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Barack Obama: Audacity of Hope

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With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Friday, October 20, 2006

US Senator Barack Obama, D-IL discusses his book, *The Audacity of Hope*, and his views on American politics with New York Times columnist Bob Herbert.

Barack Obama is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama was the junior United States Senator from Illinois from January 2005 until November 2008, when he resigned after his election to the presidency. Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the first African American president of *the Harvard Law Review*. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. Obama served three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, Obama ran for United States Senate in 2004. His victory from a crowded field in the March 2004 Democratic primary raised his visibility, and his prime-time televised keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004 made him a rising star nationally in the Democratic Party. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2004 by the largest margin in Illinois history. He began his run for the presidency in February 2007. After a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party's nomination, becoming the first major party African American candidate for president. In the 2008 general election, he defeated Republican candidate John McCain and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009.
Bob Herbert joined The New York Times as an op-ed columnist in 1993. His twice a week column comments on politics, urban affairs and social trends. Prior to joining *The Times*, Mr. Herbert was a national correspondent for NBC from 1991 to 1993, reporting regularly on *The Today Show* and *NBC Nightly News*. He had worked as a reporter and editor at *The Daily News* from 1976 until 1985, when he became a columnist and member of its editorial board. In 1990, Mr. Herbert was a founding panelist of *Sunday Edition*, a weekly discussion program on WCBS-TV in New York, and the host of *Hotline*, a weekly issues program on New York public television. He began his career as a reporter with The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., in 1970. He became its night city editor in 1973. Mr. Herbert has won numerous awards, including the Meyer Berger Award for coverage of New York City and the American Society of Newspaper Editors award for distinguished newspaper writing. He was chairman of the Pulitzer Prize jury for spot news reporting in 1993.