Obama has relied on “unprecedented” in more than 90 instances, using the word at least 129 times in everything from major addresses to small speeches, statements, memorandums and proclamations. (Bush, by contrast, used the word 262 times over eight years.)
He has promised an “unprecedented commitment” to education, to developing clean energy and “to preserving America's treasured landscapes,” which, Obama has noted, have seen “unprecedented droughts” and “unprecedented wildfires” in the face of climate change
The practice has plenty of precedents in the 2008 campaign. A small sample:
- April 23, 2007: In this way, the security alliances and relationships we build in the 21st century will serve a broader purpose than preventing the invasion of one country by another. They can help us meet challenges that the world can only confront together, like the unprecedented threat of global climate change.
- July 26, 2007: And I'd like to especially thank the couple hundred of you who have joined my College Democrats Steering Committee. This is an unprecedented show of support and we're very grateful to have it.
- March 27, 2008: I see them here in Manhattan, where one of our biggest investment banks had to be bailed out, and the Fed opened its discount window to a host of new institutions with unprecedented implications we have yet to appreciate.
- May 12 2008: We fought to make sure that the claims of disabled veterans in Illinois and other states were being heard fairly, and we forced the VA to conduct an unprecedented outreach campaign to disabled veterans who receive lower-than-average benefits.
- September 18, 2008: Our government and the Federal Reserve have already taken unprecedented action to prevent a deepening of this crisis that could jeopardize the life savings and well-being of millions of Americans. But it is now clear that even bolder and more decisive action is necessary.
- October 9, 2008: Yesterday, the Fed took another unprecedented step to cut rates together with nations around the world, and those nations will soon be gathering in Washington to deal with this crisis.
- October 21, 2008: Earlier this month, with major financial institutions on the verge of collapse and global markets on the brink, we took unprecedented action and passed a $700 billion rescue plan.