Why is Obama apologizing for America?

In our minds and hearts, most Republicans go straight to Reagan’s description of the shining city on the hill when we hear the term “American exceptionalism.” We see America as the solution to the world’s most intractable challenges. While we understand that we are not perfect, we see America as the nation that gives the most, works the hardest, and fights the fights that need to be fought to protect free people everywhere.

By contrast, the Obama camp made clear, during last year’s presidential campaign, that in its view, the city is shining no more. “It’s going to take a generation or so,” Samantha Power, then a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama, told Newsweek senior editor Michael Hirsh in an article for the Washington Monthly, “to reclaim American exceptionalism.” Americans, Power said, were “neither the shining example, nor even competent meddlers” in the world’s problems.