The Presidency of Barack Obama began at noon EST on January 20, 2009, when he became the 44th President of the United States. Obama was a United States Senator from Illinois at the time of his victory over Arizona Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. Barack Obama is the first African-American president of the United States, as well as the first born in Hawaii.
His policy decisions have addressed a global financial crisis and have included changes in tax policies, legislation to reform the United States health care industry, foreign policy initiatives and the phasing out of detention of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. He attended the G-20 London summit and later visited U.S. troops in Iraq. On the tour of various European countries following the G-20 summit, he announced in Prague that he intended to negotiate substantial reduction in the world’s nuclear arsenals, en route to their eventual extinction. In October 2009, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
He was elected to a second term on November 6, 2012. Having defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney by winning 65.9 million popular votes and 332 electoral votes, he set forth his second term goals in his victory speech. He stressed the need to fight income inequality while also dealing with adaptation to global warming as well as reforming American education to promote technology and innovation, saying, “We believe in a generous America”.