February 11th, 2010 at 9:10 PM ^

I was just thinking that politicians can think up many ways to use it for their advantage. It isn't that he came so vote for me, it's more that they could use video clips of him saying what U of M students and recent grads can do for the State of Michigan. Every commencement speaker talks about how each student needs to go forward and do something special. With the current economic climate, there's no way Obama doesn't make mention of that, and the close ties to the auto industry, in his speech. I can just see little clips here and there, and the candidate saying "I'm Joe Schmo. President Obama wants X for Michigan, and I'm the guy to get it for you." The visual of Obama, at the Big House, the state's flagship university, #1 hospital system (healthcare spending), will be a very easy tool to use coming very shortly after commencement. I mean, commercials have already started, so the 6 months thing doesn't really matter.


February 11th, 2010 at 9:40 PM ^

That would be completely classless. Doing so would probably engender more resentment in the audience than anything, as many ideological supporters would find it in poor taste as well as the people who disagree to begin with.

When Clinton came back in 07, 'twas during Hillary's campaign to win the Democratic nomination ... and there were these abortion protesters. Whom I could rant about for a while... but won't. Let's just say, their demise will result in a net gain for human civilization.

Anyway, Bill couldn't have been more non-political and the idiots ended up with egg on their face.


February 11th, 2010 at 9:59 PM ^

Yeah, I'm not saying that it would, just that it could. This is a kind of discussion that need not take place here, so we can leave it at that. For the record, I think that this is huge for the University, regardless of politics. From MSU rubbing Condi in our faces a few years back, I guess it doesn't get bigger than the sitting POTUS.

Jayme in MN

February 11th, 2010 at 6:56 PM ^

It sounds like from some prior posts that you live in the New Orleans area?

My husband and I are heading there next Thursday for 5 nights. We'll stay the first 3 in New Orleans (we know what to do and where to stay because we've been there several times before). But, we are thinking of resting our livers for the final 2 nights (sorta, not totally, just not the full-blown thing we do on Bourbon Street).

Any suggestions on where we should go / stay (B&B?) / eat? Avery Island? Lafayette? Baton Rouge? We're 50ish but pretend we are 30 year-olds. We love good food, dive bars, want to see the interesting sights near New Orleans that we haven't been to before.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


February 11th, 2010 at 6:17 PM ^

That's pretty sweet. That's two presidents within 5 years. I remember that when I first got to U of M people complained about the quality of the graduation speakers but they have really stepped up their game in recent years.

West Texas Blue

February 11th, 2010 at 6:20 PM ^

For my graduation, we had Christiane Amanpour for the general graduation speaker, and Larry Page for the engineering graduation speaker. Great selection; very pleased with speeches and quality of speakers.


February 12th, 2010 at 9:51 AM ^

I can never remember the guy's name, but the 2004 speaker looked just like Santa Clause. I was so bummed that we got a nobody speaker (he had created 'Automobile' magazine, I think). He started by reading from an annoyed letter to the Daily (everyone pointed out the writer in the audiance) and admitting he also had no idea why he was selected. He then launched into one of the best speeches I've ever heard--all about the tough lessons he had learned and how he had used them well. He got a standing ovation if I remember correctly.


February 11th, 2010 at 6:38 PM ^

awesome! i only wish he was coming next year for mine. oh well, i'll just have to hold out for Kim Jung-il. Edit: sarcasm on the second half of that. not on the first.


February 11th, 2010 at 6:39 PM ^

Sadly, my speaker wasn't quite so exciting, so I skipped the Big House graduation in 05.

Howeva, my little brother is graduating this year, so I'll get to attend!

Clarence Beeks

February 11th, 2010 at 7:59 PM ^

That's kind of sad that you have to do that when every poster who likes him can say how awesome they think it is. I'm a big fan of the "one rule" and I could care less either way who the speaker is, but it's kind of ridiculous that you can't say what you want to about it. Saying that you don't like him or aren't a fan of this isn't a political statement, but guaranteed anyone who said it will be negged like crazy for saying it (just like I probably will be for saying this).


February 11th, 2010 at 9:02 PM ^

From what I see, no one has made any political comments about him speaking, they've just been showing their excitement about Obama coming to speak at UM. Having any sitting President as a commencement speaker is a big deal. If Bush had come to speak, the reaction might have been different, but negative sentiment would still not belong on the MGoBoard.

Clarence Beeks

February 11th, 2010 at 9:11 PM ^

That's ridiculous. Why exactly would "negative sentiment" not belong here? If someone thinks that the whole idea of commencement speakers as being at all relevant and important is stupid, that's negative sentiment and most certainly not a political statement, and most assuredly does belong on the MGoBoard.

Clarence Beeks

February 12th, 2010 at 12:47 AM ^

EDIT - My entire point is that I think the entire commencement speaker idea is stupid, no matter who it is. Apparently some of you want to make that into a political statement, and that's fine, but the fact of the matter is that it wasn't and wasn't intended to be. It was simply a comment on the event itself. I would have said the same thing no matter who the speaker is, but since we don't have a thread about who the speaker isn't or a thread about the topic of speakers in general, I commented here.

Clarence Beeks

February 12th, 2010 at 2:20 PM ^

Ummm... yeah... might want to look at the time that the comment was made and then maybe consider what the pos/neg count was at that time. Just a thought. Your post isn't exactly timely to actually comment on the same matter that I was commenting on at the time. At the time that I made my comments on this he had a good number of "negs"; thus I made the observation that I did. You do realize that the negs/pos change over time, right?

Clarence Beeks

February 12th, 2010 at 12:35 AM ^

"/neither a republican nor a democrat."

Same here, and I saw GWB speak once as well. I was struck by the fact that he wasn't nearly as bad of a speaker as he appeared to be when I saw him on television. Gave the whole speech without notes or a teleprompter and never fumbled around at all. I was really surprised by that.

EDIT - I can't even begin to say how hilarious I think it is that some of you are negging this post. There is NOTHING that could possibly be controversial or even disagreeable in what I've written here considering that it's a simple observation of my own experience. Too funny...

Wide Open

February 11th, 2010 at 6:59 PM ^

Hopefully this will be a golden opportunity to affect meaningful change in our community.

My dream scenario involves his speech focusing on the need to eliminate the scourge that is RAWK MUZIK at college football games.