Forthcoming on the live show (this sunday 15/02/09)

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by News Team members Emma Langman and Kat Maclean. Their audio package based on the following article will feature in the live show on Sunday 15th of February, between 12 and 1pm.

On February 10th 2007, Barack Obama announced that he would be running for presidency in the 2008 American election. From the very beginning, this election promised to be out of the ordinary; not only was Obama the first African American to stand for candidacy but Hillary Clinton, his democratic rival, was aiming to become the first female nominee for presidency. As soon as the campaigning began, America, not to mention the rest of the world, was gripped in election frenzy.

Barack Obama, born to a White-American mother and Kenyan father, started his political career in 1996 when he was elected into the Illinois senate. There, he focused on legislation to reform ethics and health care laws and by 2003 he was the chairman of Illinois Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee. Only two years later, Obama had progressed to the U.S. senate, becoming only the fifth African American senator to be elected in American history. Obama was noted for being particularly liberal, ranked tenth most liberal senator in 2006. However the U.S. senate was not enough for Obama and, by November 2008, he had been elected President and resigned from the Senate in preparation for the transformation.

It was clear that Obama and Hillary were the favourites at the Democratic primaries. After a close race, Obama was announced as the Democratic Presidential nominee, with Joe Biden at his side as the Vice-President candidate. The ideologies emphasised by Obama during his campaign included the rapid end of the Iraq war, providing a universal health care system for America, assisting the movement towards a ‘greener’ America and, interestingly, the movement towards eliminating all nuclear weapons. On November 4th, Obama defeated his presidential rival John McCain, gaining twice as many votes as his competitor.

Only two months later, Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President. The inauguration ceremony and the attention it received has highlighted Obama’s widespread popularity, with people travelling from around the globe to witness this historic moment. The Mall in Washington was crowded with spectators, many of whom were filmed crying while Obama orated his first speech as President. He was greeted with masses of applause, showing the immense support he has received in his quest to become President.

This event highlights the difference between Obama and his predecessors. Obama’s rise to presidency has been celebrated all over the world in a style that has never been seen before. Perhaps this is just the reaction to change, with Obama becoming the first young, African-American Democrat in the presidential role, or perhaps it is the backlash reaction to the end of George W. Bush’s eight year reign. Barack Obama has become somewhat like a celebrity, whose cult status soared during his election campaign. From the young to the old, everyone is aware of Obama’s presence. But is this just hype - will Obama be able to live up to his name? Or is this exactly the right reaction to such an event? Tune into The Sunday Review, noon on Freshair and find out what we have to say on the issue.

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