Barack Hussein Obama
Barack Obama is the junior senator from Illinois, elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat in 2004 after serving as a state senator. His voting record places him as the tenth-most Liberal member of the U. S. Senate. His composite liberal rating was 86 percent, just seven points behind Ted Kennedy. Among fellow Senate Democrats, he was further left than liberals like John Kerry, Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer, Russ Feingold, Carl Levin, Joseph Biden and Harry Reid. Senator Obama is a Democratic front-runner for the 2008 United States presidential election. He has been criticized as being politically inexperienced, although he has retorted showing that some of the greatest presidents in American history were criticized for the same reason. He often speaks about his father's African descent and has written The Audacity of Hope, a national bestseller, published in late 2006.
Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. His father was a Kenyan former farmer, and his mother a white US citizen from Kansas. His parents divorced when he was two, and Obama's mother remarried to an Indonesian man and relocated the family to Jakarta, where Obama attended a Roman Catholic religious school. From age ten he lived in Hawaii with his maternal grandparents. He completed high school in 1979. Obama has a law degree from Harvard University and a BA from Columbia University. Until he entered politics in the 1990s, he was a senior lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Chicago.