Buoyed by the recent Supreme Court decisions on Obamacare and same-sex marriage —
coinciding with the racially motivated killings of nine black parishioners in a Charleston, South Carolina, church, an act that sparked national outrage over the Confederate flag —
President Barack Obama has re-emerged as a "full-throated progressive" whose message of hope and change during the 2008 presidential campaign won the hearts and votes of the American electorate, according to The Guardian.
"In the past 10 days, through the intervention of America’s top judges combined with public revulsion towards the murderous actions of a white supremacist, Obama has seen the national mood shift sharply in his direction," the newspaper reports.
"His signature healthcare reform, Obamacare, has been secured at least for now; gay marriage has been elevated into a constitutional right; and the Confederate flag has been torn down across the deep South."
While delivering the eulogy "to a dazzled crowd of black mourners" and a national television audience for the pastor slain in the Charleston massacre, Obama "metaphorically and literally found his voice."
USA Today points out
that the president framed his speech around its dramatic ending, singing "Amazing Grace," by using the word "grace" 35 times while characterizing how the victims’ families offered forgiveness to the accused killer, the peaceful unity of the city of Charleston in the shootings’ aftermath, and bipartisan calls to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol.
"As a nation, out of this terrible tragedy, God has visited grace upon us," Obama preached. "For he has allowed us to see where we've been blind —
He has given us the chance, where we've been lost, to find our best selves."
The president peppered the word "blind," or a variation of it appeared eight times, the newspaper continued, when describing how the killings "opened Americans' eyes to a litany of ongoing social changes, from the scourge of gun violence to the minefield of race relations."
During his speech, Obama issued what The Washington Post describes
as a "call to action" on gun control and race, "two of the thorniest and most divisive problems of his presidency."
The rousing delivery helped the president recover "some credibility from the vindication of his policy stances and moral authority from his powerful statement following the Charleston killings," University of Texas at Austin professor Bruce Buchanan, a specialist in presidential politics, told the Guardian. "It remains to be seen if he can use either as leverage to press his remaining policy ambitions."
Last summer, CNN ran a piece examining
whether Obama was a "powerless lame duck."
The Guardian notes that "Obama has in the past expended so much political capital with so little result that he has looked like a president who had recognized he was on the losing side of the argument, and bowed out," citing the his failure to move gun control reform following the December 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting in which 20 children and six adults were shot dead.
But he has emerged reinvigorated since his administration’s Supreme Court victories and the broad support for his Charleston eulogy. He’s exuding the bold confidence Americans first saw in 2008 and touting, with assurance, his progressive agenda.
Over the weekend, Obama’s personal political listserv sent an email calling for supporters to "stand against gun violence," according to The Guardian.
that the president has been "reborn" and that his "voice broke through in a way that it hasn’t, maybe, since the 2004 keynote address that introduced him to America."
The past week has been "an exclamation point on already historic and satisfying paragraphs," Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, told the website, a reference to the president’s assertion that via his presidency, he wants to "write his paragraph in history."
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