President or Celebrity?

So for the past year(at least,) we have all been hearing news about Barack Obama. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always constant. While my intention is definitely not to cause a political debate or to rag on our president, I find the stories about his “celebrity” status very interesting. The most recent news I’ve been hearing about regarding Obama is relevant to most of us in JMC 417, because as you all know, he’s speaking at ASU’s graduation. There has been plenty of talk regarding this event, mostly relating to why he, of all people, would be giving a graduation speech to a school he never attended. Many people seem to think it has something to do with trying to “win over” AZ because of the past election, and plenty of others think it’s another publicity stunt in trying to further his popularity.

While I really don’t see the point of trying to win over a certain state after he’s been elected president, he absolutely has more “star power” than any other President in history. Is this solely because of his race??¬† That’s another question I suppose, but the main point of this topic is that not everybody is excited about this upcoming graduation ceremony. On the website,¬†there is a community blogging section in which I found many people with a negative perspective on Obama being the speaker at ASU. Many people said it’s going to be too much of a publicity show that will take away from their student’s special night, and that he should start focusing on running a country rather than spending time touring around the country trying to “up” his popularity.

So what is his main intention? PR stint, or just good-natured President??

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7 Responses to President or Celebrity?

  1. ledleson says:

    I for one am really excited that our President will be speaking at my graduation. I find it difficult to believe why anyone, Republican or Democrat would not want to hear the President speak. I personally believe that he agreed to attend ASU’s commencement because of the increasing popularity in our institution. By volunteering to speak, he is proving his point that higher education is important. Student’s, whether a fan of Obama or not should embrace his presence and not look into it as a PR stunt.

  2. Nicholas Smith says:

    That is a very good question that I have been talking about with my friends and family since I heard the news. To be honest with you, I have tried to look online and do some other research to find out exactly why he decided on coming here, but so far I haven’t found anything. I honestly don’t know why he decided to come here to give the speech, but I have to believe it is because he is trying to emphasize his stance on the value of higher education, and the fact that ASU is the largest university in the country makes this a good place. Like the person who commented before me, I am very excited about the fact that he is comming here, and that isn’t because of my political beliefs. I am excited because of the position, not the person holding it.

  3. haleypetersonasu says:

    I do not believe that Obama speaking at ASU’s graduation is in anyway a “publicity stint”. Is it creating “good PR”? Yes, absolutely. I am very exicted that the president will be speaking at MY graduation for one. How many other college graduates can say that the president of the united states spoke at their graduation?

    Lastly, in no way AT ALL will his commencement address be “taking away” from an individual student’s graduation. The premise behind the general ASU Commencement is to recognize the entire class of 8,000 graduates as a WHOLE and not individually. That is what the individual college ceremonies are for.

    Whether you voted for him or not, all I can say is woo-hoo Obama.

  4. drgilpin says:

    You need to turn that website URL into a clickable link (all good blog posts have to have at least one outgoing link).

    As for the “why,” I read that presidents typically speak at two or three commencement ceremonies every year: one of the major military academies, and one or two other universities. This year, Obama will be speaking at ASU, Notre Dame, and the Naval Academy.

  5. Mickey Siegel says:

    People seem to forget that next November, we will be re-electing a new governor for the state of Arizona. I think that this is the main reason why Obama is speaking at ASU rather than for his own candidacy.

    Also, I might disagree on Obama having the most “star power” of any president in history. I think that this award goes to Teddy Roosevelt who was such a decorated war hero that after taking over for office as the youngest president ever in 1899, he dominated the next election. He almost threw the country’s entire political system through a loop in 1908 when he ran on his own ticket and almost won!

  6. allund says:

    I think it is great that Obama is coming to speak at ASU’s commencment. ASU has the third largest student population in the country, its about time we get a president to come address us. I personally would like to hear some of his wisdom when I am graduating at a un sure time like this. No matter if you are a donkey or elephant he is still our president and it is a honor to have him choose our university over the countless others. Plus he owes it to us he picked ASU to lose in the first round of the tournament!!

  7. kmmorten says:

    I am thrilled that Obama is speaking at ASU’s graduation this year. It’s not the fact that I am a die-hard Obama fan, but more the fact that our President is speaking at my graduation. How many people can really say that the President spoke at their college graduation?! So what is the reasoning behind this? It could be because ASU is one of the biggest colleges in the nation. It could be because he values higher education. It could be because he’s trying to “win over” Arizona. Does it really make a huge difference? I honestly don’t know how much power the President has and if he even has the power to choose what college he speaks at. Either way, we should all be thankful that the President is speaking at our graduation. If you don’t want to see him, you don’t have to go…nobody’s forcing you.

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