Las Vegas Sun

December 8, 2023

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2008 Elections

Barack Obama

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) speaks to supporters during a rally at the Doolittle Community Center Thursday on September 6, 2007.


Party: Democratic
Political Position: U.S. Senator from Illinois, elected in 2004
Age: 46
Obama's Credentials: Sen. Barack Obama has billed his presidential campaign as a grass-roots movement for change. In speeches, he often cites the sell-out crowds he has drawn across the country as a clear sign of an American electorate starved for a new kind of politics.


Gatherings of 20,000 in Atlanta; 15,000 in Austin, Texas; and 3,500 in Las Vegas earlier this year show Obama is the rock star of the 2008 race.


He has carefully built a campaign around his background – the son of a Kenyan goat herder and a white Kansan, first black president of the Harvard Law Review, community organizer on the south side of Chicago, civil rights attorney, accomplished state senator – and his powerful personality. His address before the Democratic National Convention in 2004 instantly catapulted him to political celebrity, with some saying it eclipsed nominee John Kerry’s moment.


Obama voiced opposition to the Iraq war at a rally in fall 2002, something that consistently draws his biggest applause. He has promised to begin a withdrawal immediately, and to have only a minimal presence in Iraq within 16 months, and the war is central to his campaign. Only those with the sense to oppose the war from the start can be trusted to end it, he says – an obvious dig at the other frontrunners, Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards, who voted for the 2002 resolution giving President Bush the authority to use force in Iraq.


Still, critics have consistently called attention to Obama’s experience gap (he was elected to the Senate in 2004). As Obama decries Washington politics for failing the American people and delivers a message of hope and optimism he faces a significant challenge: For months, years actually, he’s decried the polarization of American politics and its never-ending, scorched-earth campaigns. So how does he level an attack on the other candidates without looking like a hypocrite?


Date of Birth: August 4, 1961
Place of Birth: Honolulu, Hawaii
Home: Chicago, Ill.
Spouse: Michelle Robinson Obama
Children: Malia, Natasha
Religion: United Church of Christ
Education: B.A. Columbia University 1983; J.D. Harvard Law, 1991
Experience: Illinois State Senate 1997-2004; Professor of constitutional law; Civil rights lawyer
Notable: Obama picked up a penchant for playing basketball while in high school in Hawaii (where his parents met), but admitted he had to quit smoking before he began his presidential campaign. He has also penned two-best selling books: Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, and The Audacity of Hope.
Sun Archives: Obama swerves, aiming for Clinton
Obama on the Issues: A look at where Obama stands on the issues and how he has voted.
Nevada Contributions: A breakdown of Obama’s financial contributions from the Silver State.
State by State Contributions: A breakdown of Obama’s financial contributions across the U.S.
Obama's MySpace Page: Read Obama's profile information and leave a message.
Obama's Facebook Page: Read Obama's profile information and leave a message.
Obama's Flickr Page: View Obama's photos from the campaign trail.
Obama's YouTube Videos: View Obama’s latest political videos.
Contact Info:
Las Vegas Headquarters
3041 East Flamingo Rd, Suite A
Las Vegas, NV 89121
[email protected]
Campaign Manager: David Plouffe and more key people.


— Las Vegas Sun writer Michael Mishak and web content editor Andy Samuelson compiled this report.

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