyst for Change

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Beaming lights shine down on a blue-carpeted stage. Nearly a quarter million people gathered around, cheering so loud all you can hear is a continuous “Woooo!” The chilly November air has a bite to it, but nobody seems to care. Out of the corner of your eye you can see bright flashes from cameras in every direction. News cameras from every station are positioned left and right. A colossal screen hangs from the top of the stage. At the top of the stage stands a single microphone and a podium. A man, a woman, and two young girls emerge from behind the curtain and walk along as the people cheer and wave their American flags. After much applause and waving the two young girls and their mother descend from the stage. The man walks around the podium and faces the crowd as they continue to scream and yell. It takes a while for them to calm down, but once they do, President in Elect Barack Obama starts his victory speech.
The President proceeded to thank the people that voted for him, his family, and his running partner. During his candidacy Obama promised change to everyone. He wanted all people to be treated as equal. Knowing the feeling of being different, he promised no one would feel that way. Barack Obama caught attention when he promised change, he called for equality for all and the freedom to be who you are and not be afraid, changing the world for many people alike.


Although Barack Obama worked his way to becoming President of the United States, he did not have the traditional privileged upbringing that most politicians do, which made it easier for people to relate to him. Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. (Obama) He lived with his mother in Hawaii and saw very little of his father. (Ochieng) Soon he moved to Indonesia to be with his mother and new stepfather. (Karana) When Obama was ten he moved back to Hawaii, because it was no longer safe to be in Indonesia, where he lived with his grandparents and spent the rest of his life (Karana). Obama’s upbringing was not traditional for politicians. Most live a wealthy, save, easy life with both parents in a pleasant home. But Obama had quite the opposite. He only saw his father once before he was killed in a car accident (Ochieng). And after he moved to Hawaii he did not see his mother for ten years (Gordon). Later, after she moved back to Hawaii, she filed for divorce from her then husband (Ripley). As a teenager Obama turned to marijuana, alcohol, and occasionally cocaine (Press.) He used all of these to “push questions of who I was out of my mind, something that could flatten out the landscape of my heart, blur the edges of my memory.” (Press) During school his focus wasn’t on work, but girls and sports. (Press) Obama’s life was difficult. He battled many demons and tried to numb his pain. Most politicians have a privileged life; they are wealthy and secure. But Obama’s life was poor, and insecure; because of this people find Barack Obama to be more relatable because of the hardships that he, and many others alike, endured.
Despite the fact that Obama’s childhood stood apart from most he used it to develop his early career, which makes him what he is today. Obama graduated from Columbia University in 1983, earning a B.A. in political science (Boss-Bicak). He then worked as a community organizer with a church based group seeking to improve conditions in poor neighborhoods with crime and unemployment (Obama). After, he attended Harvard Law and was named the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review (Levensen). All of early positions working with different organizations helped prepare him for his political career. He spoke in front of many and being the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review gave him national recognition. He gave speeches all over and taught at the University of Chicago Law School teaching constitutional law (University of Chicago Law). This gave him lots of practice to become the articulate man we hear in multiple speeches a year. These opportunities trained him for the future and helped start his career.
Obama’s career focused on equality for all, no matter what race, gender, sexuality, religion, liberal or conservative; it does not matter, we are equal. On November 4, 2008 Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election (Obama). Not only was he the first president to be born in Hawaii, but also he was the first African American president to ever be elected. This marked a miraculous day in history. On January 20, 2009 Obama was inaugurated and officially became the President of the United States (Obama). All throughout Obama’s candidacy he promised change. One of his main goals was free health care to everyone. He no longer wanted innocent men, women, and children to die of simple things. Of course this goal came with backlash. Obama was soon accused of being a socialist and wanting everyone to be the same. Yet he did not let this get to him, showing that he wants things to change no matter what, he kept his view on the matter. President Obama also signed the repeal of the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy, which’s prohibited openly gay men and women to serve in the military. He promised change and that is what he gave.
Barack Obama stood at the podium at Grant Park on bitter, icy November night. He looked out at the buzzing crowd, high from the feeling of victory, watched as they waved their American flags around. He greeted the crowd with a warm “Hello Chicago.” Which sent the crowd into a roar. He knew of the work he had ahead of him but knew what he had to do to change the lives of many men, women, and children all over the country. Obama’s life was not as easy as many would assume, he dealt with many real situations that many people deal with today. This made people connect with him and felt like he knew what they were going through and whom they were. Obama’s childhood pushed him to help fix the things he got into. He sought out to fix up the streets and soon moved to studying law to fight for others. He became the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review and ended up teaching law. Soon he moved to politics and now we know him as the 44th President of the United States. Who changed the world for many indistinguishable people.





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