Mrs. Obama has not been proud of being an American for her entire political life.
Her husband sees an America full of problems and promise.
Combine the two facts with his policy ideas and one begins to suspect that both Obamas long to return to the golden age of their childhoods. They long not for Camelot, but for Lyndon Johnson’s great society.
The problems of American, Obama implies in every speech, are caused by the failure of government to act on the promises Lyndon Johnson made in the sixties. He does not name Johnson, at least often, but he consistently emulates him with a modern social libertine twist.
The real vision of the Obama campaign is turning back the clock to the expansive domestic government action of the Johnson administration. Liberals have long agonized that the failure of the Vietnam War got this ambitious growth of government programs off track. Obama is trying to undue the agonizing (to the Left) Clinton proclamation that “the era of big government is over.”