Barack Obama

President Barack Obama waves as he walks off Air Force One after arriving at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, June, 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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President Barack Obama waves as he walks off Air Force One after arriving at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, June, 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Barack Obama, 44th president ofthe United States, made it official on Monday, April 4, that he planned to liveat 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for four more years.

The announcement came before dawn in theform of a YouTubevideo and emails.

Obama presented himself as the candidate ofchange in 2007 and worked to lure Democrats with ads that promised heady possibilities:“We Can End a War," "We Can Save the Planet," "We CanChange the World."

The 2012 announcement was more tempered andreflected a candidate who has the bruising experience that comes from occupyingthe Oval Office. He has:

  • Wrestled with acrushing recession marked by relentless high unemployment that shows littlepossibility of significantly dropping before Election Day.
  • Fought withCongress and reached 11th hour compromises to avoid governmentshutdowns and default that were unpopular with many in his 2008 political base.
  • Spent much ofhis first year in office so focused on health care reform that politicalopponents and some supporters said he lost sight of what was foremost onAmericans’ minds – jobs.

Obama, 50, and considerably grayer than whenhe was elected in 2008, did not appear in the video launching his 2012campaign. Instead, it presented supporters taking what is arguably a more realisticapproach to winning the election.

"Unfortunately President Obama is oneperson," says a woman identified as Alice from Michigan. "He cannotgo -- plus he's got a job. We're paying him to do a job so we can't say, 'Heycould you just take some time off and come up here and get us all energized?'So we better figure it out."

One supporter, Ed from North Carolina, goesas far as to say, "I don't agree with Obama on everything, but I respecthim and I trust him."

Obama has set up his campaign headquartersin Chicago rather than Washington, which is uncharacteristic for an incumbentpresident running for re-election.

Profile details:

  • Birthplace: Honolulu,Hawaii
  • Family: Michelle Robinson (wife); Children: Malia and Sasha.
  • Religion: Christian.
  • Jobbefore candidacy: 44th president of theUnited States.
  • Politicalexperience: Successful campaignfor White House in 2008; U.S. Senator from Illinois; Illinois State Senator.
  • Mostrecent book written:Change We Can Believe In”

More on Barack Obama: 'Hope' and 'Change' meet reality

Pros: Rich campaign war chest; power of incumbency; endingwar in Iraq, as promised; passed health care reform as promised; foreign policysuccesses, including death of Osama bin Laden.

Cons: High unemployment rate; low favorable ratings in polls;compromises with congressional Republicans that have disillusioned somesupporters; continued intense political opposition to health care reformprogram.

Obama on the Web:
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