{Empty title} | The Nation

Hirshman's essay reads as an analysis of the role of political and social philosophy in the recent debates. As an analysis of Obama and his social/political philosophy, it is very weak.

I'm a bit surprised that Hirshman hasn't done a bit more homework on Obama. She would only need to look a little bit deeper to find reference in Obama's stump speeches to caring for others in the way she suggests. She would only have to crack his book The Audacity of Hope to find the presence of FDR and the New Deal throughout.

I agree with the spirit of the argument Hirshman makes about the need to offer a philosophical alternative to the right. I disagree that Obama has just recently started to formulate this. If one takes the time to look, it is clear he started with this in mind.