The Obama Presidency (2009-2017).pdf

The Obama Presidency (2009-2017)

Alix Meyer

The election of the first African-American president raised enormous expectations. As a candidate, Barack Obama embodied and campaigned on the idea of Hope and Change. Mostpresidents usually fall short of their lofty campaign promises. Yet, because Obamá s promises were loftier than most, the gap between the campaigns rhetoric and the drab reality of leading the US administration appeared more stark. Barack Obama came to power at a time when polarization within elected officials, the electorate and society at large was growing. Despite the balm of his rhetoric of unity and his efforts to appeal to Republicans, his presidency seemed to supercharge this dynamic. To a large portion of conservatives, he was an illegitimate dictator determined to destroy the American way of life and a weak commander in chief who surrendered US supremacy on the world stage. To many Democrats, he was the symbol of Americas forward stride in race relations, a brilliant orator with a steady hand at the helm that took the country out of the depth of the Great Recession and the quagmire of Iraq, while finally providing every American with health insurance, making it possible for same-sex couples to get married and ridding the world of Bin Laden. Obviously, both visions cannot be true. Fortunately, the study of his presidency offers a way out of the trap of hagiographies and negative pamphlets to look at the power of his office and the limits that he faced.

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The Obama Presidency (2009-2017).pdf

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