Barack Hussein Obama, the Illinois Democratic senator, the fifth African-American senator in U.S. history, is currently the only African American serving in this higher chamber of Congress.
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One of the Democratic Party's leading candidates for president, Obama is widely considered the first Black to have a genuine shot at taking over the White House.
Although he is not the first African American to run for the coveted seat, he continues to transcend race while not losing site of who he is.
Since announcing his candidacy in February 2007, Obama has emphasized ending the Iraq war and establishing universal health care.