In the 2012 election, Obama faced Republican opponent Mitt Romney and Romneys vice presidential running mate, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan. On the evening of November 6, 2012, Obama was announced the winner of the election, gaining a second four year term as president. Early election results indicated a close race. By midnight on Election Day, however, Obama had received more than 270 electoral votes the number of votes required to win a U.S. presidential election; later results showed that the president had won nearly 60 percent of the electoral vote, as well as the popular vote by more than 1 million ballots.early one month after President Obamas re election, the nation endured one of its most tragic school shootings to date: On December 14, 2012, 20 children and six adult workers were shot to death at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Two days after the attack, Obama delivered a speech at an interfaith vigil for the victims in Newtown, discussing a need for change in order to make schools safer, and alluding to implementing stricter gun control. These tragedies must end, Obama stated. We cant accept events like these as routine. In the coming weeks, Ill use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens, from law enforcement, to mental health professionals, to parents and educators, in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this, because what choice do we have? Are we really prepared to say that were powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard?
bama achieved a major legislative victory on January 1, 2013, when the Republican controlled House of Representatives approved a bipartisan agreement on tax increases and spending cuts, in an effort to avoid the looming fiscal cliff crisis (the Senate voted in favor of the bill earlier that day). The agreement marked a productive first step toward the presidents re election promise of reducing the federal defecit by raising taxes on the extremely wealthy individuals earning more than $400,000 per year and couples earning more than $450,000, according to the bill. Prior to the the bills passage, in late 2012, tense negotiations between Republicans and Democrats over spending cuts and tax increases became a bitter political battle. Vice President Joe Biden managed to hammer out a deal with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Obama pledged to sign the bill into law.arack Obama officially began his second term on January 21, 2013. The inauguration was held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Civil rights activist Myrlie Evers Williams, the widow of Medgar Evers, gave the invocation. James Taylor, Beyonc? Knowles and Kelly Clarkson sang at the ceremony and poet Richard Blanco read his poem One Today. U.S. Supreme Court Chief John Roberts conducted Obamas presidential oath of office. After completing his oath, Obama was congratulated by his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha.
In his inaugural address, Obama called the nation to action on such issues as climate change, health care and marriage equality. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that todays victories will be only partial and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years and 40 years and 400 years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall, Obama told the crowd gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol building.Celebrations continued that day. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attended two official inauguration balls, including one held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. There the first couple danced the Al Green classic Lets Stay Together, sung by Jennifer Hudson. Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx also performed.
After the inauguration, Obama led the nation through many challenges. None more difficult perhaps, the bombing of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Three people were killed and more than 200 people were injured in this terror attack. Obama traveled to Boston to speak at a memorial service three days after the bombings. To the wounded, he said Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run again. Of that I have no doubt. You will run again. And he applaused the citys citizens response to this tragedy. Youve shown us, Boston, that in the face of evil, Americans will lift up whats good. In the face of cruelty, we will choose compassion.By June, Obama had suffered a significant drop in his approval ratings in a CNN ORC International poll. He declined to an approval rating of only 45 percent his lowest rating in more than 18 months. The poll results meant that more than half of Americans disapproved of how Obama was doing as president. Experts attribute the ratings slide to several factors, including the controversy surrounding the NSA surveillance program.
Obama defended the NSAs program, which includes email monitoring and telephone wiretapping, during a visit to Germany that June. We are not rifling through the emails of German citizens or American citizens or French citizens or anyone else, he said, according to the Financial Times.The encroachment on privacy has been strictly limited. Obama stated that the program has helped stop roughly 50 threats.In early July 2013, President Obama made history when he joined former President George W. Bush in Africa to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Osama bin Ladens first U.S. attack. The event marked the first meeting between two U.S. presidents on foreign soil in commemoration of an act of terrorism.
Later that month, Obama spoke out about the Trayvon Martin murder trial and the outrage that followed the jurys verdict. His shooter George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing the African American teen in Florida. In a White House press conference, the president said that when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. Obama explained that this particular case was a state matter, but he discussed how the federal government could address some of the legislative and racial issues brought up by this situation.Obama found himself grappling with an international crisis in late August and September 2013. It was discovered that Syrian leader Bashar al Assad had used chemical weapons against civilians. According to the White House website, Obama said that thousands of people, including over 400 children, had been killed in these attacks. Syrias actions present a serious national security threat to the United States and to the region, and as a consequence, Assad and Syria needs to be held accountable. The president then worked to persuade Congress and the international community at large to take action against Syria.
As the positions of the members of Congress revealed that the majority was in favor of refraining from striking Syria, Obama announced an alternative solution. During an address on forthcoming action against Syria made on September 10, 2013, Obama stated that if al Assad agreed with the stipulations outlined in a proposal made by Russia to give up its chemical weapons, then a direct strike against the nation could be avoided. Al Assad acknowledged the possession of chemical weapons and was receptive to the idea of a proposal from Russia, however Obama stated that Its too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments.Later that month, Obama made diplomatic strides with Iran. He spoke with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani on the phone, which marked the first time the leaders of the two countries have had direct contact in decades. This groundbreaking move by Obama is seen by many as a sign of thawing in the relationship between the United States and Iran. According to an NBC News report, Obama said that The two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over Irans nuclear program. Obama expressed some optimism that a deal on the issue could be reached.bama found himself struggling on the domestic front in October 2013. There was a 16 day shutdown of the federal government, which was caused by a dispute over the federal budget. Republicans especially wanted to defund or otherwise derail Obamas Affordable Care Act. After a deal had been reached to end the shutdown, Obama used his weekly address to express his frustration over the situation and his desire for political reform. The way business is done in Washington has to change. Now that these clouds of crisis and uncertainty have lifted, we need to focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do grow the economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, lay the foundation for broad based prosperity, and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul.
The Affordable Care Act continued to come under fire in October after the failed launch of HealthCare.gov, which was meant to help people find health insurance. Extra technical support was brought in to work on the troubled website after users encountered difficulty with it in its early days. The act also seemed to impact the existing insurance policies of many Americans, causing them to lose coverage. According to the Chicago Tribune, Obama insisted that his legislation didnt cause the coverage change, the insurance companies did. He said, Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received, or used minor pre existing conditions to jack up your premiums, or bill you into bankruptcy.nder mounting pressure, Obama found himself apologizing regarding some health care changes. He told those who lost their insurance plans that I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me, according to a NBC News report. Obama pledged to find a remedy to this problem. We are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.Obama had to manage more challenges in the area of foreign relations around this time as well. In October 2013, German chancellor Angela Merkel revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency had been listening in to her cell phone calls. Speaking at a summit of European leaders, Merkel said that Spying among friends is never acceptable, according to CNN.com.In the wake of several controversies, Obama saw his approval rating drop to a new low in November 2013. Only 37 percent of Americans polled by CBS News thought he was doing a good job as president. Another 57 percent disapproved of his handling of the nation.
In March 2014, in an effort to provide relief for Ukrainians following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution which began with civil unrest and protests in Kiev and led to the downfall of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovychs administration, and subsequently, work to establish a new government for the country it was announced that Obama had ordered a round of sanctions targeting individuals and businesses considered by the U.S. government to be Ukraine agitators or involved in the Crimean crisis where Russian troops seizure of control led to a referendum to decide whether the region could separate from the Ukraine and join Russia.The proposed referendum on the future of Crimea would violate the Ukrainian constitution and violate international law, Obama stated at the White House. In 2014 we are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders. According to the president, the sanctions give the U.S. the flexibility to adjust our response going forwarder based on Russias actions. We took these steps in close coordination with our European allies.Obama faced more difficulties at home and abroad later that year. In addition to the ongoing troubles in Ukraine, tensions between Israelis and Palestinians erupted into violence during the summer. He also faced a domestic situation regarding the U.S. Mexico border, with tens of thousands of children making the perilous crossing alone. Many Republicans called for the rapid deportation of these illegal immigrants while others considered the situation to a humanitarian crisis. Another of the presidents woes came from the legislative branch. Speaker of the House John Boehner launched an effort to sue Obama for overstepping his executive powers with some of his actions regarding the Affordable Care Act.