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Articles on Barack Obama

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Amid strong political pressure to pack the Supreme Court, President Biden formed a commission to study ways to reform the court. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Biden’s Supreme Court commission probably won’t sway public opinion

Presidents form commissions to study controversial problems and recommend solutions. President Biden created one while under pressure to pack the Supreme Court. Will a commission help him politically?
Evangelist Billy Graham came to have an enormous influence on American politics and culture. Keystone/ Collections Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Why the legacy of Billy Graham continues to endure: 3 essential reads

A PBS documentary has reinitiated conversations about the influence of Billy Graham. Here are three articles that describe the impact and the enduring legacy of the famed preacher.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, is visible as President Joe Biden holds a virtual meeting with the Mexican president at the White House in March 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Joe Biden’s first 100 days: A nostalgia for past foreign policy bravado?

What do Biden's first 100 days in office mean for the next four years in terms of foreign policy? There are already some clues — but questions too.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, standing at center and facing left just above the eagle, takes the presidential oath of office for the third time in 1941. FDR Presidential Library and Museum via Flickr

Has any US president ever served more than eight years?

Only one president has done so – Franklin Delano Roosevelt – but others considered it, and even tried.
The White House never provided the National Archives with an official transcript of what Trump said at this rally in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 20, 2017. John Minchillo/AP Photo

Trump, defying custom, hasn’t given the National Archives records of his speeches at political rallies

All presidents must deposit transcriptions of their public statements with the National Archives. But in the case of Donald Trump, there’s something missing.
If a proposed law passes, this group of immigrants apprehended at the U.S. border near Mission, Texas, would be called ‘noncitizens,’ not ‘aliens.’ Sergio Flores for The Washington Post via Getty Images

From ‘aliens’ to ‘noncitizens’ – the Biden administration is proposing to change a legal term to recognize the humanity of non-Americans

Words matter, writes an immigration scholar. It is far easier to deny the humanity of an ‘alien’ than to do so for a ‘noncitizen.’
American and Cuban flags hang from a wall with an old camera hung in between in Havana, Cuba, on Jan. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

U.S.-Cuba relations: Will Joe Biden pick up where Barack Obama left off?

Joe Biden could return to the path blazed by Barack Obama on Cuba, when two years of bilateral negotiations helped undo more than five decades of hostility.
Joe Biden has cast his campaign to “restore the soul of America” as an antidote to the turmoil of the Trump presidency. AP Photo/Scott Applewhite

Post-inauguration, restoring the soul of Biden’s America must be truly inclusive

Joe Biden has said he wants to create a cabinet that “looks like America.” But getting racialized people into powerful positions should be a means to tackle structural inequalities, not a goal in and of itself.
It’s a top government job, but what does being vice president mean? AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

What does the vice president do?

The vice president may be second in line for the most powerful job in the nation, but there isn’t necessarily a lot to do besides wait – unless the president wants another adviser.
An important ceremony: the U.S. Capitol during President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Why do presidential inaugurations matter?

Formal ceremonies and rituals can trigger psychological signals that command people’s attention and strengthen the perceived importance of those moments.
In a photo from 2004, Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama, right, speaks with a fellow legislator on the floor of the state Senate chamber. AP photo/Randy Squires

Obama book offers key insight about how laws really get made

Many former legislators offer accounts of their service – but few analyze the institutions in which they served.

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