Skills and Intellect of President Barack Obama Essay

Decent Essays

President Barack Obama is a name known around the world thanks to his political triumphs and historical presidency. He has an extensive educational background and has a strong political resume to match. In the book Reading Obama by James Kloppenberg, Kloppenberg not only applauded President Obama’s educational journey as a means to developing the necessary skills to be a leader, but also viewed Obama as an intellectual and philosophical president which he believes are unique characteristics only present in a minority of American historians. Kloppenberg uses Obama’s own publications, such as his published books as well as issues of the Harvard Law Review, as an analytical tool to develop what he believes is Obama’s political philosophy. …show more content…

Pragmatism deals with a straight forward way of thinking and is centered on solving problems. As stated in lecture eight, “pragmatists promoted a “philosophy” of relativism not universalism” (Professor Garcia Lecture 8). This means that, in terms of pragmatism, one does what they consider is essential instead of following a natural law based upon philosophical principles and morality. In any matter, the truth as to what the right thing to do is relative to the situation and there is not a universally correct answer for all eternity. What is considered right changes over the years and law is meant to be changed as economic and political situations vary. The political philosophy of pragmatism helps Kloppenberg support his argument that Obama is more than just intelligent, that he is an intellectual. Kloppenberg states that, “Obama is also very much an intellectual” along with being a politician (Kloppenberg). He stresses that unlike other Presidents who were extremely intelligent, President Obama is “able to interrogate his own convictions—to place them in a broader cultural and historical context by imaginatively scrutinizing them from a position centuries in the future—without abandoning them” (Kloppenberg). Other Presidents, such as Richard Nixon, were considered extremely intelligent in Kloppenberg’s opinion; however, he believed that was a result of opportunism and the goal of career advancement. Furthermore,

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