Thursday, May 29, 2014

Obama's Commencement Speech at West Point

Here's the transcript of the speech.  The reviews are rolling in, and, well ... You can read them for yourself.  The bloom is off the rhetorical rose according to the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and even the New York Times, which said this:
Mr. Obama’s talk of the need for more transparency about drone strikes and intelligence gathering, including abusive surveillance practices, was ludicrous. His administration had to be dragged into even minimal disclosures on both topics. Just Tuesday, the administration said it wanted to make further deletions from a legal memo on drone strikes that a court ordered it to make public.

Personally I don't think a commencement speech is really a place for a talk about foreign policy or anything aside from a few quick anecdotes and stories, a bit of life advice, and then hearty congratulations and a swift, cheerful end because - let's get real - no matter where and who you are, nobody wants to listen to you.  Everybody wants to grab their diploma, fling their headgear into the air, find their families, and start celebrating.


Eric said...

I disagree. The Commander in Chief making a baseline statement of foreign policy at a service academy commencement is a tradition and a privilege for the newest group of officers.

For example, President Bush at the USAFA graduation in 2004:

President Kennedy at the USMA graduation in 1962, where he showed he understood the current-day need for the military far better than Obama does:

Mad Minerva said...

Maybe I should specify that if you're going to do foreign policy at a graduation speech, you should give a speech that's actually substantive. Did you read the transcript? Ugh.