Obama’s Speech to Schoolchildren: The Prepared Remarks

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event
Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.

I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.

Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, “This is no picnic for me either, buster.”

So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.

Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.

I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.

I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.

Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.

Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.

You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.

We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.

Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.

I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.

So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.

But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.

Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.

Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.

That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.

Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.

I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.

And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.

Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.

That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.

Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.

I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work — that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.

But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.

That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.

No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.

And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.

It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.

So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?

Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.


Last week, when an advance copy of the worksheets to be distributed to students along with the speech was first released, I blew a gasket. I think most of America blew a gasket. And for good reason. The real danger, I think we all saw, was not necessarily in the president’s speech itself, but rather in what the teachers and administrators did with it, and projects like “have students write letters to themselves about how they can help the president” certainly didn’t help with those concerns.

When the White House backtracked [as usual] and changed the worksheet, I was a little more at ease. Certainly, Ronald Reagan, both Bushes and Bill Clinton all addressed students during their presidencies, and Barack Obama has every right to do the same. Of course, the parents have the right to keep their kids out of school that day, and the kids have the right to not listen.

And, now that the speech has been released in advance of tomorrow’s delivery, I’m pretty certain they won’t listen. Say what you will about America’s schoolchildren, but I don’t think any kids would be capable of paying attention throughout such a long speech. Other than length, it was fairly innocuous, but wasn’t completely without problems.

As someone who believes that the federal government has absolutely no business in education other than providing some funding to states and municipalities, it’s difficult for me to read the rhetoric about government’s “responsibility” to educate the nation’s children. Also difficult are the occasional references to the president’s belief in the idea of social justice, but that was to be expected. On the latter, it will be up to the teachers to explain or pervert that message as they please. Given the influence of the unions and of liberal ideas in today’s classrooms, that’s the part I worry about.

In terms of specifics from the speech, I took a few notes:

  • The talk of about how, in America, you write your own destiny and make your own future doesn’t really comport with Obama’s idea of affirmative action and social justice. Either you’re self-reliant, or you’re not. Either you achieve because of merit, or you don’t.
  • The part about how America’s story has been defined by people who “loved their country too much to do anything less than their best” directly countermands the Democrats’ own War on Success and Prosperity, waged through measures like Cap-and-Trade, capped executive pay, and socialized medicine. With no incentive to succeed, why should people give their best? See, that’s the beauty of the free market — it rewards hard work, creativity, ingenuity and innovation; by stifling the free market, you stifle America’s story.
  • He mentions how “the students who sat where you sit 250 years ago” went on to bring about revolution and independence, but he doesn’t say why. If he were being intellectually honest, after all, perhaps some of the schoolkids sitting through his speech could see the parallels between 18th Century Britain and the current American federal government.

All in all, it was as I expected — in itself fairly innocuous. To be completely honest, perhaps the only thing that I approved of in the president’s message during his campaign was the focus he placed on family responsibility, specifically the responsibility of fathers. Strange, given that personal responsibility is so far from the rest of his agenda.

Nevertheless, some of that is evident here. If it helps the students to hear the president tell them to take responsibility for their own future, then more power to the president for saying so.

Personally, I think the answer to education problems here in America is in fostering more competition in the industry. School choice, merit-based pay, and minimal–if any–federal control could go a long way in facilitating schools and districts to do everything they can to compete — and excel. This concept, of course, was too much to ask of this particular president, but perhaps in 2013 the right sort of message will reach students, parents, teachers and administrators alike. In the meantime, however, it must continue to be up to parents to instill the values they want to see in their own children.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Like you, I knew the speech would be fairly innocent; kind of a "testing the waters" sort of thing. Overall, his message is a good one kids need to hear, but from their parents rather than the President. It's the idea of him (and prior Presidents) injecting himself into the lives of students as if on behalf of the parents that I don't like.

    For those who lack a father or guiding parent figure, here is a "kind and caring" Obama filling in someone's shoes. Admirable, but I believe that's also what he wants in return: Admiration.

    If he can get kids to look up to him, respect him, admire him, idolize him, emulate him, and even love him; that is a warning sign. History tells us no political figure should ever again be seen in these ways by children.

  2. Celia in TX says:

    This speech makes me uncomfortable on so many levels. Fortunately, I do not think it will be an issue in our local schools. Here's why it bothers me personally:
    I am a teacher, and I teach in the same school my kids attend. I did not want my kids placed in a situation where (after the address) they would be forced to participate in a conversation of the sort that not even many supposed "grown-ups" are able to reasonably participate in *AND* I did not want them placed in a position of opting out. They would have been ostracized either way. I bend over backwards not to bring my political feelings to my workplace; no-one that isn't on my Facebook page knows of my activism (it's simply not appropriate for work). But handling this situation on behalf of my kids might have put me in an uncomfortable situation amongst my co-workers and the community parents. It made me very nervous. I can hear it now "Mrs. P. wouldn't let her own kids watch the president."

    We have many black children in our school, and many of them LOVE Obama. They wouldn't understand my not loving him (one told me last year, "you can vote for Obama even though you're white), and at 10 years old and younger, that's not a conversation I need to have with my students or their parents, and not a conversation my kids need to have either. Further, at this age I don't mind that they–my students–love Obama. They don't know any differently, and if he is inspiring to them, that's none of my business either, and I don't want to take away from that.

    I'm really furious that Obama potentially put my kids and I in this very uncomfortable situation, and I am very glad that our school district has more sense than he does, apparently.

  3. Anonymous says:

    No way this is the same text as was originally planned…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn't he tell the children if they work hard the government will pay for their education just as they did for him and mechelle.

  5. sharon says:

    Did not vote for the guy, but do not have a problem at all with the president of the united states giving a pep talk on the importance of education and staying in school.. I believe the white house and the media again have missed the message with the argument… It was never about the speech, but the curriculum they tried to attach to it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Will he be using the teleprompter in the classroom?

    I am far from a perfect grammarian, but who's his speech writer? For someone who received education from some of the most prestigious schools, I am appalled that the grammar, punctuation and conveyance of ideas used is so atrocious.

    Were they paid per sentence which began with the word, "and?"

    Were there really that many American kids going to school in Indonesia?

    I wonder how Bill Gates feels about being his XBOX being singled out?

    Maybe it is my own prejudice, but, when I read "our First Lady Michelle" it made my stomach cringe. I had never read, heard, or noticed the word "our" before. It is reminiscent of a Catholic Saint or monarchical description of a title worth "worshiping."

    Now, no one will know if this speech would have really been so benign, had it not been for the reaction of the public.

    Now Jeff, respectfully, your last paragraph…..
    it may harbor a little naivete.

    Although a genuinely free market system from it's roots would be Utopian, society has evolved too far from the this as an option.

    Does the typical member of today's society value education?

    School choice? Not all school districts exclusively prohibit school choice, what has been demonstrated is that parent involvement is a crucial common thread to the success or failure of any student regardless of placement. It isn't a simple equation, as many students have transferred into high performing schools, only to have the same result as if they were to have never left. Many low performing schools have produced students who excel in their education.

    Merit based pay? Would that mean kids would go to auction block for class placement? I know I wouldn't want any disruptive or low performing students in my class.

    How about merit based student advancement? Ooooooo, wait, that might hurt their self-esteem and it probably would not have given Obama, OR THE MAJORITY OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS!!!! Due to low performance, did you know certain minorities are excluded from some testing?

    The current state of education is solely the result of the neglect of parents not instilling virtues of a moral society.

    Rather than get even more lengthy, I will stop here. Thanks Jeff for having such a great website and center for current information.

  7. Rix says:

    Jeff, please accept my sincerest gratitude for publishing this text. As it is, it appears to be thoroughly harmless, though I am quite sure the originally-planned version was different. But I'll grant the Usurper that: he did the math and wisely decided that the harm of igniting the conservatives and alienating the independents greatly surpasses the questionable benefit of indoctrination. The latter, after all, can be perfectly entrusted to his faithful AFT cohorts…

  8. Anonymous says:

    Starve the beast…
    homeschool your children!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I work in a school system and I can tell you from experience that "most" kids will just get bits and pieces of this long pep talk. I had a minister a long time ago that told the congregation over and over, kids need to be taught at home and not just at school. Sadly, some kids don't have that opportunity because they go home to drug infested homes and are kept awake half the night by parents partying and selling drugs.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What I didn’t like about the speech; NOT all kids will have the opportunity to attend college which he stresses is so important. Many will go into trades such as carpenters, plumbers, custodial occupations and so forth and these too make America strong—the backbone of a nation. What I feel might have been a better approach is to tell the kids whatever you decide to do in life, do it with vigor, put all your efforts into it, always give it your best shot.

    This nails what I think of the whole speech…the President will tell all of these impressible minds that he has made many mistakes “I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have.” Well kids hear things, they’ve heard the President took drugs in school and college, we haven’t heard much about the “more trouble than I should have” part because all his records are sealed, but it implies to the kids…that you can misbehave, you can take drugs, you can do things you are not proud of and still become great like me, the President of the United States. I think his speech and this government approach was really not needed. The President was not elected to be a “school master” and there are far more important issues. President Obama told the public before he took his vacation that he didn’t have time to read the entire Health Bill, yet he has time to write speeches to young school kids????????

  11. matt says:

    I'm confused. You stated that Reagan, G.H. Bush, Clinton, and G.W. Bush all addressed students. I am certain I read in the beginning on the release from the Dept. of Education that this was a historical first for a sitting president to address school children. I can't find it now, but I know I read that in the release because I was surprised and shocked when I read it. Does anybody else recall this?

  12. the conservative resistance says:

    Want to remove the problems in education? I can do that right now.

    As an English teacher and now administrator of an elite high school in the Northeast, I can tell you that the tuition dollar speaks volumes. Remove all public funding from the high schools, have all town high schools move to a tuition-driven system (and give parents choice as to which high school they'd like their children to attend within a certain radius), and motivate the teachers and administrators to be their best. I can personally attest that the people in our school, as a result of a tuition system and one-year contracts, are remarkably motivated to be the best educators that they can be.

    A little drastic, but, well…I've never been one to mince words.

  13. John Canuck says:

    I find this speech very ironic because the word ‘responsibility’ is used a total of nine times and yet Obama has not taken responsibility for owning up to: showing his real long form birth certificate, explaining how many passports he has used (and from which countries), why he changed his name from Barry Soetoro to Barack Hussein Obama, how he suddenly had the money to travel to Pakistan in 1981 (and why he went there), how he got the money to go to ivy league schools and so on.

    Barack Obama is one gigantic walking-talking hypocritical enigma!

  14. Our Family says:

    The speech does seem fairly harmless, except for one thing: my feeling is that Obama is trying to be the great father figure for all of America's children! History teaches that this is how dictators behave. They set themselves up as the father of their nation. I'm glad I opted my children out of this speech!

  15. Anonymous says:

    If I were a schoolkid and had to sit through that monologue, I'd fall asleep about two minutes in.

    JV

  16. Anonymous says:

    This speech is not harmless, imho.

    Key words: fair, shared, government responsibility, "I am working very hard for you", "…work hard to make your country more fair and more free".

    So, in my estimation, it points young minds toward a centralized figure. This figure is trying to ingratiate himself as the giver of good things to young children, making the government responsible to them, making them responsible to the government, telling them that their country should be more fair and more free. Pressuring them to fight discrimination…more guilt and shame to certain groups…making one the victim and one the oppressor…who is that I might wonder? It's laced with guilt.

  17. Starys says:

    I am so glad my 11 year old won't be listening to this speech! This one little line would have caused me a world of problems.

    "And along those lines, I hope you'll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don't feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter."

    He is a kid that will use absolutely any excuse to stay home. He did actually have some serious health problems and was homeschooled for half a year because of them, so believe me, I don't hesitate to keep my kids home when they are sick, but this kid would use this against me if choose to send him to school because he claims to have a sore throat. I don't like to argue at 6am :)

    I know my grammar and punctuation in this post isn't perfect, but did the rules change since I was in school? Is it now okay to start a sentence with the word AND?

  18. momathome says:

    This line really struck me…."You'll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free."…I always thought that the purpose of history/social studies classes was to study previous cultures to see what had worked and what hadn't, what factors led to tyranny and what factors led to freedom (and why!). Why does everything come down to DISCRIMINATION and being FAIR with this guy?! He (and his wife) has had far more "opportunities" handed to them than a plain, simple middle class white girl like me ever dreamed of but they're both still so angry they can't see the forest for the trees!

  19. Linda says:

    The psychologists must be having a field day with this guy – and he just keeps giving them more food for thought. "Narcissism: the personality trait of self-love which includes character traits concerned with self-image or ego. It is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others."

    Fortunately my child is 38 and has a mind of his own. If he were, however, still in the school system, I would find a reason for him to be sick tomorrow. (Although the very idea of this speech makes me sick.)

  20. Uncle Rick says:

    Sie müssen allen hören auf Ihre Führer. Wir sind ein Volk, ein Blut, mit ein Führer. Alle, die nicht bei mir sind gegen mich. Sie wollen mit mir, nicht wahr? Dann müssen Sie die Demokratische Partei anzuschließen und ihre Stimme abgeben, wie wir sagen.

    Translated:

    You must listen to your Leader. We are one people, one blood, with one Leader. Those who are not with me are against me. You want to be with me, don't you? So you must join the Democratic Party and vote as we tell you.

    I think we've been here before.

  21. Uncle Rick says:

    I believe this move has three objectives. Here they are in no particular order:

    1) Stay in the spotlight. It has been pointed out here and elsewhere that he has been on TV addressing the nation and the Congress far more often than any previous president.

    2) Set a precedent for direct communication with school kids. As Dennis Hopper's character in 'Waterworld' said to the 10-year-old kid as he offered her a cigarette: 'Never too young to start.'

    3) Set another precedent, and test the waters, for indoctrinating school kids — not with his speech (at least not at this time), but with the White House-prepared lesson plan.

    All this is characteristic of a person trying to become a despot and focus of a cult of personality.

    Again, we've been here before.

  22. Anonymous says:

    IMPORTANT to note, this was not the original speech.

    and if it was why did it take until today when teachers are off to deliver it?

    another reason it is impossible to have been the same speech is that obama said he would TAKE OUT THE PART THAT TALKED ABOUT….

    SO YOU SEE, obama fixed this after the uproar. from a source, there was much, much, much more in this speech about swaying the children on the man and persona of OBAMA. and i beleive the source. this speech was fixed AFTER THE FACT. BUT ISNT THAT JUST LIKE OBAMA – always playing to the tested focus groups.

  23. Anonymous says:

    a few american dollars equals much indonesian money. obama's grandmother was already working in banking… loans would have been an easy thing to manage so why would her daughter be in dire poverty in indonesia? AND WHY would her daughter – obama's mother – leave the U.S. with a degree and a good life to suffer in indonesia? i do not by obama's "poor unable to afford school where americans went…"

    rather its more like his mother was a radical who wanted her son schooled in the Islam way.

    and what about those teachers from obama's indonesian school who experessed his desire to be president? whre did that come from? is obama a product of bill ayers sick vision to get even with obama?

    and what about obama's mother's employment with Timothy Geithner's dad?

    obama weaves a story with holes and i dont trust the man.

    if we only knew why that birth certificate scares him so much perhaps we might be able to put the pieces to gether, but much will be learned when obama is truly exposed.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I think he will use this as a way to slip in under the radar next time he addresses our children. Keep it relatively harmless the first time.. then sock it to 'em next time. And… there will be a next time.. and time… and time.. he's just testing the waters.

  25. Jan says:

    I wasn't concerned with the speech as much as I was about what came after. We have seen what happens to people who question Obama and his ideology. We have seen what happens when people like Glen Beck report facts. We have heard since the campaign that if we disagree with anything Obama we must be racists. That is what I didn't want my children subjected to. We teach our children to listen to all sides and to form their opinions based on all the information. At 11 and 12 I did not want them to have to face the retoric and barrage for daring to disagree. The teachers were in a position to twist the message to their own ideals. I teach my children to respect the authority given to teachers. The discussions afterward could pose problems. We saw teachers push their ideals on schoolchildren during the campaign and election. We don't need that now in our schools.

  26. Boston Blackie says:

    This would have been a perfect opportunity for B. Hussien Obamama to show the children his school transcripts to prove
    a) he is a natural born citizen
    b) he is smarter than everyone else as he seems to think
    c) he was qualified to get into all those elite universities or he is a product of affirmative action

    Let's compare his grades to GWB like they did with John Kerry. Funny, Bush's grades were better than JFK's at Yale

  27. Anonymous says:

    Right on Boston Blackie! I love that smell of common sense.

  28. FIND WALDO says:

    Obama should have mentioned careers as doctors and used his birth doctor as a role model….. or talked about careers in hospital administration and mentioned his birth hospital as an example.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Count how many times he uses I in his speech.

  30. Carrie says:

    One problem I see with this particular president is that he has an evil agenda. He wants to "make nice" with the next generation, our youth. This is to suck them in, to be likable in their eyes. When kids of parents who have spoken so ill of him realize, hey, this guy's not so bad…he cares about us…they will stray from their parents' instruction and fall prey to this fellow's direction.

    I know this probably sounds wacky, but I do not trust this man! He is deceptive…there is no doubt of that…look at his whole presidential campaign. You can't trust shady people. Wake up America!

  31. Boston Blackie says:

    Anon 1:49PM, Someone forgot to tell the Messiah that there is no "I" in team, but there is one in president and he wants to make sure we remember that. Now that I think of it there is an "I" in messiah, that answers everything

  32. Anonymous says:

    I just don't like seeing his face everywhere I look. He's like the big papa in the sky taking care of all his little ones. He's got his foot in the door of the schools now…
    I remember the story of a pastor that was called to a new church. When he arrived, he felt the piano should be turned 180 degrees for a fuller sound of music for his congregation. He imediately turned it around to his liking before his first Sunday service at the new church. When the congregation saw it, they were up in arms over the new position. He appeased them and returned it to its original position. From that point on, he began to turn the piano a fraction of an inch until, at the end of one year, he had the piano exactly in the direction he wanted it and no one complained!
    Obama is turning the piano!

  33. CAN U BLV HOW BoRING DIS IZ? says:

    I'm sure most kids texted all the way thru that boring pathetic speech.

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