Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician who is the current President of the Russian Federation, holding the office since 7 May 2012.He was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2000, President from 2000 to 2008, and again Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012.During his second term as Prime Minister, he was the Chairman of the United Russia Party, the ruling party.Born in Saint Petersburg, Putin studied German at Saint Petersburg High School 281, and speaks fluent German.He then studied law at the Saint Petersburg State University, graduating in 1975.Putin was a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before retiring in 1991 to enter politics in his native Saint Petersburg. He moved to Moscow in 1996 and joined President Boris Yeltsin’s administration, rising quickly through the ranks and becoming Acting President on 31 December 1999, when Yeltsin resigned. Putin won the subsequent 2000 presidential election by a 53% to 30% margin, thus avoiding a runoff with his Communist Party opponent, Gennady Zyuganov. He was reelected President in 2004 with 72% of the vote.
Barack Hussein Obama is an American politician who is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office and the first president born outside the continental United States. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School between 1992 and 2004. While serving three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, he ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary for the United States House of Representatives in 2000 against incumbent Bobby Rush.