Albert Arnold Gore Jr. is an American politician and environmentalist who served as the 45th vice president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Gore was Bill Clinton's running mate in their successful campaign in 1992, the pair was re-elected in 1996. Near the end of Clinton's second term, Gore was selected as the Democratic nominee for the 2000 presidential election but lost the election in a close race after a Florida recount. After his term as vice-president ended in 2001, Gore remained prominent as an author and environmental activist, whose work in climate change activism earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Gore was an elected official for 24 years, he was a representative from 1985 to 1993 served as one of the state's senators. He served as vice president during the Clinton administration from 1993 to 2001; the 2000 presidential election was one of the closest presidential races in history. Gore won the popular vote, but after a controversial election dispute over a Florida recount, he lost the election to Republican opponent George W. Bush in the Electoral College.
Gore is the founder and current chair of the Alliance for Climate Protection, the co-founder and chair of Generation Investment Management and the now-defunct Current TV network, a member of the Board of Directors of Apple Inc. and a senior adviser to Google. Gore is a partner in the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, heading its climate change solutions group, he has served as a visiting professor at Middle Tennessee State University, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Fisk University, the University of California, Los Angeles. He served on the Board of Directors of World Resources Institute. Gore has received a number of awards that include the Nobel Peace Prize, a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for his book An Inconvenient Truth, a Primetime Emmy Award for Current TV, a Webby Award. Gore was the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth in 2006. In 2007, he was named a runner-up for Time's 2007 Person of the Year. Gore was born on March 31, 1948, in Washington, D.
C. the second of two children of Albert Gore Sr. a U. S. Representative who served for 18 years as a U. S. Senator from Tennessee, Pauline Gore, one of the first women to graduate from Vanderbilt University Law School. Gore is a descendant of Scots-Irish immigrants who first settled in Virginia in the mid-17th-century and moved to Tennessee after the Revolutionary War, his older sister Nancy LaFon Gore died of lung cancer. During the school year he lived with his family in The Fairfax Hotel in the Embassy Row section in Washington D. C. During the summer months, he worked on the family farm in Carthage, where the Gores grew tobacco and hay and raised cattle. Gore attended St. Albans School, an independent college preparatory day and boarding school for boys in Washington, D. C. from 1956 to 1965, a prestigious feeder school for the Ivy League. He was the captain of the football team, threw discus for the track and field team, participated in basketball and government, he applied to Harvard and was accepted.
Gore met Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Aitcheson at his St. Albans senior prom in 1965, she was from the nearby St. Agnes School. Tipper followed Gore to Boston to attend college, they married at the Washington National Cathedral on May 19, 1970, they have four children—Karenna Gore, Kristin Carlson Gore, Sarah LaFon Gore, Albert Arnold Gore III. In June 2010, the Gores announced in an e-mail to friends that after "long and careful consideration", they had made a mutual decision to separate. In May 2012, it was reported. Gore enrolled in Harvard College in 1965. On his second day on campus, he began campaigning for the freshman student government council and was elected its president. Gore was an avid reader who fell in love with scientific and mathematical theories, but he did not do well in science classes and avoided taking math. During his first two years, his grades placed him in the lower one-fifth of his class. During his sophomore year, he spent much of his time watching television, shooting pool, smoking marijuana.
In his junior and senior years, he became earning As and Bs. In his senior year, he took a class with oceanographer and global warming theorist Roger Revelle, who sparked Gore's interest in global warming and other environmental issues. Gore earned an A on his thesis, "The Impact of Television on the Conduct of the Presidency, 1947–1969", graduated with an A. B. cum laude in June 1969. Gore was in college during the era of anti-Vietnam War protests, he was against that war. He thought that it was silly and juvenile to use a private university as a venue to vent anger at the war, he and his friends did not participate in Harvard demonstrations. John Tyson, a former roommate, recalled that "We distrusted these movements a lot... We were a pretty traditional bunch of guys, positive for civil rights and women's rights but formal, transformed by the social revolution to some extent but not buying into something we considered detrimental to our country." Gore helped his father write an anti-war address to the Democratic National Convention of 1968 but stayed with hi
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party; the Democrats' dominant worldview was once social conservatism and economic liberalism, while populism was its leading characteristic in the rural South. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate in the Progressive Party, beginning a switch of political platforms between the Democratic and Republican Party over the coming decades, leading to Woodrow Wilson being elected as the first fiscally progressive Democrat. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition in the 1930s, the Democratic Party has promoted a social liberal platform, supporting social justice. Well into the 20th century, the party had conservative pro-business and Southern conservative-populist anti-business wings.
The New Deal Coalition of 1932–1964 attracted strong support from voters of recent European extraction—many of whom were Catholics based in the cities. After Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930s, the pro-business wing withered outside the South. After the racial turmoil of the 1960s, most Southern whites and many Northern Catholics moved into the Republican Party at the presidential level; the once-powerful labor union element became less supportive after the 1970s. White Evangelicals and Southerners became Republican at the state and local level since the 1990s. People living in metropolitan areas, women and gender minorities, college graduates, racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, such as Jewish Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans and African Americans, tend to support the Democratic Party much more than they support the rival Republican Party; the Democratic Party's philosophy of modern liberalism advocates social and economic equality, along with the welfare state.
It seeks to provide government regulation in the economy. These interventions, such as the introduction of social programs, support for labor unions, affordable college tuitions, moves toward universal health care and equal opportunity, consumer protection and environmental protection form the core of the party's economic policy. Fifteen Democrats have served as President of the United States; the first was President Andrew Jackson, the seventh president and served from 1829 to 1837. The most recent was President Barack Obama, the 44th president and held office from 2009 to 2017. Following the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats held a majority in the House of Representatives, "trifectas" in 14 states, the mayoralty of numerous major American cities, such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Portland and Washington, D. C. Twenty-three state governors were Democrats, the Party was the minority party in the Senate and in most state legislatures; as of March 2019, four of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court had been appointed by Democratic presidents.
Democratic Party officials trace its origins to the inspiration of the Democratic-Republican Party, founded by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other influential opponents of the Federalists in 1792. That party inspired the Whigs and modern Republicans. Organizationally, the modern Democratic Party arose in the 1830s with the election of Andrew Jackson. Since the nomination of William Jennings Bryan in 1896, the party has positioned itself to the left of the Republican Party on economic issues, they have been more liberal on civil rights issues since 1948. On foreign policy, both parties have changed position several times; the Democratic Party evolved from the Jeffersonian Republican or Democratic-Republican Party organized by Jefferson and Madison in opposition to the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. The party favored republicanism; the Democratic-Republican Party came to power in the election of 1800. After the War of 1812, the Federalists disappeared and the only national political party left was the Democratic-Republicans.
The era of one-party rule in the United States, known as the Era of Good Feelings, lasted from 1816 until the early 1830s, when the Whig Party became a national political group to rival the Democratic-Republicans. However, the Democratic-Republican Party still had its own internal factions, they split over the choice of a successor to President James Monroe and the party faction that supported many of the old Jeffersonian principles, led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, became the modern Democratic Party. As Norton explains the transformation in 1828: Jacksonians believed the people's will had prevailed. Through a lavishly financed coalition of state parties, political leaders, newspaper editors, a popular movement had elected the president; the Democrats became the nation's first well-organized national party and tight party organization became the hallmark of nineteenth-century American politics. Opposing factions led by Henry Clay helped form the Whig Party; the Democratic Party had a small yet decisive advantage over the Whigs until the 1850s, when the Whigs fell apart over the issue of slavery.
In 1854, angry with the Kansas–Nebraska Act, anti-slavery Dem
Thomas Richard Harkin is an American politician and author who served as a United States Senator from Iowa from 1985 to 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in the United States House of Representatives from 1975 to 1985. Born in Cumming, Harkin graduated from Iowa State University and The Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law, he served in the United States Navy as an active-duty jet pilot. After serving as a congressional aide for several years, he made two runs for the U. S. House of Representatives, losing in 1972 but winning in 1974, he went on to serve five terms in the House. Harkin won a race for U. S. Senate in 1984 by a wide margin, he was an early frontrunner for his party's presidential nomination in 1992, but he dropped out in support of eventual winner Bill Clinton. He served five senate terms and at the end of his time in the senate served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education and Pensions, he was its chief sponsor in the Senate. Harkin delivered part of his introduction speech in sign language, saying it was so his deaf brother could understand.
When he left the Senate in 2015, he was the most senior junior senator after serving for 30 years and the sixth most senior senator overall. On January 26, 2013, he announced his intention to retire from the Senate and that he would not seek reelection in 2014. Harkin was born in Iowa, his father, Patrick Francis Harkin, an Irish American, was a coal miner, his mother, Franciska Frances Valentine, was a Slovene immigrant who died when he was ten. Tom has 3 half-siblings on his mother's side from her first marriage in Iowa to fellow Slovenian Valentine Brelih. Frances was born in Slovenia to Jakob and Marija, he still maintains his childhood house, where he and his five siblings were raised without hot running water or a furnace. He attended Dowling Catholic High School, located in West Des Moines, Iowa. Harkin attended Iowa State University on a Navy R. O. T. C. Scholarship and became a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, he graduated with a degree in government and economics in 1962, served in the United States Navy as an active-duty jet pilot from 1962 to 1967.
Harkin was stationed at Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan, where he ferried aircraft to and from the airbase, damaged in the Vietnam War and in operational and training accidents. He was stationed for a time at Guantanamo Bay, where he flew missions in support of U-2 planes reconnoitering Cuba. After leaving active duty in 1967, he spent three years in the Ready Reserves, transitioned into the Naval Reserves in 1970, he retired in 1989 with the rank of commander. In 1969, Harkin moved to Washington, D. C. and began work as an aide to Democratic U. S. Congressman Neal Smith. During his work for Smith, he accompanied a congressional delegation that went to South Vietnam in 1970. Harkin published photographs he took during the trip and a detailed account of the "tiger cages" at Con Son Island prison in Life Magazine on July 17, 1970; the account exposed treatment to which prisoners were subjected. He received his Juris Doctor degree from The Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law in 1972.
In 1972, the same year that he graduated from law school, Harkin returned to Iowa and ran against an incumbent Republican Congressman, William J. Scherle. Scherle represented the southwestern portion of Iowa, which had not elected a Democrat to Congress since the end of the Great Depression. While winning a higher percentage of votes than any of Scherle's previous opponents, Harkin lost the race. After his 1972 defeat, Harkin practiced law in Ames before seeking a rematch against Scherle in 1974. In what was a bad year for Republicans due to the Watergate scandal, Harkin defeated Scherle by only 3,500 votes, he was re-elected four more times from Iowa's 5th congressional district without serious difficulty. In 1984, Harkin won the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate and defeated freshman Republican Roger Jepsen by a wide 11.8-point margin. He was re-elected in 1990, 1996, 2002, 2008. Harkin has served in the Senate longer than any Democrat in Iowa's history. In 2009, he passed Neal Smith as the longest-serving Democrat in either chamber from Iowa.
Notably, he spent his entire tenure as Iowa's junior Senator, due to his colleague Chuck Grassley having served in the chamber since 1981. He and Grassley had a good relationship, despite their philosophical differences, their seniority gave Iowa clout in national politics well beyond its modest population. Indeed, during his tribute to Harkin shortly before his departure, Grassley got notably choked up as Harkin entered the chamber. Along with California Senator Barbara Boxer, Harkin was one of only two Senate Democrats to come out in favor of Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold's resolution to censure President George W. Bush. Harkin, introduced the BioFuels Security Act on March 16, 2006. Harkin came out in favor of the Fairness Doctrine during an interview with Bill Press. Harkin has been influential in increasing research funding for alternative medicine, he was instrumental in the creation of the U. S. Office of Alternative Medicine in 1992, which became the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
His efforts and the Center's results, have been criticized. On July 16, 2013, Harkin introduced the Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Flexibility Act (S. 13
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States; the composition of the House is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of Representatives who sit in congressional districts that are allocated to each of the 50 states on a basis of population as measured by the U. S. Census, with each district entitled to one representative. Since its inception in 1789, all Representatives have been directly elected; the total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation is that of California, with fifty-three representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming; the House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration.
In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers, among them the power to initiate all bills related to revenue. The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol; the presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, elected by the members thereof. The Speaker and other floor leaders are chosen by the Democratic Caucus or the Republican Conference, depending on whichever party has more voting members. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation was a unicameral body in which each state was represented, in which each state had a veto over most action. After eight years of a more limited confederal government under the Articles, numerous political leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which received the Confederation Congress's sanction to "amend the Articles of Confederation". All states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates; the issue of how to structure Congress was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention.
Edmund Randolph's Virginia Plan called for a bicameral Congress: the lower house would be "of the people", elected directly by the people of the United States and representing public opinion, a more deliberative upper house, elected by the lower house, that would represent the individual states, would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment. The House is referred to as the lower house, with the Senate being the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation; the Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states; the Convention reached the Connecticut Compromise or Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress would provide representation proportional to each state's population, whereas the other would provide equal representation amongst the states.
The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1789. The House began work on April 1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time. During the first half of the 19th century, the House was in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including slavery; the North was much more populous than the South, therefore dominated the House of Representatives. However, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed. Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery. One example of a provision supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican–American War. Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War, which began soon after several southern states attempted to secede from the Union; the war culminated in the abolition of slavery. All southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, therefore the Senate did not hold the balance of power between North and South during the war.
The years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party, which many Americans associated with the Union's victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery. The Reconstruction period ended in about 1877; the Democratic Party and Republican Party each held majorities in the House at various times. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a dramatic increase in the power of the Speaker of the House; the rise of the Speaker's influence began in the 1890s, during the tenure of Republican Thomas Brackett Reed. "Czar Reed", as he was nicknamed, attempted to put into effect his view that "The best system is to have one party govern and the other party watch." The leadership structure of the House developed during the same period, with the positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader being created in 1899. While the Minority Leader
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security is the used term for the federal Old-Age and Disability Insurance program and is administered by the Social Security Administration. The original Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, the current version of the Act, as amended, encompasses several social welfare and social insurance programs. Social Security is funded through payroll taxes called Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax or Self Employed Contributions Act Tax. Tax deposits are collected by the Internal Revenue Service and are formally entrusted to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, the two Social Security Trust Funds. With a few exceptions, all salaried income, up to an amount determined by law, is subject to the Social Security payroll tax. All income over said. In 2018, the maximum amount of taxable earnings was $128,400. With few exceptions, all legal residents working in the United States now have an individual Social Security number.
Indeed, nearly all working residents since Social Security's 1935 inception have had a Social Security number because it is requested by a wide range of businesses. In 2017, Social Security expenditures totaled $806.7 billion for OASDI and $145.8 billion for DI. Income derived from Social Security is estimated to have reduced the poverty rate for Americans age 65 or older from about 40% to below 10%. In 2018, the trustees of the Social Security Trust Fund reported that the program will become financially insolvent in the year 2034 unless corrective action is enacted by Congress. Social Security Timeline 1935 The 37-page Social Security Act signed August 14 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Retirement benefits only to worker, welfare benefits started 1937 First Social Security Cards issued by post offices, over 20 million issued in first year 1937 Ernest Ackerman receives first lump-sum payout in January. 1939 Two new categories of beneficiaries added: spouse and minor children of a retired worker 1940 First monthly benefit check issued to Ida May Fuller for $22.54 1950 Benefits increased and cost of living adjustments made at irregular intervals – 77% COLA in 1950 1954 Disability program added to Social Security 1960 Flemming v. Nestor.
Landmark U. S. Supreme Court ruling that gave Congress the power to revise the schedule of benefits; the Court ruled that recipients have no contractual right to receive payments. 1961 Early retirement age lowered to age 62 at reduced benefits 1965 Medicare health care benefits added to Social security – 20 million joined in three years 1966 Medicare tax of 0.7% added to pay for increased Medicare expenses 1972 Supplemental Security Income program federalized and assigned to Social Security Administration 1975 Automatic cost of living adjustments mandated 1977 COLA adjustments brought back to "sustainable" levels 1980 Amendments are made in disability program to help solve some problems of fraud 1983 Taxation of Social Security benefits introduced, new federal hires required to be under Social Security, retirement age increased for younger workers to 66 and 67 years 1984 Congress passed the Disability Benefits Reform Act modifying several aspects of the disability program 1996 Drug addiction or alcoholism disability benefits could no longer be eligible for disability benefits.
The Earnings limit doubled exemption amount for retired Social Security beneficiaries. Terminated SSI eligibility for most non-citizens 1997 The law requires the establishment of federal standards for state-issued birth certificates and requires SSA to develop a prototype counterfeit-resistant Social Security card – still being worked on. 1997 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, replaces Aid to Families with Dependent Children program placed under SSA 1997 State Children's Health Insurance Program for low income citizens – added to Social Security Administration 2003 Voluntary drug benefits with supplemental Medicare insurance payments from recipients added 2009 No Social Security Benefits for Prisoners Act of 2009 signed. A limited form of the Social Security program began, during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first term, as a measure to implement "social insurance" during the Great Depression of the 1930s; the Act was an attempt to limit unforeseen and unprepared-for dangers in modern life, including old age, poverty and the burdens of widows with and without children.
Opponents, decried the proposal as socialism. In a Senate Finance Committee hearing, Senator Thomas Gore asked Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, "Isn't this socialism?" She said that it was not, but he continued, "Isn't this a teeny-weeny bit of socialism?"The provisions of Social Security have been changing since the 1930s, shifting in response to economic worries as well as coverage for the poor, dependent children, spouses and the disabled. By 1950, debates moved away from which occupational groups should be included to get enough taxpayers to fund Social Security to how to provide more benefits. Changes in Social Security have reflected a balance between promoting "equality" and efforts to provide "adequate" and affordable protection for low wage workers; the larger and better known programs under the Social Security Administration, SSA, are: Federal Old-Age and Disability Insurance, OASDI Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF Health Insurance for Aged and Disabled, Medicare Grants to States for Medical Assistance Programs for low income citizens, Medicaid State Children's Health Insurance Program for low income citizens, SCHIP Supplement
Elections in the United States
Elections in the United States are held for government officials at the federal and local levels. At the federal level, the nation's head of state, the President, is elected indirectly by the people of each state, through an Electoral College. Today, these electors always vote with the popular vote of their state. All members of the federal legislature, the Congress, are directly elected by the people of each state. There are many elected offices at state level, each state having at least an elective Governor and legislature. There are elected offices at the local level, in counties, towns, townships and villages. According to a study by political scientist Jennifer Lawless, there were 519,682 elected officials in the United States as of 2012. While the United States Constitution does set parameters for the election of federal officials, state law, not federal, regulates most aspects of elections in the U. S. including primaries, the eligibility of voters, the running of each state's electoral college, as well as the running of state and local elections.
All elections—federal and local—are administered by the individual states. The restriction and extension of voting rights to different groups has been a contested process throughout United States history; the federal government has been involved in attempts to increase voter turnout, by measures such as the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. The financing of elections has long been controversial, because private sources make up substantial amounts of campaign contributions in federal elections. Voluntary public funding for candidates willing to accept spending limits was introduced in 1974 for presidential primaries and elections; the Federal Elections Commission, created in 1975 by an amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act, has the responsibility to disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, to oversee the public funding of U. S. presidential elections. The most common method used in U. S. elections is the first-past-the-post system, where the highest polling candidate wins the election.
Some may use a two-round system, where if no candidate receives a required number of votes there is a runoff between the two candidates with the most votes. Since 2002, several cities have adopted instant-runoff voting in their elections. Voters rank the candidates in order of preference rather than voting for a single candidate. If a candidate secures more than half of votes cast, that candidate wins. Otherwise, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. Ballots assigned to the eliminated candidate are recounted and assigned to those of the remaining candidates who rank next in order of preference on each ballot; this process continues. In 2016, Maine became the first state to adopt instant-runoff voting statewide for its elections, although due to state constitutional provisions, the system is only used for federal elections and state primaries; the eligibility of an individual for voting is set out in the constitution and regulated at state level. The constitution states that suffrage cannot be denied on grounds of race or color, sex, or age for citizens eighteen years or older.
Beyond these basic qualifications, it is the responsibility of state legislatures to regulate voter eligibility. Some states ban convicted criminals felons, from voting for a fixed period of time or indefinitely; the number of American adults who are or permanently ineligible to vote due to felony convictions is estimated to be 5.3 million. Some states have legacy constitutional statements barring declared incompetent from voting. While the federal government has jurisdiction over federal elections, most election laws are decided at the state level. All U. S. states. Traditionally, voters had to register at state offices to vote, but in the mid-1990s efforts were made by the federal government to make registering easier, in an attempt to increase turnout; the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 required state governments that receive certain types of federal funding to make the voter registration process easier by providing uniform registration services through drivers' license registration centers, disability centers, schools and mail-in registration.
Other states allow citizens same-day registration on Election Day. In many states, citizens registering to vote may declare an affiliation with a political party; this declaration of affiliation does not cost money, does not make the citizen a dues-paying member of a party. A party cannot prevent a voter from declaring his or her affiliation with them, but it can refuse requests for full membership. In some states, only voters affiliated with a party may vote in that party's primary elections. Declaring a party affiliation is never required; some states, including Georgia, Minnesota, Virginia and Washington, practice non-partisan registration. Voters unable or unwilling to vote at polling stations on Election Day can vote via absentee ballots. Absentee ballots are most sent and received via the United States Postal Service. Despite their name, absentee ballots are requested and submitted in person. About half of all states and U. S. territories allow "no excuse absentee," where no reason is required to request an absentee ballot.
Others require a valid reason, such as infirmity or tra
Barack Hussein Obama II is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American, he served as a U. S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008. Obama was born in Hawaii. After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, he worked as a community organizer in Chicago. In 1988, he enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating, he became a civil rights attorney and an academic, teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004, he represented the 13th district for three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 until 2004 when he ran for the U. S. Senate, he received national attention in 2004 with his March primary win, his well-received July Democratic National Convention keynote address, his landslide November election to the Senate. In 2008, he was nominated for president a year after his campaign began and after a close primary campaign against Hillary Clinton.
He was elected over Republican John McCain and was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. Nine months he was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Regarded as a centrist New Democrat, Obama signed many landmark bills into law during his first two years in office; the main reforms that were passed include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, Job Creation Act of 2010 served as economic stimulus amidst the Great Recession. After a lengthy debate over the national debt limit, he signed the Budget Control and the American Taxpayer Relief Acts. In foreign policy, he increased U. S. troop levels in Afghanistan, reduced nuclear weapons with the United States–Russia New START treaty, ended military involvement in the Iraq War. He ordered military involvement in Libya in opposition to Muammar Gaddafi.
He ordered the military operations that resulted in the deaths of Osama bin Laden and suspected Yemeni Al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki. After winning re-election by defeating Republican opponent Mitt Romney, Obama was sworn in for a second term in 2013. During this term, he promoted inclusiveness for LGBT Americans, his administration filed briefs that urged the Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional. He advocated for gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, indicating support for a ban on assault weapons, issued wide-ranging executive actions concerning climate change and immigration. In foreign policy, he ordered military intervention in Iraq in response to gains made by ISIL after the 2011 withdrawal from Iraq, continued the process of ending U. S. combat operations in Afghanistan in 2016, promoted discussions that led to the 2015 Paris Agreement on global climate change, initiated sanctions against Russia following the invasion in Ukraine and again after Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, brokered a nuclear deal with Iran, normalized U.
S. relations with Cuba. During his term in office, America's reputation in global polling improved. Evaluations of his presidency among historians, political scientists, the general public place him among the upper tier of American presidents. Obama left office and retired in January 2017 and resides in Washington, D. C. A December 2018 Gallup poll found Obama to be the most admired man in America for an unprecedented 11th consecutive year, although Dwight D. Eisenhower was selected most admired in twelve non-consecutive years. Obama was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu, Hawaii, he is the only president, born outside of the contiguous 48 states. He was born to a black father, his mother, Ann Dunham, was born in Kansas. His father, Barack Obama Sr. was a Luo Kenyan from Nyang'oma Kogelo. Obama's parents met in 1960 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father was a foreign student on a scholarship; the couple married in Hawaii, on February 2, 1961, six months before Obama was born.
In late August 1961, Barack and his mother moved to the University of Washington in Seattle, where they lived for a year. During that time, the elder Obama completed his undergraduate degree in economics in Hawaii, graduating in June 1962, he left to attend graduate school on a scholarship at Harvard University, where he earned an M. A. in economics. Obama's parents divorced in March 1964. Obama Sr. returned to Kenya in 1964, where he married for a third time and worked for the Kenyan government as the Senior Economic Analyst in the Ministry of Finance. He visited his son in Hawaii only once, at Christmas time in 1971, before he was killed in an automobile accident in 1982, when Obama was 21 years old. Recalling his early childhood, Obama said, "That my father looked nothing like the people around me – that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk – registered in my mind." He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multira