Title

Yes We Can or "Yes We Did"? Prospective and Retrospective Change in the Obama Presidency

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2010

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Abstract

The election of Barack Obama as the first African American president speaks to the progress made in fulfilling the promise of one nation for all people. Obama's success reflects retrospective changes, such as the advent of viral technology, the mobilization of Black voters, and the shift toward tolerance in White racial attitudes, all of which allowed a strategic Obama campaign to make landmark gains. But are these changes permanent? Moreover, will these retrospective changes benefit future African American candidates seeking political office? On the other hand, following an extremely unpopular Bush administration, the Obama victory could reflect the prospective changes that many voters believed would follow, including the restoration of American credibility abroad, economic recovery, and the move toward a postracial state. Have Obama's first 100 days fulfilled these prospective visions? And if so, will Obama's actions in these areas prove advantageous to minority candidates who follow in his historic footsteps?

Publication Title

Journal of Black Studies

Volume

40

Issue

3

First Page

462

Last Page

483