Entries in Graduation (2)


Michelle Obama Makes Light of President’s Failures in Graduation Speech

iStockphoto(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- Delivering her only speech at a high school graduation this year, first lady Michelle Obama joked about the failures her husband, President Obama, has encountered in life as she told a graduating class of high school seniors in Nashville, Tenn. Saturday that in order to achieve success in life, they must first experience failure.

“When something doesn’t go your way, you’ve just got to adjust. You’ve got to dig deep and work like crazy, and that’s when you’ll find out what you’re really made of during those hard times, but you can only do that if you’re willing to put yourself in a position where you might fail, and that’s why so often failure, is the key to success for so many great people,” Obama said at the graduation ceremony for Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School.

“Oprah was demoted from her first job as a news anchor. Now she doesn’t even need a last name,” she said.  “And then there’s this guy Barack Obama. … I could take up a whole afternoon talking about his failures, but he lost his first race for Congress, and now he gets to call himself my husband.

“All jokes aside, the point is that that resilience and grit, that ability to pick yourself up when you fall, those are some of the most important skills you’ll need as you make your way through college and through life,” she said. “I want you to tell yourself that no matter what challenges you face that you will commit yourself to achieving your goals no matter where life takes you.”

As a student introduced Obama, he noted that his own mother found inspiration in the first lady and her well toned arms.

“Now my mom’s arms look better than mine,” the graduate said.

“I would love to see your mom’s arms. Where are they?” Obama asked as she started her speech and asked the graduate’s mother to stand.  ”Yes! I love that, and she’s showing them off too!”


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman Defends Obama Administration Role

LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- Former U.S. Ambassador to China and potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman made a stop at the University of South Carolina Saturday, to speak at the school’s graduation.

During his speech, the former ambassador and Utah governor addressed the issue that both Republicans and Democrats appear intent on using against him if he launches a White House bid -- his service in the administration of a president he may now be seeking to run against.

"Work to keep America great. Serve her if asked. I was, by a president of a different political party," Huntsman said. "But in the end, while we might not all be of one party, we are all part of one nation -- a nation that needs your generational gift, energy and confidence."

That he chose South Carolina and a graduation ceremony is notable. South Carolina is one of the four early primary states, and a graduation ceremony, instead of a traditional political event, allowed him to define himself as a person and not just a politician.

Even so, the South Carolina primary doesn't seem like a natural fit for Huntsman, whose moderate record on issues like cap-and trade-and civil unions for gay couples are not likely to sit well with the evangelical conservative electorate there.

The debate over America's relationship with China is also going to be something Huntsman is going to have to navigate. China was often used as a boogeyman during the 2010 election cycle and potential candidates like Donald Trump have made China's "currency manipulation" a major talking point in speeches to GOP-oriented groups.

"There are many in China who think their time has come, that America's best days are over. And, there are probably some in this country who have lost confidence and think that China is the next big thing," Huntsman said. "But these people aren't seeing things from my earlier vantage point of 10,000 miles away. The way I saw it from overseas, America's passion remains as strong today as ever."

Huntsman has wasted no time jump-starting the preparations for a potential presidential bid. In fact, several key supporters, including veterans of Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential operation, had already formed a kind of campaign-in-waiting by the time Huntsman touched down in the U.S. last week.

On Tuesday Huntsman set up a federal political action committee, "H PAC." A spokesman for the PAC, Tim Miller, said it was “an organizational step that will allow him to travel the country, discuss issues that are important to him, and support Republican candidates.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio