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Barack Obama

  b. 1961 | American President

At The Bottom

"Barack Obama went to Harvard and became an educated fool..."

Barack Obama was not doing well.  “I knew in my bones that I was going to lose,” he wrote in his second book, The Audacity of Hope.  “Each morning from that point forward I awoke with a vague sense of dread, realizing that I would have to spend the day smiling and shaking hands and pretending that everything was going according to plan.” After serving three years in the Illinois State Senate as a representative of the 13th district in Chicago, 39-year-old Barack Obama was running for US Congress, challenging the Democratic incumbent, Bobby Rush, in the party’s March primary.  Though he’d lived in the city for less than a decade, Obama sought to move onto the national stage by replacing Rush, a longtime Chicago political activist who had served three terms in the House of Representatives and was an overwhelming favorite to keep his seat.  Obama was eager and ambitious but was unknown to many voters, and the 53-year-old Rush was able to portray him as a young, inexperienced outsider.  “Barack Obama went to Harvard and became an educated fool,” Rush commented during the race. He argued that Obama had neither the experience nor the community roots necessary to serve in Congress.  Rush handily defeated Obama, who received a mere 30 percent of the vote.  “He spanked me,” Obama recalled several years later.

At The Top

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At The Top - Barack Obama at the height of success
The Comeback - Barack Obama fight back to the top

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