Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, is not a socialist. While varying theories and approaches exist among socialists, all of them advocate for some form of social or state ownership over the means of production. Obama proposes none of this.
While Obama has argued for enhanced and even structural regulation of certain industries, including health care, this in no way suggests a move toward all-out socialism. In contrast, Obama received widespread support from Wall Street interests during campaigning and, as of 2014, continues to receive only muted approval of his policy decisions from self-identified American socialists.
The term "socialist," as applied to Mr. Obama, may have become a fear word or pejorative deployed by some conservatives convinced of its ability to shock the public and create ideological rifts among the electorate, according to CNBC. This, the same source suggests, possibly results from the weakening shock value of words such as "liberal" in American political discourse. While Mr. Obama may support some socialist-inspired policies when applied to social justice issues and public protections, a broad coalition of American statesmen and women have supported similar policies for generations, both Republican and Democrat. Some such policies have become essential features of America's capitalist democracy, policies such as government regulation of food and workplace safety, social security, Medicaid and Medicare, along with publicly supplied protections for veterans and their families.