In a tweet, Barack Obama wrote

Today I’m proud to endorse such a wide and impressive array of Democratic candidates – leaders as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America they’re running to represent

I saw the sentence on Yahoo! News.

Leaders are persons and the America refers to the country the United States of America. I am confused, how come we can draw a comparison like that? Any thoughts?

  • 1
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. It may be that this passage has other interesting aspects to it - in that case it should be posted as a new question and not asked and answered under this question.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 14:11

2 Answers 2


The phrase the America there refers to its people, not to the land mass.

It is a synonym for the citizenry (of America).

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    The technical term for this is Synecdoche. A common U.S. example is to say "the White house did such-and-such" - the house, of course, just sat there like the inanimate object it is; the occupants (the President and other members of the executive branch who work in the White House) are the ones doing something. Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 22:52

It means that the Democratic candidates show the same characteristics as the country they want to represent: the U.S.A.

That is, the U.S.A is a patriotic, big-hearted and diverse country in the same way as the Democratic candidates are.

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    I can understand a country can be big-hearted and diverse, but patriotic doesn't make much sense. Usually, it should be a person is patriotic.
    – dan
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 8:51
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    @dan it's metaphorical. If you can understand how a continent, which is just a large piece of territory, can have a "big heart" then by the same token it can also be "patriotic".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 8:53
  • @dan - US news American patriotism is unique theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/apr/19/…
    – user29952
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 9:02
  • 6
    The name America can refer to the country (consisting of its territories). More commonly and more likely, it can refer to the nation (consisting of its people). Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 13:46

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