In Strasbourg yesterday, the president was asked about American exceptionalism. "I believe in American exceptionalism," he began, "just as I suspect the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." Leaving aside that we Greeks believe our exceptionalism to be exceptional and exceptionally old, the president's answer was masterful as he went on to talk about America's core set of values, quickly pivoting to the need to recognize "that we're not always going to be right" and "that other people may have good ideas." So basically, yes, we are exceptional -- when we live up to our exceptional values. It's going to take a while to repair America's reputation -- and thus its ability to lead in the world -- but in Europe this week, Obama made an exceptional start.
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