by Andrew Sprung
"Political scientist Julia Azari, who has written a book about presidential rhetoric, suggests that Obama's rhetoric has so far failed to be transformative: A more nuanced critique of Obama’s rhetoric might suggest that, especially early on, his rhetorical choices fit very neatly into existing terms of debate. His speeches have offered very little in terms of new ways of understanding the central policy issues of his presidency – healthcare, the minimum wage, immigration, climate change and the environment. I’m not arguing that with better framing, Obama would have been more successful on these issues. But the old frames have allowed opponents to define the discussion, even after policies are signed into law. "But, says Sprung:
Obama has always told a coherent story about American history that feeds a macro case for moving the center back to the left. I've documented this over and over. The narrative theme is a "more perfect union," the tale of a nation moving ever closer to fulfilling its founding ideals, which can never be fully realized. Periodically, the nation musters the will to widen the circles of equal rights and economic opportunity. It took a wrong turn with Reagan that accelerated with Bush Jr. It's time to restore our commitment to shared prosperity -- not only because it's fair and improves lives, but because economic growth that mainly benefits the wealthy is not sustainable."
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