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 Obama gives commencement speech at West Point

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PostSubject: Obama gives commencement speech at West Point   Thu May 27, 2010 1:05 pm

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/22/national/main6509577.shtml <- text of speech


It is customary for the President of the United States to deliver the commencement speech at at least one of the service academies. But this time, the speech was full of subtle pokes and prods to push his agenda, saying stuff like
Quote :
So we have to shape an international order that can meet the challenges of our generation. We will be steadfast in strengthening those old alliances that have served us so well, including those who will serve by your side in Afghanistan and around the globe. As influence extends to more countries and capitals, we also have to build new partnerships, and shape stronger international standards and institutions.

This engagement is not an end in itself. The international order we seek is one that can resolve the challenges of our times -- countering violent extremism and insurgency; stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and securing nuclear materials; combating a changing climate and sustaining global growth; helping countries feed themselves and care for their sick; preventing conflict and healing wounds. If we are successful in these tasks, that will lessen conflicts around the world. It will be supportive of our efforts by our military to secure our country.

My thoughts on this? He's trying really hard to get the new officers to like him. They don't.

As for me, I'm hoping the office changes hands before I graduate.
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PostSubject: Re: Obama gives commencement speech at West Point   Fri May 28, 2010 4:20 am

Not that I would ever join the military (it is not my purpose. Kudos to those whose purpose it is!), but if I were ever thinking about joining the military, my biggest hangup would be having to submit to the POTUS as supreme CINC of the whole armed forces. And even if I joined in a year where the President was one who had values in line with my own, chances are that in the average lifetime of a career military soldier, there will be a POTUS with values opposite those they believe in. That's why it would be super scary to join the military, IMO. Technically and legally, they could eventually order you to fight a war you don't believe in or do something immoral, in which case you either obey or get court martial-ed.

However, since we do need a standing military, and because I know that some have been purposed to be in that military, I firmly support all our loyal, patriotic, AMERICAN troops! If there are any soldiers reading this: THANK YOU for defending our freedoms!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Obama gives commencement speech at West Point   Fri May 28, 2010 5:55 am

In reply to the American Thinker blog post about it:

President Obama gave the commencement address to the Class of 2010 at West Point on Saturday, and his performance hardly lived up to his reputation as a masterful orator.

Honestly, I am baffled by Obama's "reputation as a masterful orator." I've heard that since before the 2007 campaign, but he has never impressed me with his delivery. He comes across as brusque, harsh, and cold, and overall his addresses lack the finesse and eloquence that is compelling and captivating. But then again, people said Hitler was an awesome charismatic speaker and I thought his speeches were super aggressive (which to me causes a negative reaction), but maybe that appeals to certain audiences or translates well in huge crowds; I don't know. There aren't many people I would consider great public speakers in terms of delivery; my college president was quite good, and I would consider Ronald Reagan good too (being an actor has that advantage); I know I've heard a few other good ones, but nobody really jumps out to me offhand. In terms of content, I thought W's speeches were often very eloquently worded; whoever his writers were, were very good, in my opinion.

Anyway. I read through the text and I really don't see anything "wrong" with what he said, even in the paragraphs you quoted, except that it sounds really different from my class's commencement address. Maybe because it's for an army school. I always expect commencement speeches to be something like "be an individual, carpe diem, pursue your dreams, change the world, what do you want on your tombstone," etc. This kind of sounded like a regular old public appearance foreign policy speech. Maybe that was appropriate for the group; I've never read a commencement speech that was delivered at West Point or any other military academy before, so I wouldn't know. I did think this part was pretty lame though:

To the United States Corps of Cadets, and most of all, the Class of 2010 - it is a singular honor to serve as your Commander-in-Chief. As your Superintendent indicated, under our constitutional system my power as President is wisely limited. But there are some areas where my power is absolute. And so, as your Commander-in-Chief, I hereby absolve all cadets who are on restriction for minor conduct offenses. (Applause.) I will leave the definition of "minor" - (laughter) - to those who know better. (Laughter.)

But I'm just the kind of person who doesn't really go for things like that. You want me to laugh, tell a funny story. Canon Andrew White told stories about his kid wanting to invite Yasser Arafat to his birthday party; now that is a way to get an audience to warm up to you.
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