I found an article that examines the results of a word search of the U.S. presidents' use of the phrase "American exceptionalism." I thought it fit well with out past discussions regarding American exceptionalism and out upcoming one about the presidents' State of the Union addresses and their word choices.
The article, posted below, states "Only one sitting president in the last 82 years has publicly uttered the magical phrase 'American exceptionalism'--" and that was President Obama. It then goes on to describe how he was criticized by Katheleen Parker, a columnist, for the word being absent in his State of the Union address despite being the only President in the last eight decades to use the phrase at all.
Kathleen Parker questioned why Obama omitted the word when it would put some American's worries about his patriotism at rest stating, "On the right, the word exceptional--or exceptionalism--lately has become a litmus test for patriotism. It's the new flag lapel pin, the one-word pocket edition of the U.S. Constitution. ... So why won't Obama just deliver the one word that would prompt arias from his doubters?"
The article points out that presidents have used the word exceptional on many occasions with regard to people, but not the country. Why do you think the phrase "American exceptionalism" appears to be avoided by presidents, yet, the word exceptional is broadly attached to other subjects? Also, why do you think there is a sudden refocus on "American exceptionalism?" Parker believes it's the new proof of patriotism that Obama is lacking. How did this seemingly forgotten about phrase, that no other president in the last 82 years has used, suddenly become "The new flag lapel pin?"