I can actually say I wasn’t annoyed by Obama’s address at ASU. The only annoying thing was the local NBC station making a lame attempt to equate Obama’s visit with the previous visit of Pope John Paul II. Talk about tangentially playing right into the lame ass notion by some of the more wacky Obama supporters where they equate Obama with the Pope. And they wonder why right-wing screwballs mock Obama and his supporters by calling him “Messiah”. Maybe the local NBC affiliates should take a step back and at least pretend to be objective reporters for once.
Anyway, overall decent, if uninspired, speech. Pretty much the usual graduation speech given at commencement ceremonies: change the world, make a difference, you’re the future, always keep striving and learning, et. al.
Nod to Chavez (and why has his reference been censored in speech transcripts?)
I also appreciated his reference to a Southwestern civil rights hero, Cesar Chavez. Most outside the region seem oblivious to the man’s role in civil rights so it was somewhat surprising to me that he mentioned him. Too many have forgotten that civil rights were fought nation wide for all minorities, thus there are other civil rights leaders besides Dr. King worthy of remembrance. I give credit to the President (or his aides for making him aware of Chavez’s regional significance) for this small reminder.
This leads to the following: I’m disappointed to find a number of “transcripts” I went looking for shortly after his speech ended actually censored that small part of the speech out. Whether this censorship was intentional of not remains to be seen but it does make me wonder given the current discrimination against anything Hispanic or Latino in this country. Hopefully transcribers will realize their mistake and correct their transcripts of the speech.
And hopefully, the faux controversy over the honorary degree is now dead, with the President’s own words.