The Obama Doctrine

Carl Pedersen

in Obama's America

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780748638949
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672059 | DOI:
The Obama Doctrine

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The initial success of Barack Obama's candidacy for president owed a good deal to a speech he gave in October 2002, when he was a relatively unknown state senator from Illinois. At the time, the Bush administration proposed a resolution before Congress authorising George W. Bush to use military force against the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. As a reaction to the proposed resolution, an anti-war group in Chicago organised a demonstration. They invited Obama, then a state senator representing the South Side of Chicago, to speak at the rally. In a revealing exchange during one of the Democratic presidential candidates' debates in late January 2008, Obama went beyond just stating his opposition to the war. Several of Obama's foreign policy advisers emphasised the concept of ‘dignity promotion’. Public fatigue with the war, coupled with the financial crisis, which many voters associated with the party in power, clearly helped Obama in the general election. In his public statements, Obama has trodden the line of American exceptionalism while in subtle ways he has tried to undermine it.

Keywords: Barack Obama; foreign policy; George W. Bush; Iraq; war; financial crisis; dignity promotion; exceptionalism

Chapter.  6312 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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