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2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate
During a run for the presidency, candidates have a lot to think about: the economy, foreign policy, the concerns of the American people. In between making speeches and meeting potential voters, however, candidates do find time to relax and think about other things.
"I dream about playing basketball," Senator Barack Obama said in a 2007 television interview.
Obama was on his junior varsity high school team in Honolulu, Hawaii. He also played between classes at Harvard Law School and while running for Senate in 2004. Basketball is so much a part of his life that the Senator played a game on the morning of each primary vote for good luck.
Of course, the strains of running for President have cut into the time he has to shoot hoops. This election has even more importance because Obama is running to be the first African-American President in U.S. history. If he becomes President, he says he's going to have a basketball court constructed at the White House. He wouldn't be the first President to add on to the presidential mansion in order to play sports. In 1969, Richard Nixon, an avid bowler, had a bowling alley constructed in the basement.
Obama says his top priority is neither the game nor the campaign, however. It's his family. According to his wife, Michelle, the Obama family, which also includes two daughters, travels together as much as possible during the campaign. When they can't be together, though, they have a webcam hookup that allows the Senator to stay in constant contact with his wife and children.
Obama's family has been vital in how he thinks about the big issues in this campaign.
"I've got two young girls at home, Sasha, who's 6, and Malia, who's 9," Obama told Scholastic News. "Every day on the campaign trail I'm thinking about how we can make this world a better place for their generation. And every day in the White House, I'll fight for children—whether it's by improving our schools or cleaning up or environment."
Regardless of the outcome of Obama's historic bid to become President, the Obama family will grow by one member when all is said and done. "The girls requested when we got in this race that win or lose, we get a dog," Michelle Obama told Scholastic News. "So no matter what, we will be welcoming a four-legged friend to our house." Or maybe to the White House!
For more information, visit this candidate's Web site.
Get to know Republican presidential candidate John McCain here.
by Gabyliz Machado
Scholastic Kids Press Corps | January22,2008
Michelle Obama is a busy woman. In addition to her career in public service, Michelle speaks at campaign rallies, town meetings, and any other place in support of her husband's campaign. She's also mom to 9 year old Malia and 6 year old Sasha.
Write a Biography
Scholastic News Online | In this lesson plan using resources from Scholastic News Online, students research the presidential candidates and write fun biographies in the form of talk-show interviews.
Scholastic News Online | You can vote for President in Scholastic's Student Vote!
Scholastic News Online | Do you know where the candidates for President stand on the issues? Explore the chart in this activity to discover what John McCain and Barack Obama think about major social and political issues.
Scholastic News Online | Can you guess where the presidential candidates stand on the issues? Read the clues below and guess whether it's something that John McCain or Barack Obama wants to do as President. Click on the box with the question mark to see if you're right.