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Barack Obama is the first African American to be elected president of the United States. Obama was the junior United States Senator from Illinois from 2005 until he resigned on November 16, 2008, following his election to the presidency on November 4. Obama won the presidency with 53% of the popular vote and a wide electoral college margin. Throughout his presidential campaign, Obama emphasized the issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care. In his victory speech, delivered before a crowd of hundreds of thousands of his supporters in Grant Park in Chicago, Obama proclaimed that "change has come to America."