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The Fall of the House of Obama?

Can Obama still defend an agenda for prosperity?

Is there still room for hope at the White House?

In 2008, the election of Barack Obama as 44th president of the United States was interpreted across the world as a message of hope, as a sign that racial barriers had fallen forever. All wanted to believe that this offspring of mixed races, embodying the possibility of a pacific dialogue between cultures, would be able to give flesh to his dreams in a highly polarized America. Everyone hoped that “all things [were] possible” again.

Three years into his mandate, the enthusiasm of 2008 is long gone. Obama has lost his political credibility. His taste for reconciliation and overcoming of partisanship have shown their limits in his attempts to reform the US government. The economic crisis has not paved the way for a new New Deal, and the reform of the welfare state has not been as transformative as was initially foreseen. In a country where unemployment remains high, the deficit keeps rising steeply, and increasing income inequalities largely explain the hollowing out of the middle class, can Obama, whose popularity rates keep declining, still defend an agenda for prosperity?

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Pauline Peretz, « The Fall of the House of Obama? », Books and Ideas , 30 December 2011. ISSN : 2105-3030. URL :

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by Pauline Peretz , 30 December 2011

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