Talk:Barack Obama/Sandbox

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This Barack Obama Sandbox page was created to help facilitate collaborative work on the Barack Obama article. Due to the limitations of Wikipedia software and policies for article space, Sandboxes cannot be used in article space, only on this discussion page. Drafts of changes to the article which are receiving serious consideration at Talk:Barack Obama can be entered and refined on this Sandbox page, discussed in detail at Talk:Barack Obama, and then added to the article upon gaining consensus. General concerns on the Barack Obama article should be discussed at Talk:Barack Obama; discussion of drafts being refined on the Sandbox can be carried out here. Please retain this note at the top of this page.

Proposal to Revise the Lede[edit]

Barack Obama/Sandbox
Head and shoulders of a man in his forties with close-cropped hair, dressed in a dark grey suit, light blue shirt and blue with maroon and white rep tie. On his left lapel is a pin of the American flag. Over his right shoulder the U.S. flag and the presidential seal are a bit out of focus.
44th President of the United States
Assumed office
January 20, 2009
Vice President Joe Biden
Preceded by George W. Bush
United States Senator
from Illinois
In office
January 4, 2005 – November 16, 2008
Preceded by Peter Fitzgerald
Succeeded by Roland Burris
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 13th district
In office
January 8, 1997 – November 4, 2004
Preceded by Alice Palmer
Succeeded by Kwame Raoul
Personal details
Born Barack Hussein Obama II[1]
(1961-08-04) August 4, 1961 (age 53)[2]
Honolulu, Hawaii[1]
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michelle Obama (m. 1992)
Children Malia Ann (b.1998)
Natasha (Sasha) (b.2001)
Residence The White House
Alma mater Occidental College
Columbia University (B.A.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Occupation Community organizer
Constitutional law professor
Religion Christian,[3] former member of United Church of Christ[4][5]
Signature Barack Obama
Website The White House
This article is part of a series about
Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama II (About this sound bəˈrɑːk huːˈseɪn oʊˈbɑːmə ; born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to occupy the office of President. He served as the junior United States Senator from Illinois from January 2005 until he resigned after his election to the presidency in November 2008.

Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.

Obama served three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, Obama ran for United States Senate in 2004. His victory, from a crowded field, in the March 2004 Democratic primary raised his visibility. His prime-time televised keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004 made him a rising star nationally in the Democratic Party. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2004 by the largest margin in the history of Illinois.

He began his run for the presidency in February 2007. After a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party's nomination, becoming the first major party African American candidate for president. In the 2008 general election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009.

Proposal to tighten up the prose in the Early life and career section[edit]

Following is the text from the Early life and career section from the Barack Obama article. I'm going to try to tighten it up, remove a (very) few extraneous bits, and thus achieve a 5% to 15% reduction in length with no significant change in content. Please comment on the talk page or put in your edits here. CouldOughta (talk) 14:57, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Early life and career[edit]

Barack Obama was born at the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States,[1] to Stanley Ann Dunham,[2] an American of mainly English descent from Wichita, Kansas,[3][4][5] and Barack Obama, Sr., a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya. Obama's parents met in 1960 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship.[6][7] The couple married on February 2, 1961,[8] and Barack was born later that year. His parents separated when he was two years old and they divorced in 1964.[7] Obama's father returned to Kenya and saw his son only once more before dying in an automobile accident in 1982.[9]

After her divorce, Dunham married Indonesian student Lolo Soetoro, who was attending college in Hawaii. When Suharto, a military leader in Soetoro's home country, came to power in 1967, all Indonesian students studying abroad were recalled and the family moved to the island nation.[10] From ages six to ten, Obama attended local schools in Jakarta, including Besuki Public School and St. Francis of Assisi School.

In 1971, he returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Armour Dunham, and attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from the fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979.[11]

Obama's mother returned to Hawaii in 1972 and remained there until 1977, when she relocated to Indonesia to work as an anthropological field worker. She finally returned to Hawaii in 1994 and lived there for one year before dying of ovarian cancer.[12]

[[File:Ann Dunham with father and children.jpg|thumb|float|left|Right-to-left: Barack Obama and half-sister Maya Soetoro, with their mother Ann Dunham and grandfather Stanley Dunham, in Hawaii (early 1970s)]]

Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, "That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind."[13] He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage.[14] Reflecting later on his formative years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: "The opportunity that Hawaii offered—to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect—became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear."[15] Obama has also written and talked about using alcohol, marijuana and cocaine during his teenage years to "push questions of who I was out of my mind".[16] At the 2008 Civil Forum on the Presidency in 2008, Obama identified his high-school drug use as his "greatest moral failure".[17]

Following high school, he moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to attend Occidental College.[18] After two years he transferred in 1981 to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations[19] and graduated with a B.A. in 1983. He worked for a year at the Business International Corporation[20][21] and then at the New York Public Interest Research Group.[22][23]

After four years in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago, where he was hired as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (Roseland, West Pullman and Riverdale) on Chicago's far South Side. He worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988.[22][24] During his three years as the DCP's director, its staff grew from one to thirteen and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000. He helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization in Altgeld Gardens.[25] Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.[26] In mid-1988, he traveled for the first time in Europe for three weeks and then for five weeks in Kenya, where he met many of his paternal relatives for the first time.[27] He returned in August 2006 in a visit to his father's birthplace, a village near Kisumu in rural western Kenya.[28]

Obama entered Harvard Law School in late 1988. He was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year,[29] and president of the journal in his second year.[30] During his summers, he returned to Chicago, where he worked as a summer associate at the law firms of Sidley & Austin in 1989 and Hopkins & Sutter in 1990.[31] After graduating with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) magna cum laude[32][33] from Harvard in 1991, he returned to Chicago.[29] Obama's election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review gained national media attention[30] and led to a publishing contract and advance for a book about race relations,[34] though it evolved into a personal memoir. The manuscript was published in mid-1995 as Dreams from My Father.[34]

From April to October 1992, Obama directed Illinois's Project Vote, a voter registration drive with a staff of ten and 700 volunteers; it achieved its goal of registering 150,000 of 400,000 unregistered African Americans in the state, and led to Crain's Chicago Business naming Obama to its 1993 list of "40 under Forty" powers to be.[35][36]

For twelve years, Obama served as a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School; as a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996, and as a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004.[37] In 1993 he joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a twelve-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development, where he was an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004, with his law license becoming inactive in 2002.[38]

Obama was a founding member of the board of directors of Public Allies in 1992, resigning before his wife, Michelle, became the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago in early 1993.[22][39] He served from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the Developing Communities Project, and also from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation.[22] Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995 to 2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995 to 1999.[22] He also served on the board of directors of the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Lugenia Burns Hope Center.[22]

End of the Early Life text from the article[edit]


Foreign Policy[edit]

North Korea policy was a complex challenge for the Obama administration during its first few months.[40] The country tested a long-range rocket on the eve of Obama's speech in Ankara in April,[41] conducted an underground nuclear test in May,[42] and sentenced two unauthorized American journalists to 12 years' hard labor in June of 2009.[43]

  1. ^ Maraniss, David (August 24, 2008). "Though Obama Had to Leave to Find Himself, It Is Hawaii That Made His Rise Possible". Politics (Washington Post). Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  2. ^ For Stanley Ann's first name, see Obama (1995, 2004), p. 19
  3. ^ "Born in the U.S.A.". FactCheck. August 21, 2008. Retrieved October 24 2008.  Unknown parameter |dateformat= ignored (help);
  4. ^ Hutton, Brian (May 3, 2007). "For sure, Obama's South Side Irish". Politics (The Chicago Sun-Times). Retrieved November 23, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Tiny Irish Village Is Latest Place to Claim Obama as Its Own -". Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  6. ^ Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 9–10. For book excerpts, see "Barack Obama: Creation of Tales". East African. November 1, 2004. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b Jones, Tim (March 27, 2007). "Obama's mom: Not just a girl from Kansas: Strong personalities shaped a future senator". Chicago Tribune, reprinted in The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 27, 2008. 
  8. ^ Ripley, Amanda (April 9, 2008). "The Story of Barack Obama's Mother". Time. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  9. ^ Merida, Kevin (December 14, 2007). "The Ghost of a Father". Washington Post. Retrieved June 24, 2008.  See also: Ochieng, Philip (November 1, 2004). "From Home Squared to the US Senate: How Barack Obama Was Lost and Found". East African. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2008. 
  10. ^ Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 44–45.
  11. ^ Serafin, Peter (March 21, 2004). "Punahou Grad Stirs Up Illinois Politics". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved April 13, 2008.  See also: Obama (1995, 2004), Chapters 3 and 4.
  12. ^ Ripley, Amanda (April 9, 2008). "The Story of Barack Obama's Mother". Time. Retrieved June 24, 2008.  See also: Suryakusuma, Julia (November 29, 2006). "Obama for President... of Indonesia". Jakarta Post. Retrieved June 24, 2008. 
  13. ^ Obama (1995), pp. 9–10.
  14. ^ Obama (1995), Chapters 4 and 5. See also: Serrano, Richard A (March 11, 2007). "Obama's Peers Didn't See His Angst" (paid archive). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 4, 2008. 
  15. ^ Reyes, B. J (February 8, 2007). "Punahou Left Lasting Impression on Obama". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved January 4, 2008.  "As a teenager, Obama went to parties and sometimes sought out gatherings on military bases or at the University of Hawaii that were mostly attended by blacks."
  16. ^ "Obama Gets Blunt with N.H. Students". Boston Globe. Associated Press. November 21, 2007. Retrieved January 4, 2008.  In Dreams from My Father, Obama writes: "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it." Obama (1995), pp. 93–94. For analysis of the political impact of the quote and Obama's more recent admission that he smoked marijuana as a teenager ("When I was a kid, I inhaled."), see: Romano, Lois (January 3, 2007). "Effect of Obama's Candor Remains to Be Seen". Washington Post. Retrieved January 4, 2008.  Seelye, Katharine Q (October 24, 2006). "Obama Offers More Variations From the Norm". New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2008. 
  17. ^ Hornick, Ed (August 17, 2008). "Obama, McCain talk issues at pastor's forum". LAKE FOREST, California: Retrieved January 4, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Oxy Remembers "Barry" Obama '83". Occidental College. January 29, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2008. 
  19. ^ Boss-Bicak, Shira (January 2005). "Barack Obama '83". Columbia College Today. Retrieved June 9, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Curriculum Vitae". The University of Chicago Law School. Archived from the original on May 9, 2001. Retrieved November 3, 2008. 
  21. ^ Issenberg, Sasha (August 6, 2008). "Obama shows hints of his year in global finance: Tied markets to social aid". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 13, 2008. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f Chassie, Karen (ed.) (2007). Who's Who in America, 2008. New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who's Who. p. 3468. ISBN 9780837970110. Retrieved June 6, 2008. 
  23. ^ Scott, Janny (October 30, 2007). "Obama's Account of New York Years Often Differs from What Others Say". The New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2008.  Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 133–140; Mendell (2007), pp. 62–63.
  24. ^ Secter, Bob; McCormick, John (March 30, 2007). "Portrait of a pragmatist". Chicago Tribune. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 9, 2008. Retrieved June 6, 2008.  Lizza, Ryan (March 19, 2007). "The Agitator: Barack Obama's Unlikely Political Education" (alternate link). New Republic. Retrieved April 13, 2008.  Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 140–295; Mendell (2007), pp. 63–83.
  25. ^ Matchan, Linda (February 15, 1990). "A Law Review breakthrough" (paid archive). The Boston Globe. p. 29. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Corr, John (February 27, 1990). "From mean streets to hallowed halls" (paid archive). The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. C01. Retrieved June 6, 2008. 
  26. ^ Obama, Barack (August–September 1988). "Why organize? Problems and promise in the inner city". Illinois Issues 14 (8–9): 40–42.  reprinted in: Knoepfle, Peg (ed.) (1990). After Alinsky: community organizing in Illinois. Springfield, IL: Sangamon State University. pp. 35–40. ISBN 0962087335.  Tayler, Letta; Herbert, Keith (March 2, 2008). "Obama forged path as Chicago community organizer". Newsday. p. A06. Retrieved June 6, 2008. [dead link]
  27. ^ Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 299–437.
  28. ^ Gnecchi, Nico (February 27, 2006). "Obama Receives Hero's Welcome at His Family's Ancestral Village in Kenya". Voice of America. Retrieved June 24, 2008. 
  29. ^ a b Levenson, Michael; Saltzman, Jonathan (January 28, 2007). "At Harvard Law, a unifying voice". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Kantor, Jodi (January 28, 2007). "In law school, Obama found political voice". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Kodama, Marie C (January 19, 2007). "Obama left mark on HLS". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Mundy, Liza (August 12, 2007). "A series of fortunate events". The Washington Post. p. W10. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Heilemann, John (October 22, 2007). "When they were young". New York 40 (37): 32–7, 132–3. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Mendell (2007), pp. 80–92.
  30. ^ a b Butterfield, Fox (February 6, 1990). "First black elected to head Harvard's Law Review". The New York Times. p. A20. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Ybarra, Michael J (February 7, 1990). "Activist in Chicago now heads Harvard Law Review" (paid archive). Chicago Tribune. p. 3. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Matchan, Linda (February 15, 1990). "A Law Review breakthrough" (paid archive). The Boston Globe. p. 29. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Corr, John (February 27, 1990). "From mean streets to hallowed halls" (paid archive). The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. C01. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Drummond, Tammerlin (March 12, 1990). "Barack Obama's Law; Harvard Law Review's first black president plans a life of public service" (paid archive). Los Angeles Times. p. E1. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Evans, Gaynelle (March 15, 1990). "Opening another door: The saga of Harvard's Barack H. Obama". Black Issues in Higher Education. p. 5. Retrieved November 15, 2008.  Pugh, Allison J. (Associated Press) (April 18, 1990). "Law Review's first black president aims to help poor" (paid archive). The Miami Herald. p. C01. Retrieved June 15, 2008. 
  31. ^ Aguilar, Louis (July 11, 1990). "Survey: Law firms slow to add minority partners" (paid archive). Chicago Tribune. p. 1 (Business). Retrieved June 15, 2008. "Barack Obama, a summer associate at Hopkins & Sutter in Chicago" 
  32. ^ Adams, Richard (May 9, 2007). "Barack Obama". The Guardian. Retrieved October 26, 2008. 
  33. ^ Mendell, David. "Barack Obama (American politician)". Retrieved October 26, 2008. 
  34. ^ a b Scott, Janny (May 18, 2008). "The story of Obama, written by Obama". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Obama (1995, 2004), pp. xiii–xvii.
  35. ^ White, Jesse (ed.) (2000). Illinois Blue Book, 2000, Millennium ed.. Springfield, IL: Illinois Secretary of State. p. 83. OCLC 43923973. Retrieved June 6, 2008. 
  36. ^ Jarrett, Vernon (August 11, 1992). "'Project Vote' brings power to the people" (paid archive). Chicago Sun-Times. p. 23. Retrieved June 6, 2008.  Reynolds, Gretchen (January 1993). "Vote of Confidence". Chicago 42 (1): 53–54. Retrieved June 6, 2008.  Anderson, Veronica (September 27–October 3 1993). "40 under Forty: Barack Obama, Director, Illinois Project Vote". Crain's Chicago Business 16 (39): 43. 
  37. ^ University of Chicago Law School (March 27, 2008). "Statement regarding Barack Obama". University of Chicago Law School. Retrieved June 10, 2008.  Miller, Joe (March 28, 2008). "Was Barack Obama really a constitutional law professor?". Retrieved June 10, 2008.  Holan, Angie Drobnic (March 7, 2008). "Obama's 20 years of experience". Retrieved June 10, 2008. 
  38. ^ Robinson, Mike (Associated Press) (February 20, 2007). "Obama got start in civil rights practice". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 10, 2009.  Pallasch, Abdon M (December 17, 2007). "As lawyer, Obama was strong, silent type; He was 'smart, innovative, relentless,' and he mostly let other lawyers do the talking". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 4. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  "People" (paid archive). Chicago Tribune. June 27, 1993. p. 9 (Business). Retrieved June 15, 2008.  "Business appointments" (paid archive). Chicago-Sun-Times. July 5, 1993. p. 40. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Miner, Barnhill & Galland (2008). "About Us". Miner, Barnhill & Galland – Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved June 15, 2008.  Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 438–439, Mendell (2007), pp. 104–106.
  39. ^ Public Allies (2008). "Fact Sheet on Public Allies' History with Senator Barack and Michelle Obama". Public Allies. Retrieved June 6, 2008. 
  40. ^, retrieved 2009-06-20  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  41. ^ "Obama Condemns North Korea Launch, Calls for Nuclear Free World". Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  42. ^ "North Korea's May nuclear test few kilotons: U.S.". Reuters. 2009-06-15. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  43. ^ "North Korea Presents A Complex Challenge". Retrieved 2009-06-19.