Where can you watch Obama's Speech to Students?

Monday, September 7, 2009 at 10:07 AM Bookmark and Share
Right here! The live presentation should be shown below on Tuesday September 8th, 12:00pm (EDT). [Edit: a copy of the speech has replaced the White House live feed.]

More information at the White House media resources page and blog.

Update: Is Obama going to politicize the speech?

Will he try and "indoctrinate" the youth of America? Will the speech be full of political advertising? Is this address really unprecedented? We have to just wait and see on the first two questions - but to help us judge his speech and answer them, we have some historical precedent to consider.

To establish this benchmark for Obama's speech tomorrow, lets take a look at Reagan's 1988 speech to students, and Bush senior's speech in 1991 and see how they did on keeping politics, policy and personal beliefs out of their speeches:

Reagan was relatively strong in pushing religion on the students, and was pretty sloppy with his history:

[Transcribed from above]... For America to gain greatest benefit from all the exciting new technologies that lie ahead, we will also need to reaffirm our traditional moral values, because these values are the foundation on which everything we do is built. So yes, I would encourage you to study the math and science that are the basis of the new techologies, but in a world of change you also need to pay attention to the moral and spiritual values that will stay with you unchanged throughout a long lifetime.

And again, I would say that the most important thing you can do is to ground yourself in the ideas and values of the American Revolution, and that is a vision that goes beyond economics and politics. It's also a moral vision, grounded in the reverence and faith of those who believed that with God's help, they could create a free and democratic nation. They designed a system of limited government that - in John Adam's words - was suited only to a religious people, such as ours. Our founding fathers were the descendants of the pilgrims. Men and women who came to America seeking freedom of worship, who prospered here and offered a prayer of thanksgiving - something we've continued to do each year...

Bush Sr. seems to have been a little bit less questionable in his speech, though it still was thick with his policy.

Seeing these two speeches, there is something to be said for keeping the president in check when he speaks in the classroom. How will Obama do? I myself hope to see Obama leave out culture, faith, and national policy (unlike Reagan and Bush) - and instead I hope he talks to (not at) the students about the personal and social importance of working hard to get a good education, providing them with some solid advice and encouragement to do their best to obtain that education.

Final Update

The text of the speech is available here.


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