For the dear people who believe in me,
I want to tell you my background before I became elected as the 44th President of the United States. I was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961. After my parents separated and my mom remarried I lived with my maternal grandparents in Hawaii. To start off with, as you can see I was born outside the continental United States. In Hawaii, I attended the Punahou School, an elite private school. I wrote a memoir in 1995, “Dreams of my father”; this is when I realised that there were tensions in the society about my inherent mixed racial background. Nevertheless, after two years at Occidental College in Los Angeles, I transferred to Columbia University in New York City, from which I graduated in 1983 with a degree in political science.
After a two-year stint working in corporate research and at the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) in New York City, I moved to Chicago, and took a job as a community organizer with a church-based group, the Developing Communities Project. For the next several years, I worked with low-income residents in Chicago’s Roseland community and the Altgeld Gardens public housing development. I should say this was the best education I ever got, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School! In 1988 I entered Harvard to study law.
In 1996 I started my political career, winning election to the Illinois State Senate as a Democrat from the South Side neighbourhood of Hyde Park. I was able to get help from the Democrats and Republicans both to draft legislation for ethics and healthcare reform, despite the fact that it was tightly Republican authority those days. I was re-elected in 1998 and again in 2002, ran unsuccessfully in the 2000 Democratic primary for the U. S. House of Representatives seat held by the popular four-term incumbent Bobby Rush. As a state senator, I notably went on record as an early opponent of President George W. Bush’s push to war with Iraq. I simply didn’t want a dumb war. Because I knew that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.
On February 10th 2007, I announced I was running for US presidential election. My campaign worked to build support at the grassroots level. During the elections my grandmother died and I was highly saddened and demotivated because she was great pillar of strength to me. However with all the crucial battles, I had supporters and I won the election. I took to the stage my inspiration to people, because that is what people needed. They needed uplifting, “The road ahead will be long, and our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there.” And I hope America feels I’ve done justice to their hopes and faith.
“Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining’. Stop grumbling’. Stop crying’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”
And that is what I kept doing. Up to now, I’ve been working hard and finally someone else took over. But always remember, it is up to you to change the world. It is in your hands, where America is going to be. Where America is, will decide where other countries are too. “No other country in the world does what we do. On every issue, the world turns to us, not simply because of the size of our economy or our military might – but because of the ideals we stand for, and the burdens we bear to advance them.” Be head strong and take decisions. Every individual has the capability to raise awareness on vital elements that needs attention. Our economy depends on your individual strengths; peace depends on how moral and ethical citizens are. We are built on a foundation with great philosophies, great minds who achieved success in uniting and building our country. We started off as immigrants, no one can deny that and we should never forget that. But our state has a strong base and that is why we can move forward.
Work towards a better country. Every citizen matters. And for now, I take leave. Thanking my wife who supported me immensely and the two wonderful daughters I’ve brought up amidst the immense tension and pressure. I thank everyone who supported me. It’s never too late for any country; build strong foundations and upon that can a great state rise.
Barack Hussein Obama