Special Report: U.S. presidential election 2008
WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Barack Obama, the
Democratic presidential candidate, was elected the 44th president of the United
States on Tuesday.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama waves
to supporters at the election night rally in Chicago, the
United States, on Nov. 4, 2008, after he won the
presidential election. (Xinhua Photo)
The 47-year-old senator from Illinois promises to
bring "changes we believe in," which could begin with being the first African
American president in history.
Obama's life tells a different story from previous
presidential hopefuls. He was born on Aug. 14, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii, to a
Kenyan father and a white mother from the state of Kansas, in the U.S.
However, his father left home only two years after
his birth for a graduate degree in Harvard and then a post in the Kenyan
government. The only time Obama met his father again was at the age of 10. He
was killed in an automobile accident in 1982.
Obama's mother married an Indonesian oil executive
when Obama was six. The whole family then moved to the southeast Asian country.
He eventually returned to Hawaii for high school and stayed with his
As he says in his book, Dreams From My Father, being
rooted in both black culture and white culture, has helped him gain expansive
vision he could bring to politics later. After graduating from Columbia
University in 1983, Obama was "possessed with a crazy idea -- that I would work
at a grassroots level to bring about change."
He moved from New York to Chicago, Illinois, in 1985
and worked as a community organizer in a poor African-American area for three
years, when he realized involvement at a higher level was needed to bring true
improvement to such communities.
Obama then attended Harvard Law School and was
elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduation,
he returned to Chicago where he practiced civil rights law and taught the
Constitution at the University of Chicago.
Obama decided to make his first run for public office
in 1996, winning a seat in the Illinois state senate. Four years later, he
sought a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, but without success.
In 2004, Obama beat six Democratic rivals to win the
nomination in the congressional elections. His remarkable skills in oratory also
impressed the party's presidential candidate, John Kerry, who named him the
keynote speaker at the national convention, where Obama, for the first time,
stepped on the national political stage.
That November, he overwhelmingly captured 70 percent
of popular votes in the congressional elections to become a senator.
In the Senate, Obama's voting record coincided with
those of the Democratic Party's liberal wing. He criticized the Iraq war from
the beginning, worked on Congress ethical standards and increasing the use of
renewable fuels. He also built his reputation as a new breed of politician by
working without partisan and racial divides.
2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
Obama announced his bid for the White House on Feb.
10, 2007, in Springfield, Illinois, where former President Abraham Lincoln had
delivered a speech in 1858.
He joined seven other politicians in the Democratic
camp, including former first lady and New York Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In the first half of 2007, he raised 58 million U.S. dollars, setting the record
for fundraising by a presidential campaign in the first six months of the
calendar year before the elections, although he trailed Clinton in national
polls in 2007.
However, Obama was highly successful in enlisting
supporters, especially among youth, minorities and those with higher education,
and mapped a strategy to campaign not only in primary states but also caucus
states. In the first caucuses held in Iowa on Jan. 3, 2008, he scored a
After the Super Tuesday of Feb. 5, Obama tied
Clinton. With victories in 10 more consecutive contests over the rest of
February, he surpassed her to become the most likely nominee. Finally, on June
3, he clinched the presidential candidacy.
On Aug. 29, Obama and his running mate Joe Biden told
the Democratic national convention that he would bring the changes the country
needs and "revive the American dream."
He has promised that if elected, he will take the
country in a new direction by withdrawing U.S. combat troops from Iraq with
responsibility, enacting universal and affordable healthcare and adopting tax
policies favoring lower- and middle-income families.
During the national campaign, he led Republican rival
John McCain not only in polling numbers but also in campaign funding.
Obama met his wife, Michelle Robinson, in June 1989
when he worked at a Chicago law firm. They married on Oct. 3, 1992, and have two
daughters, Malia Ann and Natasha.
Americans making historic
Voters queue to cast their ballots in
Arlington, Virginia of the United States on Nov. 4, 2008. Some 130 million
voters will cast their votes in the day-long polling in the U.S.
presidential elections on Tuesday. (Xinhua Photo)
WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Either it is to
be the oldest president who takes office in the United States or the first
African-American president, definitely, Americans have been making a historic
election on Tuesday. Full
Exit polls show 62% U.S. voters regard economy as top
YORK, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- The first exit polls of the U.S. presidential election
show that 62 percent of the voters regard economy as the top issue.
According to the polls, 10 percent of
those surveyed cited the war, 9 percent chose terrorism and 9 percent went with
health care. Full story
Skin color, national interest: U.S. voters say they know which
NEW YORK, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Tens of thousands of Americans left their doorsteps
Tuesday to join the long lines outside the polling stations on the U.S. Election
Day, to give their verdict and elect the 44th U.S. president. Full story
McCain backyard opens up to Obama
WASHINGTON, Nov. 4
(Xinhua) -- No supporters' screams, only the silence before sunrise. No
photographers' glaring flashbulbs, only the bland light of street lamps.
It was in such a setting that the Key
Elementary School polling station near downtown Arlington in the state of
Virginia opened to voters at 6:00 a.m EST (1100 GMT). Full story
McCain casts vote as polling begins
the United States, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Republican
candidate Senator John McCain cast his vote here on Tuesday after making
frenetic final dashes across several crucial states one day earlier.
As McCain walked into the voting booth
at a church in his Phoenix precinct, voters erupted in cheers and a crush of
media from around the world tried to follow him in but were stopped. One person
carried a sign that read, "Use your brain, vote McCain!" Full story
High voting turnout poses polling problems, chaos on U.S. Election
WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- A
technical support hotline for polling problems have received some 5,000
complaining calls as of 10:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday, the U.S. Election Day.
Millions of voters are and will be
faced with an unfamiliar low-tech landscape at the polls on the Election Day.
About half of the voters are expected to vote in a way that is different from
what they did in the last presidential election, and most will use paper ballots
rather than the touch-screen machines that have caused concern among voting
experts. Full story