The Rhetorical War Presidency of Barack Obama

11 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2012

See all articles by Michael S. Kochin

Michael S. Kochin

Tel Aviv University - Political Science

Date Written: May 31, 2012


Candidate Barack Obama proved his superior foreign policy judgment by arguing that Bush had failed to prosecute the "war in Afghanistan" while launching an unnecessary war in Iraq. In saying that Bush had not done enough in Afghanistan, Obama was understood as promising to do more. Obama had to do something in Afghanistan, even though the war against the Taliban (a) was only questionably relevant to American security, (b) contradicted the very principles of Candidate Obama's critique of Bush's Iraq war, and (c) could not be won with the resources President Obama was willing to commit. On Afghanistan, Obama proved the veritable prisoner of his own rhetorical presidency.

Keywords: rhetoric, presidency, Afghanistan, Obama, Bush, character

Suggested Citation

Kochin, Michael S., The Rhetorical War Presidency of Barack Obama (May 31, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Michael S. Kochin (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Political Science ( email )

Tel-Aviv, 69978


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