Shortly after becoming President of the United States in 2009, Barack Obama was asked by a reporter in Strasbourg, France whether or not he adhered to a philosophy of American exceptionalism. The reporter intended to mean whether Obama believed the United States is uniquely qualified to lead the world. The President began his response with the following: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” A year later, Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney wrote a book where he alleges this response proves President Obama “doesn't believe [American exceptionalism] at all” and criticized him for that stance. Furthermore, President Obama's response was brought up again during the 2012 election when Governor Romney challenged him for the Presidency. Even though the quote above is only the beginning of his entire reply, the entire exchange highlights the role American exceptionalism still plays in the political sphere. My essay emphasizes three important questions: the definition of American exceptionalism, its previous and current role in politics, and assessments of its validity from both advocates and critics.
An analysis of the 2008 race to the White House by three of CC's political luminaries: President Richard F. Celeste and Political Science Professors Tom Cronin and Bob Loevy as they offer insights and comments on the 2008 presidential election. Sponsored by the 1874 Society. Part of Notable Lectures & Performances series, Colorado College. Recorded April 16, 2008.
Donna Brazile is founder and managing director of Brazile and Associates, LLC, chair of the Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute (VRI) and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She is a senior political strategist and former campaign manager for Gore-Lieberman 2000, a weekly contributor and political commentator on CNN, and a veteran of numerous national and statewide campaigns. Part of Notable Lectures & Performances series, Colorado College. Recorded April 2, 2007.
This homecoming panel is part of the college's Sondermann Series: Elections 2008. Panelists include Chuck Buxton '68, senior editor at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat; Eric Sondermann '76, president of SE2 Associates in Denver; and CC political science professors Timothy Fuller and Bob Loevy. Recorded October 10, 2008.