Monday, March 12, 2007

Barack Obama (2004): wins the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate

A short bio of Barack Obama, published in the New York Times after his surprise win of the Democratic nomination for Senator from Illinois:
As Quickly as Overnight, a Democratic Star Is Born

Overnight, Mr. Obama, a former civil rights lawyer, has become a treasured commodity in the Democratic Party nationally, in part because Democrats see the Illinois seat as one they may easily snatch back from Republicans in November, and in part because Mr. Obama would be the only black member of the Senate.

Mr. Obama grew up in Hawaii, raised mainly by his mother and his grandparents. He graduated from Columbia and Harvard Law, and was the first African-American president of The Harvard Law Review.

As a young adult, he moved to Chicago, where he worked as a community organizer in struggling neighborhoods, then as a civil rights lawyer in cases involving voting rights and employment discrimination. He and his wife, Michelle, have two young girls and live in Hyde Park, a South Side neighborhood. He lectures at the University of Chicago Law School.

In the State Senate, Mr. Obama has pressed to overhaul the Illinois death penalty system, to add more health care services for the poor, to expand early childhood education programs, to improve the state's system of juvenile justice and to create a state earned-income tax credit.

In 2000, Mr. Obama ran for the United States House, facing a Democratic incumbent, Representative Bobby L. Rush. Mr. Rush won the primary, and in this year's race supported Mr. Hull -- a sign, some here thought, that there would be a rift among black leadership in Chicago.

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