Barack Obama

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Lawyer

Current Job / Position: Senator from Illinois

Birthdate: August 4, 1961 (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Age: 46

Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia; Honolulu, Hawaii

Spouse: Michelle Robinson Obama

Children: Malia Ann Obama, Sasha Obama

Religion: United Church of Christ

Experience: Senator since 2005; Illinois State senator, 1997-2004; constitutional law professor, University of Chicago.

Education: Law degree, Harvard University; bachelor's degree in political science, Columbia University.

Top Issues

Supports abortion rights. As Illinois lawmaker, opposed restrictions on public financing of abortions.

Obama believes we need additional Customs and Border Protection agents equipped with better technology and real-time intelligence. Supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants to become citizens.

Voted for the 2006 immigration bill that would have provided conditional path to citizenship and supported border fence.

Obama has a plan to immediately begin withdrawing our troops. Wants "Our combat troops out within 16 months."

Same-Sex Marriage
Supports recognition of same-sex civil unions short of marriage.

Would let states decide on same-sex marriage.

Opposes constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Second Amendment
Obama is an anti-gun extremist. As a State Senator, Obama even voted against a bi-partisan bill which would prohibit criminal prosecutions of people who used unlicensed guns to lawfully defend their homes against violent felony invaders.

Voted to leave gun-makers and dealers open to suit.

As Illinois state lawmaker, he supported ban on all forms of semiautomatic weapons and tighter state restrictions generally on firearms.

Wants to encourage but not require universal pre-kindergarten programs, expand teacher mentoring programs, and reward teachers with higher pay not tied to standardized test scores.

This $18 billion plan would be paid for in part by delaying elements of moon and Mars missions.

Supports changing No Child Left Behind "so that we're not just teaching to a test and crowding out programs like art and music."

Supports tax credits to pay up to $4,000 of college expenses for students who perform 100 hours of community service a year.

Global Warming
Supports 10-year, $150 billion program to produce "climate friendly" energy supplies.

He'd pay for that plan with a carbon auction requiring businesses to bid competitively for the right to pollute.

Joined Senator McCain in sponsoring legislation that would set mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions and increase costs to consumers.

Supports tougher fuel efficiency standards.

Has goal of cutting greenhouse pollution 20% by 2020.

Health Insurance
Supports mandatory coverage for children.

Aims for universal coverage by requiring employers to share costs of insuring workers and by offering coverage similar to that in plan for federal employees.

Says package would cost up to $65 billion a year after unspecified savings from making system more efficient. Would raise taxes on wealthier families to pay the cost.

Social Security
Proposes raising cap with an unspecified "small adjustment" that would subject a portion of higher incomes to Social Security taxes.

Would let some of Bush's tax cuts expire in 2010 as scheduled, in effect raising taxes on wealthier people to help pay for programs.

Favors about $80 billion in tax breaks mainly for low-income workers and the elderly.

That includes a tax credit worth up to $500 a person to offset payroll taxes as well as elimination of tax-filing requirement for older workers making under $50,000.

Supports a mortgage-interest credit that could be used by lower-income homeowners who do not take the mortgage interest deduction because they do not itemize their taxes.

Wants to raise corporate taxes and the top rate on capital gains and dividends to pay for the cuts.

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