Recently, I caught Larry Winget discussing the issue of graduation speeches after Obama’s Barnard speech. You know the one – where Obama bumped out a very accomplished woman, Jill Abramson, so he could
pander show his support for women. Yep, nothing like shoving out a woman to speak at a woman’s college to show your love for the ladies.
But I digress. One point Winget made about Obama’s speech was how political it was, and indeed, he did go on about his record in it, according to the NY Times. That is a big no-no. A commencement speech should not be about politics.
So, what would Winget have said? He provided a short commencement speech to demonstrate what he thinks is important for graduates to hear. Following are some of Winget’s points:
[...]You have to take responsibility. Your life, your results, your success, happiness, health and prosperity are up to you. When it turns out well, you get the credit and when it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, you get the blame. It isn’t up to anyone else to make sure you are successful, it’s always up to you, so be responsible.
Others. Respect your employer enough to be on time and give them your personal best every day because that is what they are paying for. Respect your boss, even when you think he is an idiot because he is still your boss and deserves your respect. Respect your coworkers so they will respect you and your customers because they pay you.
Clear priorities. Your time, your energy and your money will always go to what is important to you. If looking cute is important to you then you will spend all of your money at the mall. If being financially secure is important to you then you will make sure that you save, invest and live on less than you earn.[...] (Click here to read the rest of Winget’s speech.)
How do you think it compares to, say, part of Obama’s to the Barnard graduates:
[...] “Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.”
Obama encouraged the young women to be bold activists — leaders and organizers — for causes of social justice. “It’s up to you to stand up and to be heard, to write, and to lobby, to march, to organize, to vote,” he said.
“Never underestimate the power of your example.”
Urging grads to ignore a “pop culture obsession over beauty and fashion,” Obama said the Class of 2012 must become role models for future generations of women who are needed in key professions like science and technology.
“You can be stylish and powerful too,” Obama said. “That’s Michelle’s advice.”
”Persevere. Nothing worthwhile is easy.”
Obama invoked the names of his mother and the mother of Michelle Obama to covey the importance of keeping at it, even when faced with daunting setbacks. “No one of achievement has avoided failure, sometimes catastrophic failures, but they keep at it,” he said. “They learn from mistakes. They don’t quit.”
The advice — aimed clearly at mobilizing and energizing young women voters — comes at a time when fresh graduates face a gloomy job market, high unemployment and mounting student debt. Obama acknowledged those facts, which Republicans had underscored ahead of the address, as similar to what he faced as a young graduate in 1983.(Click here to read the rest.)
Yes, by all means, little ladies, you can be strong AND stylish! Ahem. Sorry. I could not keep that snark out no matter how hard I tried…
You know it is bad when even ABC News acknowledges that Obama was trying to woo young voters.
Oops. Sorry. Tell me what you think. Here is a link to the complete transcript of Obama’s campaign speech to the graduates of Barnard.
So, what do you think of these two speeches? Which one would you want to hear? Let’s hear it! (And WTH, let’s make this an Open Thread.)