Obama sprinkles his rhetoric with talk about competing and winning in the 21st century, and he often suggests that China is taking initiatives in energy, mass transit and education, for example that we are not. What’s lacking is a coherent call for reform and restoration that is unapologetically patriotic and challenging.He needs his own narrative about American exceptionalism. It would not pretend that the United States can occupy exactly the same position it enjoyed before China’s rise. But his vision would insist that it is not our country’s fate to be another of history’s global powers that looked on helplessly as its influence and living standards declined.Obama should be even more insistent on using the contest with China as a prod, much as John F. Kennedy used competition with the Soviet Union to get the country moving again domestically as well as overseas.
E.J. Dionne Jr. – Can Obama find his morning in America?