By Veronica Anderson
As Utah voters find themselves closer to Election Day, any information becomes heightened in importance when deciding on a presidential candidate.
The first thing a voter needs to know in choosing a presidential candidate is to learn something about them, said Kendall Stiles, an associate professor of political science. Stiles said voters should delve into the candidate”s backgrounds, positions, and supporters.
“Those running for executive positions like president and governor will be required to make many decisions on their own,” Stiles said, “so understanding how they make decisions will be critical.”
A relative newcomer to the public eye, Barack Hussein Obama II was born 1961 in Honolulu. His father was from Kenya and his mother from Kansas. After his father died, Barack, his mother and stepfather moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where Obama attended a local school until he was 10.
Following high school, Obama studied at Occidental College. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, majoring in political science with a specialization in international relations.
After graduating with a B.A. in 1983, Obama married his wife, Michelle, in 1992. They have two young daughters, Malia Ann and Natasha.
Obama entered Harvard Law School in 1988 and became president of the Harvard Law Review, the first African American to hold the title.
In the political arena, Obama has been active in non-profit endeavors. Directing Illinois” Project Vote in 1992, Obama led the organization to achieving its goal of registering 150,000 of the state”s previously unregistered voters.
As a result of his success with Project Vote, in 1993 Obama was named in the Crain”s Chicago Business list of “40 under 40” up-and-coming people to watch for.
Obama was a lecturer on constitutional law at the University of Chicago for 12 years in addition to working as an attorney specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development.
First elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, Obama was reelected in 1998 and 2002. He quickly made a name for himself in civil rights and economical issues.
Among others, Obama is endorsed by Humane USA Political Action Committee, Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, Illinois Sierra Club, Nevada State Education Association, Oregon AFL-CIO, and the Sierra Club.