Search for...

Why Did Barack Obama Enter Politics?

by Maya Black, Demand Media

    On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the first African American to take the presidential oath of office. But, even though Obama became a household name in 2008, his political roots go back to the mid-1980s, when he was a community organizer in Chicago. Although there may be many reasons why Barack Obama entered politics, helping people change their communities for the better at the grassroots level appears to be the most significant.

    A Reason to Run

    Barack Obama first ran for Illinois State Senate in 1996. During his time as a state senator, he was instrumental in the passing of approximately 300 bills specifically aimed at helping the state's poor, elderly and labor unions. Although he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Obama set his sights higher, taking his message of social justice and equality for all U.S. citizens to the White House. Obama was elected to serve a second term in 2012.

    In His Own Words

    In 2009, Barack Obama wrote an open letter to his daughters, Malia and Sasha, that was published in "Parade" magazine. In the letter, he explained that he entered politics, and ultimately ran for president, to make it possible for every American to have access to a good education, a good job and affordable health care.

    Style Your World With Color

    About the Author

    Maya Black, a seasoned writer and editor based in Washington, D.C., has written articles for publications such as USA Today, Global Post, Chron, Opposing Views and The Arizona Republic. Black has edited articles published on websites such as TurboTax USA and TurboTax Canada.

    Photo Credits

    • Sean Gardner/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Watch An Education Video!