Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2009

The Rise of President Barack Hussein Obama

by David A. Thomas, Laura Morgan Roberts and Stephanie Creary


This case profiles President Barack Hussein Obama's rise to the presidency as an "improbable candidate." The case illustrates the ways in which he overcame criticism from those who questioned his credibility and his values, and skepticism from those who were unsure whether America was ready to elect its first African American President. It also explores how President Obama was able to gain support from the American people despite lagging behind Senator Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic frontrunner, throughout much of the pre-primary period.

Keywords: Ethnicity; Race; Political Elections; Leadership; Personal Development and Career; Creativity; Trust;


Thomas, David A., Laura Morgan Roberts, and Stephanie Creary. "The Rise of President Barack Hussein Obama." Harvard Business School Case 409-115, June 2009.