Beware: Obama Was in Your Kid’s School Today!

Frankly, I am baffled by the conservative response to Barack Obama’s decision to speak to school children today.

According to this CNN story, conservative parents were frightened that the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES would be speaking to their children. Some thought he would try to turn them into socialists. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said that the classroom is no place to show a video address from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer was appalled that taxpayer money was being used by the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES to “indoctrinate” students.

Apparently none of this was a problem when George H. W. Bush addressed students in 1991 or when Ronald Reagan did the same in 1988. Unlike Obama’s speech today, Reagan’s used his time with school children to attack high taxes and big government.

Obama’s “indoctrination” included the following themes: responsibility, hard work, perseverance, commitment, setting goals, learning through failure, writing extra drafts of papers, asking for help, showing respect for teachers, standing up against bullies, washing your hands, striving amid adversity, having a vision for the future, and developing one’s talents, skills, and intellect.

It is only a matter of time before someone comes along and connects these virtues and practices to communism. How dare the federal government tell our students to write extra drafts of papers and stand up to bullies!

I do want to know this: Why aren’t level-headed GOP leaders and politicians standing up to this fear-mongering?

My 3rd grade daughter watched the speech today in her class. She came home excited that the president of the United States planned a speech for kids like her. For her, the highlights were Obama’s reminder to wash her hands, the fact that Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and the importance of working hard. After the talk she filled out a worksheet related to the controversial “lesson plan.” It asked her to set a goal for herself. Her goal: To practice hard enough to make the “A” travel soccer team next year and to “make straight ‘A’s’ or ‘B’s’ in her classes.

I am glad the president inspired her today.

ADDENDUM: In the comments section Russ R. reminds me that there was indeed some controversy surrounding George H.W. Bush’s 1991 speech to school children. Here is an article on the Democrat response to Bush’s speech. Thanks, Russ!

4 thoughts on “Beware: Obama Was in Your Kid’s School Today!

  1. Delighted to hear the story of your daughter, John; this puts all this media malarkey in nice perspective.

    Russ, 1991 was completely different; the stupidly partisan Democratic response got virtually no attention and was (rightly) seen as the usual sniping about a nice and completely harmless pro forma speech. There was no actual story or controversy to speak of (I was there — I remember!). By contrast, this time the entire media (not just “a few media conservatives”) covered this same proforma non-event as front-page news top-of-the-hour news, largely (I think) because Obama has become some kind of symbol in a culture war. This featured coverage was was true of the mainstream media as well as every single radio and television station in the state of Colorado.

    Meanwhile, some schoolchildren in Texas who were not given the opportunity to hear Obama's pep talk are being required to go hear former Pres. Bush, see


  2. As I understand it, it was a huge problem when Bush addressed students in 1991, at least for congressional Democrats who demanded investigations, convened congressional hearings, audited the exact cost of the event, and summoned Bush officials to testify before congress. Complains from a few media conservatives seems pretty minor in comparison.


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