Barack Hussein Obama II (born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. He began his presidential campaign in 2007, and in 2008, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won sufficient delegates in the Democratic party primaries to receive the presidential nomination. He then defeated Republican nominee John McCain in the general election, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. Nine months later, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He was re-elected president in November 2012, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and sworn in for a second term on January 21, 2013.
Early in his first term in office, Obama signed into law economic stimulus legislation in response to the 2007–2009 recession in the United States in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Other major domestic initiatives in his first term include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010; the Budget Control Act of 2011; and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. In May 2012, he became the first sitting U.S. president to publicly support legalizing same-sex marriage.