By Heather E. Harris, Kimberly R. Moffitt, Catherine R. Squires
Well timed, multidisciplinary research of Obama's presidential crusade, its context, and its impression.
Read Online or Download The Obama Effect: Multidisciplinary Renderings of the 2008 Campaign PDF
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Extra info for The Obama Effect: Multidisciplinary Renderings of the 2008 Campaign
Obama operationalizes his American exceptionalism through his suggestion that the United States lead by example. In what follows, I present Obama’s American exceptionalism as three interrelated themes: the United States as the greatest country in the world, the greatness of the United States as its capacity for reform, and the United States as leading by example. ” Importantly, in contrast to his predecessors, Obama personalizes his presentation of the United States as exceptional. ”49 Clearly, this statement evokes American exceptionalism as it is the only place in which a story like Obama’s could take place.
Instead of talking about milestones reached, then, we could ask: Why did it take so long? What prevented it from happening sooner? Perhaps Obama can be understood as an “unjustly overdue” milestone, emphasizing not national pride, but national humility that it took so long. 11 The Obama Effect The ideological assumptions surrounding Obama as a symbol of racial progress depoliticize his racial difference to service current status quo racial understandings. The implications of framing Obama in this way ultimately lead to an overarching conclusion: Obama’s racial victory is framed in ways that reinforce the logic and perspective of whiteness as the norm.
It is also important to note Obama’s personalizing of this story. Past presidents have presented general statements to citizens of the world living outside the United States, but Obama positions people of all nations as equal partners in a global family, rather than cases for charity and pity from the United States. For example, Kennedy addressed citizens of the world, but described them as living “in huts,”64 which suggests a more “primitive” status. ” Obama operationalizes this sense of being implicated in the world further in his Inaugural Address.