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Obama: Every Country Is Exceptional

Given the withering critique from Russia's President Putin in his recent op-ed piece in the New York Times about President's Obama's claim that America is an "exceptional" nation, I think it is worth pointing out that Obama never claimed the mantle of "exceptionalism" solely for the United States, but has publicly stated in the past that all nations rightly think of themselves as "exceptional." Here are his remarks from an April 4, 2009 press conference in Strasbourg, France where Obama was asked about "American exceptionalism" --

I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. I am enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world... I don't think America should be embarrassed to see evidence of the sacrifices of our troops, the enormous amount of resources that were put into Europe postwar, and our leadership in crafting an alliance that ultimately led to the unification of Europe. We should take great pride in that. And if you think of our current situation, the United States remains the largest economy in the world. We have unmatched military capability. And I think we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution,in our body of laws, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality that, though imperfect, are exceptional.

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