If we were to believe Obama's statement, American exceptionalism did not nor could it have existed prior to the New Deal. But! If America had no greatness before FDR unleased an entitlement culture in America, why hasn't Mrs. Obama been "proud" of America prior to her husband's run for President?
The idea of the welfare state is that government MUST GUARANTEE the social and economic security for all citizens. Webster's has a name for this. And if your name is Barack Obama, you can guarantee Americans the right of "dignity" too.