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September 4th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Obama's back-to-school address an inappropriate mix of politics and education?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was supposed to be a "feel good" event for the White House and a break from all the fighting and name-calling over health care, but instead President Obama's back-to-school speech next Tuesday has created a firestorm of its own.

Some school districts around the country are refusing to carry it. Some Republicans say they're appalled at spending tax money to spread the president's "socialist ideology." They're comparing it to something you would see in North Korea or Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

On the surface, it seems like a good idea - a pep talk for the nation's schoolchildren from the president, calling on them to take responsibility for their education and do their best.

Instead it's starting to look like another political miscalculation by the White House with some Republicans and parents characterizing the ideas as developing a "cult of personality."

The White House is asking students to write letters about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals. They will also release the text of the speech on Monday so parents know what to expect. Seems harmless enough.

Ironically, the first President Bush was criticized by Democrats when he made a similar televised address to students in 1991. He asked children to take control of their education and write him a letter about how they could achieve their goals. Been here - done this.

Here’s my question to you: Is President Obama's back-to-school address an inappropriate mix of politics and education?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mark from Houston writes:
Jack, The quick answer is no, unless of course the real anger and hatred for Obama is based on the fact that he's not a Republican, he's not speaking out enough against abortion and that he's black, in which case you're going to hate the man no matter his efforts or accomplishments. I remember in grade school, our 6th grade class being released from school and bussed 35 miles to an adjacent town where we stood and cheered Pres. Eisenhower as he passed by in a campaign-related parade. The next day we were asked to write a short paper on how we could help support the president and become better citizens. Not a soul complained.

Bill from Charlotte, North Carolina writes:
Jack, Anything mixed with politics is inappropriate anymore. The Republicans are opposed to anything Obama suggests. But then, the Democrats are opposed to anything the Republicans would suggest. As you said, Democrats criticized the first Pres. Bush when he made a similar televised address to students. If the Democrats felt it was wrong then, how can they support it now? If the Republicans feel it is wrong now, why did they support it then?

Ann from Nashville writes:
This is unbelievable to me. I hated Pres. Bush's policies but I would have thought it wonderful if he addressed my granddaughter's school. It is the office of the President of the United States. Where is the civility and respect in this country any more?

Roanna from Peoria, Arizona writes:
Jack, Let’s skip the niceties here. Anything Obama does, the "loudest 20-percent" will criticize and demonize. They will fight until he is defeated and the country will stand stagnant. These people are racists and sore losers. The Republican leadership should walk around with their heads permanently held in shame, which is better than where their heads usually reside.

Stephen from Macon, Georgia writes:
I suppose the Republicans would prefer a president who sits down with the kids and reads "My Pet Goat" to them while the country is under attack.


Filed under: Education • President Barack Obama
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Cory Clare

    I would like for this one to be put on TV....

    President Obama is trying to reach out to kids and tell then that Education is Important. He realizes that kids are the future of this country and they should be more involved in todays politics. I am tired of everyone making him out to be a bad person and to compare him to Sadam and Hitler is more than just cruel it is dead wrong. I am in the military and I may not agree with everything but look at what he was dealt from President Bush. I fully support him.

    AG2 Cory Clare

    September 4, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  2. Ron Temecula

    Hi Jack:

    It is my observation that the politicians in Washington allowed themselves to become too bitter against each other. The school kids behave better than the elected officials. That being said, If you want to talk socialism. What did George Bush do when he allocated all that TARP money to the big banks without boundries? To even suggest that there is a move toward socialism in this country is at the very minimum a severly exaggerated comment. And to compare a presidential speech to children to North Korean Ideologies is downright repugnant. I think some of the republican representatives need to re-assess if they want to keep their jobs or not.

    This fight has become far too personal. This is what happens when individuals become TOO POWERFUL. "Pride cometh before a fall."

    Ron K. Temecula CA

    September 4, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  3. Ed

    This is not a case of a “mix of politics and education”. This is the elected President of the country, encouraging youth to apply themselves, take responsibility and stay in school. Those who feel that students should not be exposed to what their President wants to convey about education and its importance are the ones that frighten me.

    To have the President encourage youth to take advantage of education is not a Democratic or Republican view or agenda. Who better to encourage youth that they can succeed than the President? What every happened to telling students that, if they apply themselves they can do anything. In American they can even become President.

    I guess I want my county back too. A country whose citizens and politicians use logic, facts and encourage respectful disagreement and shun rumor, lies and fear.

    Ed from CT

    September 4, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  4. Allison, Canada

    As usual, any chance to tear down President Obama by putting doubts in people's minds.I find this constant undermining appalling.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  5. Charles Green

    What are they afraid of? They are the Educators. They must think President Obama is the Pied Piper And all the children will drown in the lake of liberalism. But again if they really follow him, who know's they could get an Education and some day they too could be the President of the United States of America.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  6. Mark from Dallas

    As a republican I see nothing wrong with a President talking to children on the importance of an education and setting goals for themselves. He must stay on task though and leave politics out of it as past Presidents have.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  7. Nancy - Colorado

    Maybe these are the same people who demand prayer in schools. I don't think they got the same Bible I did. Mine says, in chapter 6 of Matthew that you should pray secretly in your closet and the Lord who sees you secretly will reward you openly. At any rate, they will characterize anything the President says as dangerous or wrong. They're just showing their hypocrisy.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  8. Eric Schuck

    Dear Mr. Cafferty,
    When I read the backlash this proposed speeh to the students is getting I almost fell out of my chair. The President has a strong group of supporters, but this just shows that there is a large underbelly of society that really resents the leader of this country and its really sad. The same people making fools of themselves at these health care town hall meetings are the same people now preaching that this is a speech to push the President's "socialist agenda." When did the leader of the free world become a terrorist that cannot be trusted to speak to our children? How ignorant do you have to be to believe that a political agenda is going to be spread in a speech to 5th graders? I am truly ashamed to be associated with these so callled Americans. Call me crazy but I don't think its a bad idea for our youth to see that amid the chaos thats going on right now, the President wants to reach out and show that he's real and he gives a damn.

    Eric – 27
    Washington, DC

    September 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  9. Matt

    Does anyone really believe that these people are being sincere? Does anyone really believe that they believe that the president is trying to brainwash their kids to be socialists or communists? A small number of the radical ones probably do, but a majorty of these people are doing this just because they hate Obama and they hate the Democrats.

    The election is over. The people have spoken. We want this to change. This is BS. When is someone in the media going to stand up and talk about what's really going on here.

    The rhetoric from talk radio and Fox News has become so intense, the accusations are so over the top, that people actually believe that the other side is evil. This started well before the election and continues on – sustained by the constant drumbeat of negativity in the media and stress, fear, and cognitive dissonance in the people who really believed Sarah Palin when she said that the country was electing a terrorist to office.

    How can both sides work together in this environment? It's virtually impossible. Real leadership is needed to rise above this. Real leadership is needed to stand up to the forces that are behind this, to take some short term hits, to ensure the long term future viability of our democracy.

    This phony outrage directed at Obama's back to school speech is rooted in this desire to disrupt and to totally destroy his ability to lead, to get things done. It may seem small, but as with the seemingly endless series of "issues" that have come up in the past few months, it's designed to kill by a thousand pin pricks.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  10. Jackie in Dallas

    I can't believe the Republicans! When their President does it, it is OK, when a Democrat does it he is brainwashing their children with socialistic programs? How much more inane are they going to get? This is no more inappropriate than President Bush asking kids to send in a dollar to help a kid in Afghanistan!

    President Obama is addressing the kids on taking personal responsibility for doing their best. Nothing wrong there. He was going to ask them to write down goals and see how well they achieved them. Nothing wrong there. He was going to ask them to write him a letter to let him know what they were going to do to help him, which could be anything from criticism about educational programs to getting them out of P.E. class, knowing kids. Instead of using this opportunity to talk to their kids about how ours is a representative government where we are all supposedly free to contact the President on down with suggestions and criticisms, the radicals are going ballistic. Stupid, stupid, stupid, Jack.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  11. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: Shame on the right wing obstructionists for poisoning the minds of their children. The President of the United States is a respected leader, no matter the political persuasion. He's not out to indoctronate the kids. This is a very sad time in history. Hopefully as literature tells us, the child will lead the man! Go Barack!!

    September 4, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  12. Michael

    No. Let's stop being stuipd, have politics stop at the waters edge, and let The President of the United States of America address the students of this counrty and encourage them to study hard and do their best in school. Have we really become so lost as a country that we don't want the President to encourage children to do well in school?
    Ft. Mill, SC

    September 4, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  13. olivia knoxville tn

    The republicans and parents who complain are running scared. They are running like chickens with their heads off. They are afraid Obama is going to make a Hitler 's and Castro 's appeal to their children. Where were the hypocrites when Bush made his educational speech a platform of a political arena? I hope the parents do not encourage their children to bite off their classmates fingers because they listened to Obama's speech.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  14. Mary Droscher

    , I was in a Catholic elementary school during the campaign between JFK and Nixon. While JFK was nearly every Catholic family's choice, Mr Nixon came to our town. Mother Superior not only allowed his campaign to use our gym for his speech, she insisted the entire school attend. She said, "After all, he may be President one day." I have never forgotten watching that event, and the respect for the office she instilled in us.

    I find this flap over our President's message to young people utterly embarrassing. The loud voices of fear and hatred must not be the only ones we hear, or we truly are doomed.

    Mary, Melbourne Florida

    September 4, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  15. Gregory Miami Beach, FL

    What is inappropriate are those parents who would deny their children an opportunity to hear the president speak. It's an ugly world and those kids need to learn all they can about politics and goverment service. I'm sure everything will politically neutral so there's is need for all of this posturing. For goodness sake it's only a public service announcement From the head public servant!

    September 4, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  16. Erin L. Hall

    What a sad time we are living in, when the Commander In Chief, President of the Great United States of America, cannot address "Citizens" of the United States. How sad, and unbelievable. However President Obama, you have my permission and the permission of my community to speak to our children. You are doing an awesome job and anytime the enemy feels he can bring you down he will. You keep going, me and my children will be watching!
    Erin Hall
    Commonwealth of Kentucky
    City of Franklin
    A United States Citizen

    September 4, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  17. Molly B

    He is simply trying to fire up the children to educate themselves.
    There is NOTHING wrong with THAT. I am getting so sick of
    all the negativism!

    Tama, IA

    September 4, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  18. John in East Syracuse, New York

    Jack, I don't remeber the criticism of President Bush you cite, but, if it happened, I am certain that (1) it didm't remorely approach in volume the ruckus being raised ove President Obama's upcoming address to school children and (2) it was unwarranted and stupid. The present bruuhaha is ridiculous. It is a simply a product of the far right's determination to harass this President's every step. This is partisanship gone malignant. My only hope is that this absurdity will finally convince President Obama that his pursuit of bipartisanship with the Republicans and conservatives of today is a fool's errand.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  19. Peter M

    It is typical Obama-hating Republican crap. Reagan addressed kids. Walker Bush did it and even W was infront of a class on 9/11. Why was there no screaming? Is it because Obama is Black?

    What is wrong with having the Prez of USA address American students on the need to exert themselves? Would you rather they listen to Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, Ingram, Bachmann and all the lunies on the Right?

    September 4, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  20. Chris D.

    Jack,
    The hateful rhetoric towards a President that's been in office 8 months, & is doing more good for America than bad is scary. This President has a unique and inspiring story, for all students to learn from. He actually came from the "bottom to the top." What a great example for our youth.
    As an American of color, I'm beginning to feel rather uncomfortable, and scared in my country......
    In spite of all this I'm resolved that President Obama, is the President for our times.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  21. Sharon Omaha, NE

    It seems to me that the republicans have given way to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck. Why do these people have so such control? Talk about a socialistic society they seem to encourage it by putting down any ideas that don't go along with theirs, and its working. How sad. Our children will lose in the long run.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  22. Tracy Maher

    I am really bothered by the controversy over Obama's address to students next week. It is hardly the first time in history that a president has done this (Reagan and George H.W. Bush in recent years.) Regardless of any disagreement with his political leanings, doesn't calling for a boycott of the president's address engender disrespect of the office, itself?

    Tracy – Williamston, MI

    September 4, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  23. Bob Keister

    Jack,
    This is my first time making a public comment on your show. What is the rational of the folks that oppose everything that the President does or says! I think about all of the labels that were given to Obama during the campaign, pretty radical.. You know what they were. Someone has called him a scocialist, dictator. All I can say is these folks can have another go at it in a little over three years from now! To say that President Obama is wanting to brain wash our children is obsurd! I think they still have mock elections in the schools and they are usually a pretty good indicater of how the election goes. What are these narrow minded folks so afraid of? I guess it must be the kids! Keep up the good work Jack. Tell it like it is!

    September 4, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  24. Roberto Torres

    President Bush's intent was to deter drug usage by students...how come you didn't include that in your analysis?

    It seems like an obvious justification...Obama'original goal was to receive letters on how students can help him...

    I know what I would write to him in order to help him if I was a student..."Please Resign..it is obvious you and your staff are not up for the job!'

    September 4, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  25. Jim Sluder

    Jack, the answer is no. But I've come to the conclusion that conservatives are scared of everything! I was in Wal-Mart and heard two ladies discussing the issue of Obama speaking to students next week. "I don't want none of that liberal bs rubbin' off on my kids," one of the ladies quoted. The other lady made a very racist remark in comment and both of them laughed. Will ignorance and superstition ever be wiped out in this country? Not if the leader of our country can't have a conversation with our youth.

    Jim in College Station, TX

    September 4, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  26. Jane M

    No Obama's address is NOT inappropriate – and this back and forth between Dems and Repugs has got to stop. This situation is not helping ANYONE! Politics as usual – what a shame.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  27. Joe in MO

    Reagan and the elder Bush did it. Is the right wing GOP screaming because this president happens to be a black Democrat?

    September 4, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  28. JoAnn in Iowa

    It is not inappropriate. Our children need encouragment from as many people as possible. This president is a wonderful example for our children of how far you can go if you study and work hard and do your best.

    He's a much better example for our students than our last president you was a goof-off who was lifted into the presidency by a pile of personal money and being related to a past president. He wasn't anyone we could hold up to our kids as a reason to work hard in school.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  29. g ontario

    donot think the president should be allowed to brianwash our kids we have preacher todo that they migtht startto think war is no good how else do you get rid off old bullets and bombs laying aroynd getting mouldy education will interfer with there up bringing

    September 4, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  30. Sylvain

    Geez guys! Can you stop this nonsense! My goodness, the World is watching and I'm ashamed to be an american right now. Enough of this wingnuts' politics already! Obama won! live with it, you'll have your chance in 3 years. The guy is the POTUS for crying out loud! If he can't talk to our school children about the importance of staying in school, who can?!?

    September 4, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  31. ron

    Just as much as it was for Regan or Bush 41.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  32. fred hughes

    President Obama could bring this country back to its best times and there will be those people who will find something wrong with what he has done. The truth of the matter is that we now see the bigots and race haters come out in force and it makes this country look bad. What we have to remember is just as we see the problems throughout the world on television, the world can see the ugly side of America at the same time.

    Fred
    Livingston, AL

    September 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  33. Terry in Iowa

    I’m simply appalled by those who see a conspiracy in the President addressing American students. As their own actions clearly show, the bar this country has set for education is so low a slug couldn’t crawl under it. They are ignorant, delusional, paranoid, easily manipulated and appear to want to stay that way.

    It is quite evident that these folks are the furthest thing from being patriots of this great nation. They disregard that this president was elected by a solid majority of the electorate. Individually, they may not have voted for him, but we the people did. It’s called Democracy. Yes we should question all our leaders, but we should also treat them with the respect; just as we should respect all our neighbors.

    I have read the material made available by the Department of Education (http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html). There is nothing subversive in it, nothing capitalist, socialist, marxist or any other “ist”. The President is simply attempting to motivate children to stay in school and work hard for their future. The DOE has provided some tools that teachers can use, if they want, to help our children understand how important it is to stay in school and get good grades.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  34. tiniolives

    if he wants to do a pep talk to students then use the format he normally does when addressing the nation. . let the students and parents decide if they want to watch. . .that is our right.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  35. Fred R Deleon

    Jack, Obama's address to back to school kids doesn't look bad at all on the surface. Thing, is the first step to indoctrinate and permeate Socialism in a very early stages of schooling and learning the discipline needed to serve the government. More addresses to school kids will follow.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  36. paul westminster maryland

    Not at all. If the kids can hear a message from the facisits, why create a fuss when the socalists want to speak. Uh oh I forgot, freedom of speech is not recognized by the paranoids who abuse it at every opportunity.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  37. S Callahan NYS

    Geez Jack....didn't you read this info when it first came out. It was not simply tell me your goals and how you'll achieve them. It was clearly indoctrination of politics which is totally wrong at the grade school level. It was even more quesitonable when it was noted, initally, high school were not inclusive to this adding to the mistrust of intent.
    I cherish great ideas...but initally this was not about ideas.. it was a direction that was instituted without protocol going directly to teachers with no imput from anyone other than the White House Dept of Ed. czars. Certainly the teachers and parents were taken out the decision making.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  38. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    This is absolutely 'nuts.' I'm old enough to remember when JFK, a broken man physically in many ways, initiated a physical fitness craze in this country. He could do it, because he was the President of the United States.

    Our current President can do the same, on most any issue of his choosing. He is not a 'Socialist,' by the way; by most measures, he is a pragmatic Liberal ... slightly left of center, and just what we need today!!

    Rick, Medina, OH

    September 4, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  39. Dee McDonald

    The real reason people are upset about President Obama addressing their children, I believe is because they no longer trust the President. When they hear about the views of the many radical Czars that he has appointed, add to anger over healthcare, bailouts, and spending we can't afford, they aren't willing to cut him any slack.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  40. Rae from Indiana

    Whats inappropriate is a politician comparing our President to Hussein, Chavez and Hitler. Whats inappropriate is Republicans doing everything in their power to divide this country instead of doing their jobs. I saw it during the Clinton years and I see it again. Never again will I vote for a Republican.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  41. Stephen in Macon, Georgia

    I suppose the Republicans would prefer a president who sits down with the kids and reads "My Pet Goat" to them while the country is under attack.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  42. Bruce St Paul MN

    No. Nothing to it. Just another opportunity for Republicans to whip up the paranoid government haters. It sure gets them a lot of press, though.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  43. Jay in Texas

    As President, it is certainly appropriate for him to address the nation's school children. One of the main problems with education today is that kids are not taught the importance of being actively involved in our political system and most have no idea of how our government works.
    Brownwood, Texas

    September 4, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  44. bash from PA

    Jack,

    how about this not being an issue at all. It seems that CNN is in case of denial. What this country wants and needs is health care, not sidetrack issues like this. The same goes for tea parties. l do not remember CNN covering in such details protests on Iraq war. CNN is becoming the laughing stock of journalism. l personally tune in to NPR and BBC America. Stop trying to fake a controversy when is none. There always will be nut cases on both sides. Please, cover what hurts America, not PR stunts....

    September 4, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  45. steph

    Steph – Wadsworth, IL
    No! Other Presidents have done it. I hope my daughter has to opportunity to hear his message. I think it is a great way to start the school year. Honestly, I think there should be a Presidential message to children at the beginning of every school year (no matter which party the president is from).

    September 4, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  46. vic, nashville,Tn

    Kids are our future leaders. We send them to school learn many things we don’t send them to read text books only. We want them learn leadership, experience ,opportunity etc

    It is bad example tell the kids don’t watch president speech

    September 4, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  47. Ann C from Nashville

    This is unbelievable to me....I hated President Bush's policies but I would have thought it wonderful if he addressed my Granddaughter's school. It is the office of the President of the United States. Where is the civility and respect in this country anymore. Those right wing nut cases who are promoting this are just that right wing nut cases.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  48. Ron (Salem, WI)

    It depends on the text of what he says. If he encourages them to succeed academically, then I am all for it. If he asks them to support any of his agenda, be it health care or environmental reform, then it is a partisan ploy.

    I feel bad for our President on this, it is a no-win situation due to the timing. Either his party accuses him of not carrying the message or the other party accuses him of indoctrination and propaganda.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  49. Bernard Gray

    I think this is one of the silliest arguements Republicans have made all year. I was in 5th grade when the President Bush made his speech. We watched his speech in class and our teacher had us write letters to the president about his speech and questions we had, and we mailed them out as a class. It was a very fun, enlightening, and inclusive class project. It was completely voluntary, and no brain washing occured as I am not a Republican. People are really getting out of hand with attacking President Obama for every thing he says or does. These silly and petty disagreement and comments are what keeps our nation divided and falling behind the other nations of the world.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  50. Bert

    There is always talk of we are living in an age that our world is soon to end.I believe the time is very close.
    Such petty nonsense when so much is going on in our country!Just drop the final curtain today!On the republican party that is.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  51. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    It is typical Obama. I think people misjudge being naive for coersiveness. For all Obama claims to have studied the past he sure is lacking in understanding of Communist and Socialist ideals. Everyone living as one big happy family and sharing the wealth is Socialism. Communism is having an ordered society where everyone has their place and everyone lives as one happy family. His views of the world and "paying their fair share" are decidedly against the founding principles of our nation. He can deliver his message of taking responsibility without injecting himself and his policies as being the sole poitn of view.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  52. Andrew Halloran

    Jack,
    We live in such an era of paranoia brought on by these political right wing nuts and their ignorant constituents. I can't believe that anyone would criticize a president addressing school children about education. Can all these idiots please go move to Texas and secede with Chuck Norris.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  53. Bernard Gray

    I think this is one of the silliest arguements Republicans have made all year. I was in 5th grade when the President Bush made his speech. We watched his speech in class and our teacher had us write letters to the president about his speech and questions we had, and we mailed them out as a class. It was a very fun, enlightening, and inclusive class project. It was completely voluntary, and no brain washing occured as I am not a Republican. People are really getting out of hand with attacking President Obama for every thing he says or does. These silly and petty disagreement and comments are what keeps our nation divided and falling behind the other nations of the world.

    Bernard Gray
    Philadelphia, PA

    September 4, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  54. Scott Hughes in Atlanta

    Are you kidding me? Seriously? This hyprocrisy is frustrating. How many presidents have spoken to young children in classrooms??? And now that the black president wants to do it... Now all of the sudden there is some sort of conspiracy to indoctrinate youngsters??? I tell you what, get a third grader to spell "indoctrinate" and I'll see some point in your argument. One caveate though, the childs last name cannot be Coulter, Hannity, or Limbaugh...

    September 4, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  55. Brian

    First and foremost, we are all citizens of the United States of America. Our president, whether you agree or disagree with his policies, should be able to give a speech to children of the United States of America about doing well in school. This should not be an issue of politics it should be an issue of being a citizen. Apparently, more people need this lesson.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  56. Taylor

    Why in the hell can President Bush be in a school room reading a book to school children on 9/11. Yet the Republican have a problem with President Obama telling children to stay in school, get good grades and be responsible. What is wrong with that. Each President from George Bush Sr. to Ronald Reagan has talk with children. It is only because this President is smart and he just might encourage another child to be smart and grow up and be somebody. Stupid Republicans they are sickening.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  57. B in Pittsburgh

    No, this is nothing but partisan BS. No political party should ever critizize a President, regardless of his party, from giving a speech to our nation's youth that encourages them to try and do their best.

    What is wrong with this country?

    September 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  58. Bob - Rawson Argentina

    Yes, both Bush and Obama were and are wrong IF you wish to project a PERFECT world image. An image were NO one has a personal agenda. It is unnecessary at those levels of life and education because children are too impressionable to deal with the powerful image of an authoritive person and what they are trying to say. What IS necessary is MORE official, proper and professional (Teacher led) education on History and Government.

    A Teacher is a better educator in these matters because a teacher does NOT have a particular agenda besides education. Bush, Obama or ANY politician giving a speech to school children of ANY age is like a lobbyest talking to a politician!! Give one candy and the other money and they will follow you anywhere!!

    September 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  59. Mocha Austin, Texas

    Absolutely not. Last time I checked, most of our education in this country comes from public schools. Those schools ultimately answer to the Federal Government. If the head of the Federal Government wants to address the recipients of our educational system, in order to encourage them to work hard, he has every right. The desire of some people to turn every issue in this country into a partisan knife fight is baffling to me.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  60. TIna in AZ

    For goodness sake, no! Previous Presidents have addressed school children across the nation without all of this hullabaloo. Liberals didn't complain when Reagan or Bush (the father) spoke to children....so why would Republicans complain now? Oh that's right....the President doesn't "look" like them this time around....

    September 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  61. Doug (Minneapolis)

    NO!!! What is wrong with the President saying to kids take responsibility for your education and stay in school. That is NOT socialism. I think people need to learn what socialism means. And to compare this to N Korea is just plain ignorant. When I hear these comments I think about the education system and how we definitely need to fix it since we don't seem to have many smart people out there!

    Doug
    Mpls, MN

    September 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  62. Shannon McGarry

    I think as the leader of our nation he has a right to address the children in our public schools. I think it would be an honor for the students to be a part of history. I don't think the schools should have the individual right not to play it. It's so sad that we have so many other issues and people want to talk about a schoolhouse address. Give me a break! We got so preoccupied with whom Bill Clinton was having a sexual relationship with we missed the FBI warnings of possible terror attacks. Find something else to gripe about this isn't worth the time.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  63. Wayne from CT

    When will all this nonsense end?

    It is very clear the right wing, conservative members of the Republican Party will do anything to discredit this administration. Our President, whomever it is, is a role model to all school aged children.

    Schools in America are working hard to close the embarassing achievement gap. Any support, good will, motivation to students, staff and parents should be welcomed by any "Intelligent, educated American"...I guess that answers my question...

    September 4, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  64. Yvonne

    Heaven forbid the children should think about helping the President; after all they may get to see the positive of a Democratic idea. Their parents do not listen and analyze, and do not want their children to do it either. Just want my kids to learn to HATE.

    Obama does not make a miscalculation in addressing the school children, it just shows the HATE of the Republicans no matter what he does. Have you seen any positive remark from a Republican?
    All you see is hate, pants on fire, and half truths.

    The news people pretend to be nonbiased, but if you listen carefully, you can read into it the inuendoes that slant to anti-democrate on any issue.

    Yvonne
    Indiana

    September 4, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  65. Sunny in Houston, TX

    All perspective has finally been lost. Other sitting presidents have given speeches to schoolchildren with nary a peep – Reagan even mentioned his tax cuts in one of his. President Obama could give a speech about how kittens are cute and the far-right would look for a reason – any reason, even fictional – to screech. I've asked parents who decry this speech what exactly they don't like about it. Overwhelmingly I hear "he's indoctrinating our kids!" Um – as in "education = good"? From someone who is highly educated, and overcame significant odds to become so? Ooooh. Scary. The funniest, though, is those who cry foul at taking away 20 minutes of educational time and are pulling their kids out of school for the entire day.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  66. Joe

    This should be the end of bipartisanship. The way the repubs are fighting everything that Obama wants to do should lead to the Dems returning the favor the next time the repubs are in power if ever. All these foxheads make me sick and I now refuse to associate with them.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  67. Krissy, Los Angeles, CA

    The Republican rants against the President encouraging students to do better in school rings hollow. They said nothing when Reagan addressed school children about taxes. Encouraging students to do well shouldn't be a partisan issue. Once again the Republican party leaders are fear mongering something that is actually beneficial to our country and it's constituents.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  68. chill

    What is the matter with these people? I've never heard such a ridiculous fuss about nothing in my life. The President is going to encourage children to work hard in school and achieve and this is bad? I'm incredulous that supposedly sane people can devise a conspiracy out of all this. I guess it confirms the fact that our educational system has failed if these parents aren't any brighter than this. As for Governor Pawlenty, he certainly has no excuse and should be ashamed of himself for feeding this trumped up divisiveness for politics. It's disgusting.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  69. mark.......in Houston

    Jack....

    The quick answer is NO, unless of course the real anger and hatred for Obama is based on the fact that he's not a Republican, he's not speaking out enough against abortion and that he's black, in which case you're going to hate the man no matter his efforts or accomplishments.

    I remember in grade school, our 6th grade class being released from school and bussed 35 miles to an adjacent town where we stood and cheered President Eisenhower as he passed by in a campaign related parade. The next day we were asked to write a short paper on how we could help support the President and become better citizens. Not a soul complained.

    Hate and anger leaning close to outright violence, wrapped around rumor and lies has become an accepted behavior. Promoted by some of the media, not all, and most of talk radio this new mind set
    is going to destroy us and the horse that got us here.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  70. Steve

    I'm a High School biology teacher and my opinion is all contingent on how long President Obama's speech is. A 5-10 minute speech is fine, taking up a whole hour is a bad idea.

    First off, the state content standards have become so intense that it is a real struggle to teach all of the material in a school year. Every day matters and I can't afford to give the President a full school period, 5-10 minutes sure, but not a whole hour.

    Second off, a 5-10 min speech is about as long as the attention span of the average high school student will allow. If President Obama's speech is any longer than 10 minutes I am going to have to spend alot of effort keeping my students under control.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  71. Kat

    Why is it inappropriate for a Democratic president to address school children? It was OK when it was Reagan and Bush. What conceivably could be the difference now ?

    September 4, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  72. ingrid, new york

    absolutely not! he is the president of the united states, i mean bush went to read books to children. there are so many things going on here not the least of it being the fact that obama is a black man with ultimate power and this is the most scary thing for so much of the far right. the republicans cannot stand, and they are besides themselves, that obama so totally beat them, that the country was in such despair that they voted him in. they will jump on anything he does just for the sake of jumping. they are having one constant tantrum because they were told "no." such adolescent behavior.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  73. Mike

    Why are conservatives so worried about President Obama taking to their kids?

    I’ve been watching news casters and political pundits, fumble with this issue. They have been searching for a reason some parents feel they need to ‘shield’ their kids from the president. The have been avoiding the blindingly obvious reason; Republicans don’t trust black men.

    In fact, these white Conservatives hate President Obama! These are the same people who say he wasn’t born in this country, they bring guns to political meetings, they compare the president to Hitler, and a Baptist Pastor from Arizona said he “Prays Each Night For President Obama To Die & Go To Hell”, these people are the new KKK.

    Just like the KKK, they use a twisted mix of religion and patriotism and fear and violence to justify their actions. They want to intimidated and terrorize people who have opposing views. I believe they are convinced that God loves white people and killing black leaders is justified. They are the KKK.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  74. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    Having been born in the 1940's, I can remember the excitement of watching the President of the United States address the nation. Now we are so Balkanized that no matter what is said it will offend some minority or the other. Whatever happened to majority rule? How far are we from losing our Democracy and electing an emporer? Hail Caesar!

    September 4, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  75. David

    Seriously? Let's see if I have this straight: there's nothing wrong with forcing kids to be good little automatons and recite the pledge of allegiance, including a reference to "God" that many kids have no connection to, or at least a different one, and yet the President is "ramming his Socialist agenda down the throats of kids" by encouraging them to do well in school? The right wing continues to be even more sickening in their hypocrisy and obsessiveness over ANYTHING "the other side" does.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  76. Matt

    No. This entire conversation is abject absurdity and it is 100% disgusting that the media is treating these accusations as though we need to have a discussion to decide if they are completely insipid. THEY ARE. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. It's just more partisan demogoguery from the GOP. Post some links to the PDFs of the suggestions sent to teachers why don't you CNN? Would that make it all the more obvious and ruin your sensationalized controversy? Because I sure can't understand why encouraging grade schoolers to make posters of the goals and dreams is indoctrinating them with "soshulizm"...and neither will anybody else who is reasonable, rational and has an even remotely functionoing brain in their head. It's ridiculous and disgusting and it's long past time that th emedia start showing some outrage towards this kind of blatant disregard and manipulation of the truth from our elected officials and powerful figures.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  77. Millie Castillo, Ohio

    The public needs to be reminded that President Bush did the same thing. The President has always supported good education for all. What the devil is the matter with the conservatives. Can't they go one day without the complaining and back stabbing. I dream of the day that I can spend one day with these folks, lose my temper, and make heads roll or maybe other body parts!!

    September 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  78. Chris G

    No. This is completely ridiculous. How does encouraging our kids to stay in school have anything to do with politics? Remember the days when our president was seen as someone that we were proud to talk to? I'm personally exhausted with this constant attack on EVERY SINGLE THING that the president tries to do. It just seems like shameless partisan politics, and I'm shocked that more people aren't lashing back at these hacks. Ironic that they're claiming that Obama's announcement is the politically motivated issue.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  79. Bill Logan

    Talk about your basic double-standard. Why didn't these people object when Reagan and Bush did the same thing?

    September 4, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  80. Ty from Mississippi

    Jack,,,,, Conservatives have hit a new Low, This has nothing to do with socialism. This hatred from the right they dont want Obama to tell there kids to work hard an set goals. WOW that is socialism. Its pure ignornace to disrepesct the preisdent over this. its almost near racist attitude jack ...White America are really showing there true colors . I wish CNN stop trying to water down whats going on and called it for what it is .Black man being president

    September 4, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  81. Laura

    Jack -

    As a high school teacher I'm thrilled that President Obama cares enough about our students and their education to want to speak to them. Despite all the challenges public schools face, the fundamental truth is that our students need a quality education. I plan to use the President's address and the firestorm surrounding it as a teaching tool for class discussion. Besides, students need to learn that our Constitution calls for "separation of church and state" NOT "separation of government and education."

    Laura in Montana

    September 4, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  82. Matt

    No one had a problem when previous Presidents addressed students. I had to listen to both President Reagan and the first President Bush.

    This seems to be more fake (or crazy) outrage from the Republicans. Obama's birth certificate is fake. Obama is a secret Muslim. Obama is trying to kill your grandmother. Obama is trying to indoctrinate our youth.

    It never seems to end. Next, they'll tell us he's a Martian.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  83. Charles

    New Shoreham, RI

    The reason why the social right does not want Mr. Obama's "school-side chat" is fear. They know he can lead their children beyond the hatred and division to a more perfect union where there is no longer a place for the fearful minority of the right anymore.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  84. Theresa in Bozeman, MT

    I'm appalled that anyone would oppose a speech that is meant to encourage kids to be successful students. It's apparent that conservative wingnuts prefer their constituency be stupid Stepford subjects unable to decipher fact from propaganda.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  85. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    The fact that the Republicans are criticizing the President of the United States for encouraging students to elucidate their educational goals goes a long way in showing why they have become the most irrelevant, useless and pathetic political party in the history of civilization. The "Know Nothing" Party Redux.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  86. chris (independant)

    Does anyone rememeber where Bush was when 9/11 happened... "in a school 'indoctrinating' our kids into his right wing neocon agenda with 'My Pet Goat' ".

    What idiots these right wing nut jobs are, seriously! How is a 30 minute speech about working hard going to 'convert' your children, OR are they just so concerned that their kids might think he's not as much of a bad guy as their parents are constantly making him out to be.

    For god's sake, they cannot find anything real to complain about so you latch on to rubbish like this, 'death pannels' and ' unplugging grandma'.
    Pathetic!

    Personally I think they should all move to Texes and secede, then bush can can read 'My Pet Goat' to them everyday until the rapture happens and they all go off and leave us in peace.

    Boca Raton, Florida

    September 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  87. Richard in California

    Hey Jack,

    I'm waiting to read the address for myself before passing any judgements. But shame on you for using such an inflammatory title. Posing what is essentially the Republican's talking point as a question is not journalism, it's partisan politics at its worst. It'd be equally shameful to post a title like, "Republicans throwing another partisan tantrum over a non-political issue?"

    Richard in California

    September 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  88. trendy

    Politics is an amazing game!! It's amazing how a simple gesture/act gets injected with politics. All I can say is "what is good for the goose is good for the gander" Democrats villified Bush 41 for his speech to school children in 1991, so Obama is paying for the sins of his cohorts.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  89. peter w.

    My republican friends, you are full of cynicism and paranoia. Please calm down-our beloved country, in so far as there's intelligent discourse, will endure and prosper.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  90. Kim in mpls

    No maybe an inspiration.

    Remember this is a man who raised him self up, nuckled down and got a top notch education. Rose up in Harvard to run the law journal.
    This man has been through school and so has his wife and if he wants to take the time to talk to children, let him.

    If you don't like what he says then impeach him, however I think you will find that he has children and is looking to do the positive thing , why must everyone else do the negative thing. .

    September 4, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  91. Fnord-tron Los Angeles CA

    I bet if Obama told kids to believe in creationism, bow to big buisness, and hate gays then the GOP would keep thier mouths shut.
    Kids are smart these days, they're not gonna be fooled by propaganda from either side.
    the GOP is looking for any reason to condem Obama. Stop pretending that wasting tax money is the issue, or that Obama is somehow going to spread some sort of "socialist agenda". The GOP is in the pockets of the insurance companies and wants to sink heath care reform at any cost. This is just one more attempt, nothing more.
    It is, on the other hand, really helping the american people see the true colors of the GOP. The party of No indeed. No health care for the poor. No "non-white" people in the whitehouse. No peace. No tolerance. No "God" but our god. No truth. No class. No science.

    NO MORE!!

    September 4, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  92. Nate, Lacey WA

    Every president has spoken to school kids, why the uproar now? Republican will dissaprove and condemn everything he does for the next four years. Let him speak, maybe he will inspire a future president.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  93. Terry

    Jack,
    It does not make any difference what Obama says or does, the right wing fringe will demonize it. They have learned exactly how to manipulate the media and get all the free publicity they want for their looney ideas. The fact that we are actually seriously discussing whether Obama's back-to-school address is an inappropriate mix of politics and education on your show is beyond insane. Next, if Obama praises Motherhood and Apple Pie, it will surely be a sign that Satan is coming to take the republicans straight to hell. It's obvious, isn't it?
    Terry
    Beaufort, SC

    September 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  94. Steve Clark

    Hi Jack I'm going to answer your question with a question. What about mixing politics and religion? The latter will do more harm. The people that are against the President do not like Blacks. I am almost 70 years old, born in Georgia in the early 1940's and served in the Marine Corps in the early 60's. My wife and I do not look at the color of the person, we look at there actions, we also raised our three daughters the same way. Keep up the good work, happy Labor Day. The Clarks

    September 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  95. Imad

    This is ridiculous! The GOP is heavily criticizing everything that Obama is doing no matter how positive it is. The GOP has no shame left. They are the only ones that going to object to this because having intelligent kids is going to threaten their interests. The dumber the people are the easier it will be to scare them.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  96. Russell (Little Rock, AR)

    Mr. Obama is the ELECTED President of the United States of America. In that role, he is responsible for and to every person in this country, including school age children. The kids need to know that he is interested in their well-being, that he is accessible, and despite the crap they may hear at home, that he is: 1) a loyal, law abiding US citizen, 2) a human being, 3) a man of high moral character, and 4) a father and family man. He did not ask kids to write him a letter to collect their names or create a cult of personality. He asked them, as fellow US citizens, to write themselves letters to offer advice and to offer their service to make this country better, just as President John F. Kennedy implored us all to "...ask not what this country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country...". A little more attention to solving our shared problems and a lot less partisan nonsense would go a long way. It seems as though the Republican kool-aid has the taste of sour grapes; if that's the case, spit it out and look for a better drink.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  97. Jeff Clemetson

    This is nothing more than what Chuck D of Public Enemy described as "Fear of a Black Planet." I was certainly no fan of W Bush, but would never have even considered complaining about a speech by the President of the United States for students that told them to do better in school. And so what if the DOE submitted some lesson plan ideas for the speech – they aren't mandatory. Shame on you Jack for calling this a political miscalculation. This is an out-of-whack partisan attack meant to rile up the racist, far-right wackos who fear they may never again be able to teach their children hate.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  98. Samir

    Jack, Obama's back-to-school speech has nothing to do with the politics and we all know it. It's just another right wing tactic to attack The President. Maybe they should have Rush Limbaugh address the kids; I wonder if they would oppose that idea..

    September 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  99. mark pribble Anna Il.

    How can you judge what he says's when has not spoken yet. As all the president's before him he will probably speak about the power of education & public service. All this hype is from the republican fear machine, or as i call them ( POLITICAL TERRORIST )

    September 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  100. John M NYC

    Jack, it is so sad that we are even talking about this. The president, as a properly elected leader of our nation can choose to speak encouraging thoughts to the children of this country as he chooses to speak encouraging thoughts to the rest of it's citizens. Other Presidents have done this before as well as prepared special messages for specific constituents. The man can't walk through the rose garden without being insulted, threatened or accused of alterior motives. I am afraid for this country, I'm afraid of the ranting and yelling and threats to our leaders and each other and the inability for anyone it seems to see a middle ground.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  101. Oliver

    What a joke. No one in this country can see past their party lines anymore. In a time when we need to come together as Americans and dig ourselves out of this mess, we instead waste time and energy worrying about our President (who is an amazing leader) going to motivate the youth of our country. Do we shelter our kids so much nowadays that we try to control the way they think? Get these people a Parenting for Dummies book because they're raising their kids to be just as divided and single-minded as each party in congress is right now. Cut the cord and let your kids think the way they want to think. If you honestly think that Obama is taking pages out of Castro's and Hussein's book, then pack up and move to Cuba or Iraq. I've been to both defending people who think like this? You have no idea how good you have it.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  102. Brian B.

    No, it is not inappropriate. The Presidents job is to advance this country and what better way than to focus on the need to do well in school. What is inappropriate, though, is the petulant attitude on the "right" towards the Prsident of the United States. I think the mantra of "opposition to educated persons" espoused by talk radio hosts has become that of the gop.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  103. Donna

    OMG! Just when you thought the repugs couldn't get any more radical! Are they living in some parallel universe full of paranoia and schizophrenia?? As if we don't have enough to worry about, now the repugs are taking a feel good moment of the PResident motivating students about staying in school and making something of themselves into something hateful and ugly. Do they have no shame?? God forbid the Whitehouse manipulate the students into sending suggestions just to get their addresses to spread a socialist agenda. They have lost their friggin minds.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  104. Debra Comstock

    I'm appalled. What ever happened to RESPECT and civil conversation and manners? These idiots are teaching their children to be ill mannered bigots just like mommy and daddy.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  105. squealy

    I find it strange – – no, I find it predictable, that the right would be against this, as they see a hidden socialist agenda behind almost anything and everything. Bush made a similar speech to schoolkids in 1991, and no republicans thought it necessary to protest then. Reagan did the same thing when he was in office, telling kids to stay in school and say no to drugs. Seems it matters only who the message is coming from as to whether or not the right wing thinks this is good policy, and has nothing to do with the policy itself.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  106. Eric Max

    I fail to see how the President encouraging kids to work hard and stay in school is at all controversial. This supposed controversy is a shallow political move to vilify the President at every opportunity.

    -Eric Max
    Tampa, Florida

    September 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  107. Jon

    This is selective reporting. What had conservatives up in arms is that the White House did not and would not initially release the text of the speech, and was going to have all students discuss after the speech how they could "help the president". If the point of the speech was to discuss how kids could "take responsibility for their education and do their best" - how or why would the follow-up of helping the president make sense. Just doesn't smell right to me, but of course I am not a highly trained reporter, skilled is sifting through political B.S./spin.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  108. Jean

    Good idea President Obama.
    Since when giving advice or wanting people opinion was a bad idea.
    If it was up to the republicans, we will be eating dust by now.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  109. eolufemi

    The republicans are losing all their credibility by engaging in completely unnecessary personal attacks on the leader of the free world. Especially, when these attacks reek of prejudice and unapologetic ignorance...I am proud my child attends a school that will be airing the presidents speech.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  110. Carol, Myrtle Beach, SC

    I am so sick of the right wing nuts of the Republican Party, which I have renamed the American Taliban, being so oppositional. All Pres. Obama is going to say is Please Stay in School. We, Democrats, have no interest in politicizing school attendance and The American Taliban needs to curb its O.D.D. (oppositional defiant disorder) with some serious medication.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  111. elaine burns

    this is just ridiculous...this is a man with two young children. Naturally, he is more motivated around this issue than possibly a 70 year old. Also, as we all well know he has stepped up to the plate on issues around parenting and in particular fatherhood. I would like for just one evening for the people pushing all of this negativity to forget about future elections and concentrate on keeping our country together today, now...for their children and my 10 grandchildren!

    September 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  112. Anthony

    This is the most insane so called issue. It should be a good thing that the president wants to encourage our children to succeed. I'm the father of three girls i find that its an honor for the president to encourage my girls.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  113. Katherine Christ

    I can't believe that some Republicans are making Obama's proposed speech out to be a socialist agenda!! What is wrong with them?! Why didn't they complain when George Bush #1 and Ronald Reagan talked to school children? Because they were Republicans & white! I'm so fed up with the bickering back & forth!

    We try to teach our children to work out their problems amicably and to get along with others and be respectful, but our politicians are doing just the opposite! They all need to get out of office & go back to school and learn to get along!

    I'm an Independent voter, and I think it's about time to put an end to this Republican-Democrat in-fighting & replace all of them with Independents!

    September 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  114. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Jack,

    Many people object to President Obama speaking to our school children where he offers encouragement and asks for suggestions on how to improve the education system? If it involves politics, I agree that the classroom is no forum for that. Or, do they believe a President has no place in the classroom at all?

    For those people, I have three words – – "My Pet Goat."

    September 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  115. Jack

    Petersburg, VA, formally NY (66, white, married, retired)

    Of course it's appropriate for Obama to address our school children; and any other country's school system if they are interested.

    To the racist republican party it's another 'socialist' plot; like, when i was a kid, comic books were a commie plot, DC had Senate hearings on comics, DUH.

    Jack, don't compare Obama to any Bush, ever!

    Whle we're at it, will someone please tell me what is wrong with Socialism?

    September 4, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  116. Bob Lewis

    Welcome to a world gone mad. If you have to seriously ask this question, you've just entered the asylum.

    Coconut Creek, FL

    September 4, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  117. Tom

    Of course not Jack. The speech was never intended to be about politics, but about personal responsibility (something the far right could use a little help in understanding). Some of these folks are downright scary–and they are republican party officials. Their logic is making Sarah Palin look absolutery lucit by comparison and that is no easy trick. Are these people so afraid of anyone else's ideas that they try to drown them out by shouting? If they don't want to listen, they should at least have the courtesy to let others listen.

    Grow up people. This is supposed to be a democracy, not a government of those who shout the loudest.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  118. Paula Amyot

    Obama is still the President of the United States of America and won the election fair and square. We are sending the wrong message to kids that it's ok to disrespect the President of the US. We don't have to agree with the speech but not allowing the President of the US to speak is teaching kids that it's ok to disrespect a persons position and title just because you don't agree with it.. This totally disregards Free Speech! Eventually these kids will have to join the workforce and may have to deal with a boss that they don't agree with. It's ok to not agree but you still have to respect the position in which they hold!

    Paula A
    Las Vegas
    Nevada

    September 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  119. Beverly - NYC

    It's polictical because Republicans are using it as an issue. We know that Republicans aren't interested in education, a low IQ electorate is their base. If you do not want your child to listen to the President's message then don't. Personally I would prefer my child listen to President, rather than a high school dropout, former drug dealing rapper of the day.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  120. James

    No, it is not a mix of politics and education. It's simply education.

    The only politics in play here is coming from the Republicans.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  121. Carol Auburndale, Florida

    I think it is wonderful for the President to take the time to address our young people to stay in school and get an education All of the conservative idiots that are complaining should just shut up. They had 8 years to do something for education and what did they give us?. An underfunded No Child Left Behind.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  122. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,

    Let me steal a political catch phrare, where is the beef in President Obama's address to the nation's school children by the Republican Party. The last time it was tried by former President Bush 1 it was for encouragement not any form of socialism... Grow up GOP...

    Vinnie Vino
    Central Islip, N.Y.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  123. Ray in Nashville

    No, Jack, it's not inappropriate for the president to address the nation's school children, any president. It is a wonderful opportunity for the kids. You know that these same people who are complaining and spreading lies about Obama's "attempt to indoctrinate" the kids would have welcomed this from George Bush or Ronald Reagan. For that matter, they would gladly send their kids to school to hear an address by Pat Robertson or even Rush Limbaugh. It's just more incessant hysterics from a mindless minority of so-called patriots who are unhappy that the conservative agenda has fallen apart under the test of time.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  124. Roxane

    I think it is sad that parents don't want kids to hear President Obama speech to encourge school children. This speech could be what one child is looking for. I see this as a positive sign since President Obama has two daughters. I am sure when we re-write the history books with President Obama many will want to keep him out then as well.

    This is a new era and we ALL should give it a chance. CHANGE is always good.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  125. Jeff Rice

    You can not present an objective view of this issue without mentioning that the FIRST PASS of materials asked students to
    1. Write how they coule help the President.
    2. Write previous statements of Barack Obama.
    In addition, there is the backdrop of "I pledge allegiance to Barack Obama" having been played in a classroom.
    No one in the United States owes allegiance to any President. He is the one who owes allegiance to the people and the Constitution. What do points 1 and 2 above have to do with "study hard"?

    September 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  126. Larry Anderson

    The act of addressing students is not inherently bad. Incorporating political messages, either blatantly or subtly, is a a big problem. "How can you better assist your country," isn't a problem. "How can you better assist President Obama" is a big problem.

    Jack, your article, as usual, is slanted. I notice you make no mention of lesson plans, no comment about lists, for example. If you water it down enough, it's almost palatable. But then, so is poison.

    Colorado Springs

    September 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  127. Tina Tx

    How stupid is this? We ought to be grateful that a president cares about talking to the kids but instead we turn it into a polictial how dare he even talk to the little darlings. What has America become?

    September 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  128. Ron in Tupelo

    Absolutely not. The feigned uproar from the lunatic right once again demonstrates just how hateful these demagogues are, and to what extend they will go to try and hurt President Obama.
    What happened to the days when even those who disagreed with the President would at least respect the office. And they call themselves patriots. They don't even respect our form of government. What a sorry excuse for Americans some of us have become.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  129. Enzo from Canada

    Jack, all I've heard from Republicans against President Obama is extreme criticism and mistrust since day one. NOW they don't trust??? Where were these same people when George W was lying to the nation and getting your country into an illegal and immoral war??? I think they need a reminder that they LOST the election! Honestly, I think these are the people who are ruining your country and politics.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  130. Wendy in Florida

    I do not care for Obama's policies BUT provided he keeps to the subject of education I do not think it is inappropriate.

    I will allow my son to watch to watch the address. I think pulling some kids out will only confuse the students. Odds are, the 6 – 12 year olds will tune out anyway and just pick their noses!

    September 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  131. Mike Howell

    Has FOX news network finally succeded in causing so much fear in the American people that they are now afraid of letting their children hear from the President of the US???? There was a man on the 2PM (CDT) that stated it was the constitutional right of schools to be free of the federal government, there fore the Dept of Education has no authority to prepare lesson plans and send to the schools. Where in the constitution is this written??? Republican Footnote 33??
    How does the current president speaking to students directly over current technology differ from former Presidents back to FDR and beyond from speaking to them?
    Republicans, get a grip and change your TV watching habits before you are so poisoned with misinformation that you will forever be scarred.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  132. Dava from Euless, Texas

    Whatever happened to "respecting the office of the President of the United States"? OUR president schedules a speech to encourage the children of this country to take their education seriously, to prepare themselves for better lives and futures – and the right-wing looses what little sanity it had left! I can hear Joe McCarthy cheering them on from his perch below. When is someone going to stand up to these poisonous crazies and say, "Have you no shame?"

    Euless, Texas

    September 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  133. Kevin - Albany, NY

    I'd rather have Barack Obama deliver a speech to my child than have George W. Bush read my child The Pet Goat (remember 9/11?)!

    September 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  134. Richard Hill

    Jack, look at where this complaint is coming from-Oklahoma. Where was the concern when Bush gave 2 speeches to the nation's kids? Oh, I forgot, he was Republican amoung other things. The fact that this state senator objected to the wording by Obama about how he has inspired them is very interesting. This could be in either a positive or negative way. I do believe that the context that Obama was referencing was the fact that he was a poor minority and ascended to the presidency and that with hard work anyone can do the same. Jack, the short answer is that the GOP will always be obstructionists, especially when it comes to Obama. And how did the state of Oklahoma vote in the last presidential election? I rest my case.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  135. JS007

    Jack, if the Democrats were doing this back in 1991 then it was wrong. Some districts, likely the ones in red states, with highest drop-out rates, will be the ones to not carry this message. How ironic.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  136. J.Q.

    I find the Republican protesters ridiculous and racist – no one made these type of outrageous accusations when Reagan and Bush Sr. delivered speeches to students.
    I'm in Florida by the way, and we voted Blue last election, even in the mock election at my children's school President Obama was elected our nation's leader. So, yeah Jack, we think it is appropriate for him to speak to the students about education and inspire them to do their best.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  137. Mia

    It was stupid for Democrats to criticize then and stupid for Republicans to criticize now. I think it is a sad state of affairs when parents who are supposed to be teaching their children to RESPECT authority, from teachers, to policeman to their elders are using their political views to take something innocent and try to make it something ugly. What parent wouldn't want their President to encourage their children to stay in school and work hard. I think we should respect the office of the Presidency even if we don't agree.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  138. Terry from Illinois

    The Republicans are showing why they were voted out of control, Bush was doing this on 9-11 instead of addressing terrorists threats...
    Obama is going to the school kids in a similar fashion as Bush did which the Republicans never complained about si I call it :
    Republican swiftboat politics , and it worked against Kerry but not these days !!!

    September 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  139. Tami from Pennsylvania

    Is there anything Conservatives DON'T complain about these days? George H.W. Bush did the same thing when I was in elementary school and it didn't "indoctrinate" an entire generation of schoolchildren. Come on, people. Obama is not going to turn your children into a bunch of gay-loving, gun-hating, environmentally-friendly atheist Commies!

    September 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  140. Robert

    Jack, I agree with all the Radical Republicans...hold your kids out of school that day – I am going to do this too, but its to make sure my kids are afforded the opportunity to hear from our President, not to inhibit them.
    I would think the republicans would have enough to do to try to catch up to the democrats on the healthcare, economic, and security issues of our country – not worry about such non sense.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  141. M. Pinkerton

    I definitely do not think that President Obama's back-to-school address is inappropriate. What is inappropriate is the uproar caused by those that see evil around every corner [or every corner where Obama is]. Coming from a school system that had issues with drop out students and poor performers [we've since moved from that area], I know that these kids need all of the encouragement that they can get to remain in school and do a good job. It is easy to say that they can see it on the internet but, from our previous school demographics, I know that at least 40% of the families didn't have internet access. Our current school district is allowing each teacher to determine if their class will view the address. Our previous school district has stated that they will not show the address but will post it on the school web page for those that want to see it [again, depending on children to have access at home to the internet which they know that the ones that are in the biggest need of hearing this positive message don't have that access]. It is a very sad day when our country is so divided over things that an innocent well wish is construed as a socialist agenda! I pray for this country on a daily basis and hope that we are delivered from the hate and fear that is so intense in our neighborhoods because no one is winning and everyone is losing!!!

    Austin, TX

    September 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  142. Kathryn

    President Obama's message to students – study hard, stay in school, take responsibility and take advantage of your educational opportunities – is entirely appropriate. What's inappropriate is the shameful fear-mongering taking place about the speech. What kind of message does it send to the nation's schoolchildren that words of encouragement from the president of the United States are twisted this way? This is shameful. If my children were still in school – and they were when President Bush addressed the nation's school kids with nary a ripple of protest – and if I thought they were going to be unable to watch the speech, I think I'd bring them home to watch.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  143. T. G. from the virgin islands

    An inappropriate mix of politics and education? No Way! President Obama is only doing this back-to-school address to encourage the children not only to do well in school, but to use what they learned to make the world a better place to live. I believe that it is an attach by the right-winged conservatives. If he was a Republican, some of the parents would not be accusing him of putting "socialist ideology" into their children's head.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  144. Allen, Texas

    Hey Jack,
    This is all nonsense. These Wingnuts have now gone too far. I think its time we Progressives start preparing for another Civil War. These Republican's behavior is tantamount to a call for another Civil War. I live in the South, and these "Racists" have never given up on avenging their 1861 – 1865 Civil War loss. I will suggest to all well meaning Progressives to either get their weapons ready or start stockpiling some NOW!!. From now on, I will not allow my children to listen to any Republican President whenever a Republican President want to address the school children. I will pull them out of school. Its tit – for – tat now. What they don't understand is that the other side have capacity to hate too. Better yet, if they want to secede, I say, "Don't let the door hit you in your racist cracker @#$."

    September 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  145. george

    You would think that parents would appreciate someone, actually anyone to speak to their children on the inmortance of an education in these days, and times. Instead we have a few loonies out there that are using this intended "pep talk" to our children to drum up more hate for our present President of the United States. You might expect to see this kind of reaction in some small third wolrd country, but not in the United States, but guess at this time is where we are in history, and I think we are about to learn a very important lesson. A Democrat President was elected to office for the next 4 years, and all of the bickering in the world is not going to change that, and for those who are trying to disrupt, or destroy this Presidency is on the wrong side of right, and right will always prevail.

    September 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  146. Lori

    I have never been ashamed to be an American, but today I am. The Republicans have disgraced the United States with there appalling rhetoric.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  147. Marjorie Wright

    Dear Jack:
    Well, it seems the right wing haters are out in full force. A spech by the President of the United States to the country's school children urging them to study and stay in school – oh, that sounds like propaganda. Are we nuts? It is disgraceful to hear that some school districts are not going to air his address. I am ashamed.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  148. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    President Obama’s back-to-school address is not an inappropriate mix of politics and education in my opinion.

    Obama needs to put his foot down, take charge, and stop allowing himself to be bullied around by fringe Rush Limbaugh wing of the Republican Party which is the bottom line to this in my opinion. He needs to just tell these people "I won and you lost" which is the only kind of language that they understand because nothing that he does will ever satisfy them and they are all openly rooting for him to fail.

    As long as Obama keeps on allowing these ideologues to bully him around, then he will keep on losing the message wars to them, his poll numbers will keep on going down, and he will probably get less than what he wants when it comes to his agenda.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  149. Annie in California

    Wow Jack!

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling! Socialism? Hardly! God forbid anyone care about the education and future of our children-unless it comes from the "right" (who are looking more and more like panic-stricken freaks)

    I'm one parent who is thankful we have a President who is trying to make himself more visible to our kids. I think the right is jealous. If they'd thought of this themselves, everything would be A-OK, but since it's President Obama, cries of socialism, socialism!

    If the right spent more time trying to find someone who is actually capable of leading their party, and less time trying to ruin anything that isn't their own idea, maybe they wouldn't be in the mess they are now. Hmmm...deep thoughts. I think I need an airsick bag!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  150. NightWriter

    The president should and must give this speech. For those of us who were actually listening during the presidential campaign -President Obam's agenda has always been about education. Children were driven to the television to engage in politics for the first time in some time. One person was able to bring young people out to the polls to take part in our democratic process, Barack Obama. Barack Obama should and MUST speak to our children next week.

    Albeit, President Obama is a black man. America, let's get beyond ourselves, beyond our political affliations and beyond our skin color. This man is our president. A fair chance to move the country forward is of benefit to us all. My children will be front and center when he gives his speech.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  151. Stephanie Johnson

    When President Obama addressed the NAACP about black children having to take responsibility for their education, to study hard and work for their dreams no one on the right had a problem with that. Now our President wants to encourage all of our students to study hard and work for their dreams and the conservative right compares him to North Korea and Saddam. Give me a break I call this racism at its best!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  152. Educator

    This opposition seems wildly trumped up. Since when is a President visiting school children and encouraging them to stay in school ideological (much less "socialist" - a term those who sling it around appear not to understand at all)? The President could give a speech praising the armed forces and the right wing would attack it. The media should drop this story.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  153. Nicholas A

    The WH could have easily avoided all this drama by releasing the proposed speech more in advance. The drama is being generated by the unknown contents of the speech. I don't trust Obama but if the script could be read ahead of time by parents (i.e. voters) and if it is reasonably non-partisan (I hope it is) then that would perhaps put a lot of minds at ease (and expose the extremists).

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  154. Bob from New Jersey

    I guess public education is "socialist ideology" too. I mean, it's like a "public option" for education, and it's funny how people are complaining about government health care, socialism, coverage, and death panels, and few people are complaining that government-run education will brainwash kids into politically obedient children ready to join a Hitler Youth style organization.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  155. e quesada

    Selective reporting again CNN! With radicals like Van Johnson working for Pres. Obama I don't want the children writing essays on how they can help the President. We trusted him to make race relations better but he hired race baters like Van Johnson.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  156. Buzz in Solvang, CA

    Jack

    THIS is the first time I can ever remember you LYING to your viewers. Did you not even listen to your own CNN guy, Rick Sanchez READ ALOUD the talking points in the school discussion?

    NOT A SINGLE WORD ABOUT POLITICS.

    So my question is WHY are you lying to the viewer?

    And the real reason the rightwing tinfoil hat wearing, Flat Earther, Birther deathers don't want their kids listening to the president is the kids will see that their parents have been lying to them about Obama and that he is not some demon from hell.

    Shame on you Jack.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  157. Karen

    Parents and teachers, Democrats and Republicans alike, can use all the help they can get. If the President didn't address the youth, he'd be accused of missing this great opportunity to influence students in a positive way. If you ask me, and you did, opponents of the President will spend the next three years picking apart his every move, or lack thereof. I'm tired of listening to their rantings. How do I handle it? I click the off button on the TV or radio.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  158. Judy in Colorado

    I just learned that our school district will not show the speech to our children. This is our President with a message of good will for the new school year and encouragement to do well. Our President is an articulate and intelligent man who fought the many odds to holds the highest office in our country. What better man or woman should send the message of what hard work in school can acheive?

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  159. Andrea in Twin Lake, Michigan

    The Republicans have lost their frickin' minds, Jack. I say we send all the crazies to Texas; let them...no, help them secede from the union; then the rest of us can get something done. No matter his politics, President Obama is a role model for kids who have serious obstacles to success. I'm just sick and tired of the idiots who keep putting a negative spin on anything and everything, no matter how positive!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  160. Boomer in Mo

    If President Obama was white, there would be very little criticism of this planned speech.
    Has anyone else noticed lots of people, inclulding professional reporters, refer to President Bush, President Carter, or Mr. Bush, Mr. Carter, but often call President Obama simply Obama. Lack of respect or underlying racism? I have come to believe it's the latter.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  161. robert

    I dont understand why Barack wants to spend the time and money to talk to school children. The children who are age 6 to 12 dont even think about the future of their education. It is up to the parents to plan the children's future and it's the job of the teacher's to educate them so they can meet those goals. So in short, if Barack needs help from kids-he doesnt need to be our president; if he wants to participate in our childrens education- he should be a teacher; and if he wants to know our childrens thoughts and goals- he should have had more children or worry about his own!!! This president just likes seeing his face on the tv at tax payer epense. This country is in real trouble and we need a president, not another reality tv series. GOD BLESS THIS ONCE GREAT COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  162. Mike

    I am having a hard time seeing the down side of this. What harm could possibly come from the president of these United States, a former teacher, providing a lesson in the classroom, via the most recent technology? Our children should be taught to respect their president, no matter which party he or she belongs to or what position one may have on an issue. Shame on those who provide this example of shunning our duly elected president.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  163. Kathy Eisele

    My grade school class borrowed a radio so we could listen to President Eisenhower. Later as a teacher, our classes were let out early so that students could see Presidents Reagan and Bush. Sr.
    Oh, I forgot those presidents were WASP.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  164. Jim Green, Seguin, TX, www.Inclusivism.org

    Jack....Churchill observed "Democracy is great until you spend 5 minutes talking with the average voter".....and CNN has a knack for not only finding these folks-but actually hand them a mic–like they have something actually worth listening to!.....this "education" nonsense is the most "non-story", "tempest in a tea pot" blather on the air---No matter what Obama does-the Republicans are going to oppose it--when is CNN going to catch on????

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  165. Che

    No matter what President Obama does or says the "anti" movement will find fault.. They are not rational .. do not not what reasonable means .. and are just waging a public relations campaign that happens to be very suited to television news/entertainment.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  166. Bozly

    We need to start a LEGITIMATE movement of taking our country back from these fanatical lunetics who are more interested in spewing and inciting hate rather than working towards our greater common good !!
    WE THE MAJORITY are tired of getting OUR greater common good HIJACKED and being terrorized by these folks who want to swagger and tote guns into public venues and are there to DISRUPT CONVERSATION and refuse to be respectful of others who have a differing position tha n theirs !! THIS HAS GONE BEYOND ABSURD....it is repuslive and we are coarsen by allowing them free rein while they trample on the majority's rights !!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  167. Fonda Gill

    ...so let them keep their kids out of school... we know the real reason they object to Obama being in the White House. For those who respect the office of the presidency and the celebrated Constitution of the United States, their kids will be in school. It seems that these GOP'ers will go to any lengths to disrespect President Obama. What a sad state of affairs in America. Hell...I listened to Dubya many times...often attempting to refrain from regurgitating or finding someone to interpret what the hell he was saying...I don't think he even knew what topic was being discussed half of the time. Mr. President, thank you for caring about everyone..not just the rich and famous, but the least of these. If that is Socialism...bring it on!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  168. Joe Murphy Jr

    Dear Jack,
    I believe that Obama's speech to our children is a great thing especially for minority children so that they can have a minority leader as a role model. So what if certain right wing Republican parents and educators think that Obama is leading us toward a socialist country....with Republican politicians cheating on their wives, Republican parents preaching Christianity to their children when they are doing the opposite in their actions, and other people advocating hate toward minorities when they claim to be Christian as well. What could a little government control hurt in order to put these politicrats, educrats, and other conservacrats in their place so they cant negatively influence our youth? Greed, abuse, infidelity, and hate are not values that I believe Obama advocates in order to lead our country.
    Our children need a president that supports education, equality, and respect for all people.

    Sincerely,
    Joe in Alabama

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  169. GWTripp

    When I was a kid living in Oahu, Hawaii, my very Republican parents were thrilled at the opportunity to let us kids stand by the highway to see President Kennedy cruise down Kamehameha in his convertible sporting bright red hair, big smile, and red (sunburned) complexion. That was on my ninth birthday three weeks before he was shot in Dallas. We all wept that day. We weren't Republicans; we were Americans taking pride in our nation's heritage and shocked and outraged by the inhumanity of it all.

    I say let President Obama give guidance and encouragement to our kids and shut up about all that partisan crap. For a change, the party of "No" needs to show some pride about being Americans instead of trying to muck rake a decent well-intention, intelligent, and skilled man like our President. I would be damned embarrassed to call myself a Republican right now with all the evil intentions spewing forth from every which way of the RNC. They are a bunch of sore losers kicked out of power for screwing things up and now are determined to royally screw everything up just out of spite.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  170. Lee Crawford

    President Obama is nothing but a saleman and this is just another way of net working that puts him on center stage. He will do anything to see himself on tv, which distracts the public from what he is doing in the back ground. He is trying to make everyone dependent on the Gov't.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  171. Vivian Hansten

    Dear Jack,
    If President Obama said the sky is blue, the GOP would scream that he is being Socialist, and subverting the society.
    They are getting so beligerant it is scary.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  172. Gloria/Sedalia, Co.

    Why is this causing such a fuss? Because the Republicans are striking out at everything our President stands for because he doesn't stand for what they can't win. I have listened to several different news commentators and parents( on facebook )that are against what the President wants to do and they have no idea what they're saying. What happened to respect of "one nation under God" or have we lost that too?
    Seems the same wave that has hit the healthcare issue is again trying to trump a simple NON-BRAINWASHING speech that only President Obama can give. Just listen.........

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  173. Steve

    He is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. He is the mentor of our country in many ways. He is doing what millions have done before him, speaking to school children.

    The only thing wrong with this is the cynicism and hatred that drives those who dislike him so much, to try to make this as anything more than what it is, an attempt to inspire and lead our children.

    Republicans have lost all credibility. Even if they had a legitimate complaint about anything, it's lost in the shuffle of ludicrous positions that have no basis in fact and are simply being taken to harm the President.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  174. Terri

    Jack: Whatever happened to respect for the Office of the President? This whole this is so ridiculous. Goes to show how the media will let a few irrational people take over the airwaves and allow anybody who has an opinion, no matter how absurd, to take control. Stop giving these idiots attention and maybe they will go away – I wish.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  175. Lynda

    Am I wrong to assume that President Obama is the President to everyone in the US (except illegal aliens who shouldn't be here in the first place), man, woman and children. I personally see nothing wrong with him talking to our children.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  176. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Jack, we'll never know what the original message was. The 'theme' of staying in school didn't get disclosed until after the backlash. I'm betting that he was originally going to be lining up the Obama Youth for health care reform before he got caught. Paranoid? Maybe; but somethimes they really ARE out to get you.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  177. John in San Diego

    Jack, it is so clearly NOT an inappropriate mix of education an politics that it boggles the mind. The Obama folk probably made a mistake by not anticipating the right-wing reaction to their lesson-plan idea (teachers are quite capable of finding lessons in current events), but the speech itself – encouraging students to persevere and excel in school – should probably be in every president's job description.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  178. Mark from SC

    How is talking to a bunch of school children any different than dealing with the Republican Party or the rest of the right-wing screech machine for that matter? At least the schools didn't ask to see his birth certificate beforehand.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  179. Angela Parker

    Yes, Obama's speech to our children is inappropriate when parents can't view it first, and when the White House bypasses principals, teachers, school systems, state education boards and all other local resources. I realize as of late that the White House is making the text of the speech available on Monday, but that wasn't the case when the speech was originally announced.

    I'm really not an extremist, and I'm not an Obama hater. But this attempt to reach our children directly can be likened to the Hitler Youth program. And I can't disagree with people who have likened it to something North Korea or Saddam Hussein has done.

    None of this would have blown up in Obama's face if he would have addressed a letter to parents first, gotten their opinion and feedback, and then proceeded with whatever agenda he had in this effort. But he didn't, and he boldly sent out curricula to school principals, as if being the Commander in Chief also inherently meant he was the Supreme Leader in our schools. He's not.

    Thanks Jack, for covering this issue,
    – Angela Parker
    Plano, TX

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  180. Gary

    I think the press gets played with this stuff. I don't know how to stop it but it is embarassing that CNN get pulled into this being news. The news is "right wing (or left wing when appropriate) trys to use press to create news once again" The office of the president of the United States is an institution that serves all americans, The President engaging children directly is a great way to empower individuals to feel that they matter and can make a difference. "The president wants me to tell him how I can help? wow!"

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  181. James

    Personally, I think it's totally appropriate for the President of the United States to encourage students to study hard, to work toward their goals, and to believe in education and their future. Unfortunately, people on both sides of the 'issue' are blowing it way out of proportion.
    For me, it comes down to timing - we're in the middle of what has become a vicious debate on healthcare. I appreciate that President Obama is walking a non-partisan path to encourage children, but I think it's ill-advised right now - of course it would become political with everyone already heated up about healthcare.
    If I had kids, I would let them watch the President's speech, so long as I too had a chance to review it; I believe we owe our respect to the office of the president, I don't believe we owe it blindly.
    I do respect, however, those people who exercise their right to withdraw their children from lessons that they feel is inappropriate - it's their opinion, and no one else's, not even the president's, that matters.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  182. Cirian

    Jack – Perhaps President Obama should give the education pep-talk to the right wing Republicans who need a lesson on reason. Instead of encouraging all our students to do better and set goals, they'd rather play politics. Shame on them! You'd think that this is an idea that would be supported from both sides of the aisle.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  183. David Clark

    Of course not, Jack. This is America's FIRST African American President and he is also considered to be a very liberal one at that. The right wing is up in arms about such a horrible thing happening in 'THEIR' country! This, after Rove promised that the conservatives would dominate American politics for generations to come. So, since they were crushed in the last election and basically have ZERO power in Washington, the only recourse is to parse everything that is done, might be done, or might be thought about being done by the President. It doesn't matter WHAT it may be... expect resistance and lies to pour from the right.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  184. Judith Strege

    President Obama is an individual who overcame race, economic status, single parent household stigma and other issues to become President of the United States. Who better to speak to our young people to tell them yes you can instead of no you can't. We let athletes accused of infidelity, drug use, wife beating, and other crimes into our schools to "encourage"our students....do parents question whether they should send their students to school on those days. As a staunch Democrat I would also be excited to see a successful Republican who overcame disabilities, or the "odds" of success come and speak to my children. Obama is well known and our children can be inspired by what he has achieved.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  185. J Scott

    Jack
    As bad as I hate to play the race card, this is pure undulterated racism. The talk radio people knew it was out there, so they decided to unleash it. The major TV networks needs to address this.
    Oxon Hill, MD 20745

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  186. Char

    Jack,
    What is the Republican Party coming too? This is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. As an Educator, I am appalled that Elected Officials of the United States do not want our President to address school children. I think he should address them so they do not grow up acting foolishly like the Republicans who oppose it!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  187. Michael Pardys

    Jack, this is insane. It's becoming more and more apparent that people on the far right are refusing to accept the legitimacy of this president. From the "birthers" to the idiots who think the president telling schools kids to take the education seriously is "socialist indoctrination" I can't help but thing that the basic problem these morons have with Obama is that he's black. The tragedy is that views of this fringe element are being supported, enabled and encouraged by one of our "mainstream" parties, the GOP.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  188. Darren - Kansas

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with the president talking to school kids about their goals for the future and working harder in class. The right wing extremists are trying to make everything he does seem like "evil socialism". There are no facts to back them up. The first George Bush gave a talk to students a few years back and it didn't hurt anything. There is no reason for people to be making a big stink about this.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  189. Karen Cypressi from Manhattan, KS

    You posted a picture of school children with hands over their hearts, facing the flag, and citing the Pledge of Allegiance. Now if that in itself is not a mix of politics and education, I don't know what is. The president wants school children to write about how they can achieve their educational goals. How can that be viewed as "inappropriate"? What makes that a "socialist ideology"? I thought taking responsibility for yourself is what America is all about.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  190. Shawn

    No one has the right to mandate education curriculum from the Government Dem or Rep, by-passing school boards,the state board of education, and most importantly the children's parents'. This right to influence and inspire children is the sole responsibility or right that a parent possesses until a child is 18 years old. This right is being taken away by a position of Government which we the people should have a voice.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  191. sally pfister

    . I say, shame on those folks who call into question our new, young president's motives. This man is trying so hard to keep his promises and make the changes that our country so needs. I was a young mother when Pres. Kennedy surprised our country by being a "Catholic" in office. He challenged us , as Americans, of all ages to be involved, to step up and be counted and to work together to improve the lives of those around us. Now we have our first black president---we need to be proud, step up and stop all of the underhanded ,self righous, comments and actions. Together we can do anything. How wonderful to have a president who is able to articulate this dream for America again. This old lady is praying for him, What is troublesome to me are the "so called Christians", who shake their fists, call him names and undermine his efforts. The man seems to have more of the Christian ideals than many who sit in the pews of our churches. I call him a Christian, father, not a socialist. Get with it folks.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  192. SStaten DC

    This is a Major Example How A Black Man is Treated in America.
    The President is not even Excluded !!!!!!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  193. Max Newman

    Conservatives had no problem when thier messiah Ronald Regan did the same thing. So what is the problem now? I guess those conservative racists don't want thier precious little snowflakes to hear the words of the uppity you know what in the white house.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  194. Unshrub

    Shouldn't we wait to see what he is actually going to say!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  195. Sharon Porter

    I think this is the most ridiculous issue I have seen. We should be proud that the President of the United States is taking time to talk to our students to encourage them to do well in school. I am a high school teacher, and we need all of the help that we can get to keep these kids focused and in school and if hearing from the President helps a couple of students, then it is worth it!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  196. Paula Wilder

    The United States competitive advantage is in large part based on the quality of our educational system. Collectively we all have a vested interest in our children achieving higher levels of responsbility and learning. If the President effectively engages more students in pursuing their goals, it would be a wonderful result. Keep in mind that Abe Lincoln didn't have much formal education/
    If Obama sparks the hearts and minds of even one child, I say "yes." I believe Presidents have a responsibility to engage with our young people and I am delighted he is.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  197. Mark

    What's wrong with the leader of our country, trying to encourage our children, to become better student's? Everyone knows that with hard work and commitment to education, opportunities are more plentiful. My bigger concern would be how to explain to them how we ever elected the clown that just left office.
    Mark, Brentwood, Ca.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  198. jw

    Further proof that this country wasn't ready for a black president after all. The far right has lost their ever loving minds, if they ever had one in the first place.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  199. connie labrador

    no i don't feel that it is politics because pres obama totally believes in education... this is how he got to where he is at....it is a positive message and he should go ahead with it...I think ;that the people who don't want him to do it are the ones who are being political.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  200. Doug from Virginia

    Can someone say paraniod? Parents don't get the option (thankfully) to have the kids "opt out" of hearing their teachers, so why should we give them the right to "opt out" of hearing the president. Obviously if Obama begins telling kids why they should be democrats rather than republicans or libertarians, etc, then there would be a problem. But that isn't going to happen any more than he is going to tell them to go use drugs and drop out.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  201. Michael

    I just want the GOP to just keep talking, just keep talking...the more they do, the dumber they sound and the worse it gets for them...and the better it gets for the democrats and FINALLY being able to pass healthcare reform that has some teeth!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  202. Marjorie

    ABSOLUTELY NOT! The individuals who are opposing this speech are the ones who are mixing politics with education. Other presidents have done the same thing. It's great that our president cares enough about children to encourage them to apply themselves in school, study hard & get good grades as that is exactly what will provide them with the tools and knowledge that they need to have a successful professional life. I am really getting tired of President Obama's opponents lying and using scare tactics and fear to try to prevent this country from achieving much needed goals in Health Care, the environment, education...to name a few. He was left with the largest deficit in the history of this country by his predecessor & the Republican majority in Congress and now, isn't ironic that the same party that destroyed our positive standing in the world and brought our financial system to almost ruin is espousing controlled spending and attempting to block the things that will once again make this country great!!!

    Downingtown, PA

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  203. Eleanora Feucht, Mt. Laurel, N.J.

    Giving a pep speech to the school children is fine. Where I draw the line is when he is asking them for advice .
    If the president is directing his questions to college students, it might not be so bad. But to ask elementary school children this question is like asing a boy to do a man's job. The general public and even the children are going to get the impression that the president doesn't know what he is doing if he has to ask school kids to do his job.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  204. Michael

    An inappropriate mix of politics and education? Since when, in this country, has politics and education ever been separate? Prayer in schools, inteligent design, vouchers, etc. Even school lunches have been politicized in this country. Since when is it inappropriate for the President of the United States to speak to any group of people in this country? This is just another excuse for the right-wing nuts to criticize the President. I bet most of the people complaining can't even bother to join a PTA or other community group that benefits education.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  205. JIM FALLBROOK CA

    It is just another hidden agenda to convert the country to socialism. This is evident by the declining approval ratings of our president Barack Hussein Obama. The American people are starting to realize that Obama is trying to make the country socialist. It has alway been obvious to me what Obama's intentions were.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  206. Steve

    If the address were political in nature, it would certainly be inappropriate. That is CLEARLY NOT the case here. President Obama is merely speaking of the importance of hard work and good grades. You would think this would be welcomed by every parent and teacher.

    "It is impossible to win an argument with an ignorant man."

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  207. Louis

    As with most things; one must look deeper. The conservative fear has little to do with education and everything to do with their racist attitude. They are truly angry because an African American Dad, who happens to be the president, will be offering solid, realistic advice. It about time the conservative movement "grows up" and realize much of the world does not need them anymore.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  208. Sue

    I think we should organize a March on Washington to illustrate our collective disgust with the political divide in this country. I know I am appalled by the absolute lack of bi-partisanship. Instead of trying to work WITH the President, the majority of Republicans are doing anything they can to thwart any ideas he has. The reason? Cause they're all ticked off he was elected with relatively little experience on Capitol Hill AND they want to regain their "power" through whatever means available. Even if it means telling outright lies. I am absolutely disgusted with the political climate and feel they are acting like a bunch of children. In fact, our children and grandchildren could teach THEM a thing or two as to how to act in a respectful, dignified and cooperative way.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  209. Dorothy Brown

    Race IS at the center of the Education Speech, Health Care, and virtually everything Pres Obama does or says. White people think they own the world. They stole this county from the Indians and claimed Columbus found American. Indians were ALREADY in America when Colunbus showed up. They claimed they build America but African Americans build America because they don't have the physical strength to do it and think they are too important to do physical labor.All they want to do is tell other peple what to do, be in charge. Well, they are not in charge now and they can't stand it.

    Other nationalties live in this country, not just White folks who think they have ALL the sense in the world and NOBODY can do anything but them. They need to get over the fact that the county now has an intelligent, well educated (more than most of those stupid people at the Town Hall Meetings), and just as capable as any other White man who tried to run the country. There will be other Minorities to follow. This is a global world now, so get on board of you will get left. Nobody cares about the White man any longer

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  210. Jack

    Yes, it is inappropriate, but considering the nonsense that has come from this administration, not unexpected. Much like the appointment of a self-proclaimed communist to a high level white house position, but then you wouldn't know about that because your network refuses to report it.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  211. Tamara H

    If an elected president can't speak to children about the value of education, goal setting and persistence, there is nothing he can do that the republicans will support. This is another example of unmitigated hate for this president and everything he does. Apparently, these parents have little faith in their ability to communicate values to their children and/or have those values challenged (or supported by the wrong person). Is so, they can opt out of the lecture and the lesson plan and let the rest of us move on.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  212. Denise

    Every President should address the students of our nation. We do still teach history, government, and current events in school don't we? This is just proof that the republicans will say "NO" to everything Pres. Obama and the democrates try to do. In upstate NY our schools open on the 9th. I am proud to say our school is recording the Presidents speach for our students to watch the next day. For shame on those parents and schools that may deny students from seeing history in the making.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  213. Khristopher

    What has our country come to? It's sad that in the times when we need to be united to accomplish the common good of our over all plight of life we have choosen division. I think that no matter what President Obama does the opposition will do what they are expected to do, Oppose! The fact is that the opposition is takeing it to far. Comparing our nations leader to socialist and communist leaders in other countries is simply a lie. I am a 34 year old man and can vividly remember President Regan being shown in my elementary school as a whole not a choice of the individual teacher. Is the argument of the republican party that children should not be encouraged to stay in school and work hard?

    September 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  214. maty

    Did anybody actually read the article?It says right in it that Democrats were all astink when Bush I addressed students. But their indignation is always correct.
    I think it's telling that Dems are quite defensive of this President despite the many stumbles made by this admin already (really bonehead stuff, too, like calling Cmabridge MA police "stupid"). Why is no one willing to criticize, or let anyone else criticize lest they be labeled racist? This country is going to hell in a handbasket- and all we need to do is reign in and decentralize gov't. Pity.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  215. Katica

    Everybody knows that our public education system with high drop-out rates and low test scores needs improvement. The President wants to encourage children to do their best stay in school, try to have initiatives and take actions. It is a noble move and to be congratulated. I cannot believe that this could be a “divisive” issue. To say this will be “indoctrination” “brainwashing” just shows that our educational system has a long way to go to educate clear thinking individual.
    I read a quote of a mother with four children who says she is now afraid to live in this country with this administration. She is afraid that somebody would tell her children that they should work hard, stay in school and do their best. It is really a terrible “brainwashing”
    America be smart!!!!!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  216. Anne Smith

    Surely our President has something of value to say to our nation's children. My 11th grader would benefit from the message of doing your best, and stay in school.

    I cannot fathom why the GOP is so threatened by this man. Get over it and move on.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  217. Wil Cunningham

    The Republicans is a very sick group of people. There is nothing a black man can say to white childerns. Isn't that sick ? The disrespect this man is receiving is a disgrace to our country. A guy like Bush who could hardly able to spell his name got more respect . Sick

    September 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  218. Beverly Ross

    Absolutely not! Can't this guy do anything without the right-wing nuts ascribing some nefarious, ulterior motive to it? He's an educator himself, has school-age kids, and knows better than many the value of education. A little presidential cheerleading for our school kids is a GOOD thing. Give me a break!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  219. Todd (Chicago)

    The bigger question is why are you in the media so fascinated with the made up lies and crap that glen beck and rush limbaugh put out there? Why dont you try to focus on reporting the actual TRUTH instead of following some racist commentators paranoid visions? Why is this a god damn story in the first place?

    September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  220. Kathy

    I just wrote the Chairman of the RNC renouncing my Republican registration. I'm embarrassed by this party. This is the silliest thing I have ever heard.

    Hopefully more disgusted Republicans will do the same.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  221. Sheryl Hennika, Lake Wylie SC

    I have NEVER been so furious as to all the bull going on with this. First we complain as a nation that our young people are not involved in the process. Then our president, works with the schools to involve our children in the process and now we complain. When I was in 3rd grade, JFK died-we were all involved. THIS is the opprotunity of a life time for parents EVERYWHERE on all sides of the coin to OPEN DIALOG with their children about what they thought after it, any opinions they personally have and encourage civic pride.

    To equate this with Korean or Iran is about as ludicrous a thing I've ever heard. Unbelievable that this is going on and that ANYONE who think that a SPEECH by th president could BRAIN WASH a young person.

    Does this mean the parents are admiting they lost control of all dialog with their children and that THEIR CHILDREN are that easily malipulated by a speech? Even if it's word EXACTLY how they sayit is-are they THAT terrified that they can't control the message in their own HOUSEHOLD?

    If that's the case--why the heck are they PARENTS!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  222. Michael M Phoenix AZ

    Only for the Republican and any other one calling themselves "conservatives." It seems that too many people think this is a socialist or Maxist type of speech....NO, it is to ask the school children to work hard to make better citizens for themselves and the country. Maybe if Bill Cosby said the same thing, then the Conservatives would back off. I guess the conservaties are worried that their children may become "free-thinkers" and actually look and listen to more than side of an issue before making up their minds. No one got up in arms when JFK was pushing for more math and science because we were behind the world....well, guess what, we are behind again and we may not catch up with the Republicans and NO Child Left Behind leaving our "education" to wallow...

    September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  223. Tyran

    Wait people, what is wrong with the President asking school children how they can help him? NOTHING! How are some conservatives making that into indoctrination? Obama is actually gonna try to turn our kids into socialist while the whole world is watching? ARE THESE FOLKS SERIOUS!?!?! Some conservatives and republicans hate Obama so much that they will believe anything and/or anyone who is critical of him. THEY ARE TOTALLY PARTISAN!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  224. Randy, Reno

    Hey Jack,

    Aren't these the same people who not too long ago were screaming that anyone who criticizes the president was committing treason? I guess that only applies to "their president". What a bunch of hypocrites!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  225. js -----santee

    ENOUGH ALREADY.....we are trying kill our seniors and now we are brainwashing our youth????? This has gotten out of hand. At some point someone has got to call lies a lie. Where is CNN and you Jack; when are you going to start talking about the majority of this country that supports this ELECTED PRESIDENT? instead of the bitter angry crowd that lost the election. If you don't want a Democrat in the office next election than vote him out but don't lie....stop lying. And show some respect for the office of the President of the United States. We teach our children the meaning of respect even when we don't agree.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  226. steve

    Jack, If the president of the United States can't address students in America, then where can he? I know that this is just a tactic by some on the right who are doing everything they can to not acknoledge the realization that Barack Obama is the President of the United states, and should speak anywhere to anyone in America if he feels like it. First his birth was in question, then it was said that if he was broke on health care it would be his waterloo, now this. If you really want to know the truth, it's racism pure and simple. Some Americans have said more against this president in seven months than was said about Geoge W. Bush in eight years, and it he who caused most of the problems that we face today. Get a life people and shut up.

    Steve
    Los Angeles

    September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  227. bobj998

    It is not only appropriate, it is common practice for the President's of the United States.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  228. Claudia Dreseen

    Jack,

    The whole thing smacks of Obama's narcisistic need for people to "help him" and worship him. What, help him further his socialist agenda? Why do kids need the President to tell them to succeed in school? Isn't that their parents' job? People object to it because of Obama himself and look at some of the "czars" who have his ear. Frankly, they are frightening. I have a probelm with Obama, who he himself, wants to "fundamentally change" this nation. Fundamentally change it into a socialist nation. A country this great does not need fundamental change. Maybe just a wee bit of tweaking.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  229. bess

    this report forgot (intentionally?!) to mention that while the White House is now asking students to write about their short-term and long-term goals the original request in the lesson plan, provided to teachers (by U.S. Gov., not the states that control the schools), was to write about how they could serve President Obama. There's a huge difference in the two... understood by [conservative] adults but not so easily distinguished between by children.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  230. David Lott

    The Republicans have become nothing short of a bunch of cry babies and have such short memories. Numerous Presidents have taken similar messages of work hard, study and make something of yourself to students. I'm sick and tired of their disruptions, lies, mis-information and propaganda. I was a life long Republican until this last Presidential campaign – and they sickened me. Especially when Palin entered the picture. Now I'm an "Obamaican". Give it a rest!!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  231. Cheryl

    As long as his speech is about education and has no political agenda, work sheets, or teaching points that might be construed in any way to be political, then ok.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  232. Jenny, Fremont, Ca

    Are republican parents worried their children will become democrat because the President is promoting self worth through setting goals, taking personal responsibility and doing well in school? Oooh, sooo scary. Not to worry, those parents who choose to be closed minded and ignorant have a good chance of raising children with the same mindset. Whether you are happy with the Whitehouse or not, the fact is President Obama is a good man, with good intentions. I wish the small group of idiotic republicans would shut up and leave the rest of us to learn and progress and promote the well being of all the children in this country!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  233. Adam Casler

    It is a sad day when we can't even talk about the benefits of an education without having to be put on the defensive about our political beliefs. Of all areas of American life, I would think that education should be considered above the normal political maneuvering, and yet, now we find people attacking a president who is trying to make education a priority for all children.
    If parents are worried about them hearing something from the President they might not like, TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN. If more parents got involved with their children's lives issues like absenteeism, drop-outs, and poor academic performance wouldn't be anywhere near the dangerous levels that they are today.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  234. Dan

    No it's not inappropriate, and I'm really getting fed up with this bs. I was a lifelong Republican, going as far bas as campaigning for Barry Goldwater in high school. But after the far right dismantled the Republican party and filled it with hate mongers, I am now an independant, and voted for Obama.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  235. Mike from Denver

    Addressing young students and encouraging them to study hard and make the most of their education is commendable. Any political sway or ideology as part of the message is reprehensible. North Korea and Iraq are not the only countries guilty of this, but let us not add our name to that list.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  236. Sam, St. Louis

    Uhhh... no, Jack. It isn't. It's just an inspiring message to American children, urging them to invest in their future and take responsibility for their own education. Last time I checked, that's a heck of a lot closer to the principle of personal responsibility and hard work that the republican ideology once claimed to engender than it is to any kind of "socialist agenda," which makes the republican outcry that much more hypocritical.

    The fact that the republicans can rationalize coming down on this address is just a bit cringe-worthy. I mean, I know that they generally prefer to have a thunderously ignorant, highly pliable constituency, hopelessly divorced from the ability to think critically, but can't they be a little less transparent? Getting an education and having more than two neurons to rub together doesn't make you some kind of socialist degenerate. It makes you a success.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  237. John Kelley

    Damn if do and damn if you don't. That is where Obama is on speaking to American students. As far as I am concerned he should not worry one bit over the perverted outcries of Republican right wingers. Some one ought to tell them to stick their complaints you know where.
    The bottom line in this whole issue is that Republicans and their cohorts are in a state of denial that Obama, a Black man, is Presidnent of the United States. Their frustration ranges from outcries he is not an American citizen, to don't let him talk to our kids syndrone. They can't say anything about his Blackness, but they will fiercely talk around the subject. Sad, but it is race and that is what is.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  238. Ralph Starling

    Everyone needs to relax! President Bush has done this-any President of the United States should be able to speak to children, high school, or college students. It doesn't matter if they are Republican or Democrat or Independent. This is the United States -land of the free!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  239. Jack Cardwell

    The Republican in this country remind me of the witch hunters in Salem or the great communists hunters in the 1950's. Nothing satifies these people and their agenda from day one is to destroy Obama and the democratic party. There not one bit of America welfare or working together to benefit the citizens of this country. If anything they hope to destroy our country.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  240. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    Boy our President goes and creates a positive message for our children, and still gets thrown under the bus. I just got a note from our school district advising parents if they do not want their children to hear this message to send a note along with the student next Tuesday and they would be excused. Excused from listening to the President? Excused from being challenged to work hard, study hard, and not to quit school or their education?

    September 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  241. P.H. Garrett

    I am ashamed of my country. No one could have made me believe that there was so much hatefulness in this United States of America. I know our country is looking like a fool around the World. Every week there is something else. They just go from one thing to another. I went to Washington for the Inauguration. I was happy about the election, because I had work for him to be our next President. He won the election, but they are trying to make him lose the battle. I can not believe all we fought to overcome in the 60’s, is rearing its ugly head again. I am counting on the President to stand up to the status quo and fight for real reform with a strong public health insurance option for all. I am a retired teacher who has insurance, but there are so many people who have none. We will pay for them after they have to visit the emergency room or pass the reform bill and pay less for them there. We will have to pay one way or other.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  242. tree

    I think it's really sad that it has come to this. Obama is the President of the United States! I've never seen people treat a president this poorly. I remember watching Reagan when I was in elementary school. There was no out cry then. We were always taught to respect our President. And I certainly did. Sometimes politics have to be put on the side, and this is the sorry example of why the McCain campaign failed...they went really low with their tactics. The majority of America is tired of this! This is why the Republicans will not gain back the White House anytime soon...a third party will surface, the Liberatarians...and The Republican Party will share the fate of the Whig Party. Stop being petty and maybe the majority of America might actually listen to you once in a while.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  243. Angelica

    Cory Clare said it perfectly....

    President Obama is trying to reach out to kids and tell then that Education is Important. He realizes that kids are the future of this country and they should be more involved in todays politics. I am tired of everyone making him out to be a bad person and to compare him to Sadam and Hitler is more than just cruel it is dead wrong. I am in the military and I may not agree with everything but look at what he was dealt from President Bush. I fully support him.

    I agree

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  244. doc jos

    Of course it is inappropriate. But again there enough channels that I can easily just go with me kids and watch the military channel :)

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  245. Costa

    This is ridiculous. It's just a speech addressed to our children! I used to be a Republican, but thanks to our last president I now consider myself Independent. This is what I think we have with regards to our national political and policy making circle: Democrats rushing premature plans to fix decades-long problems and Republicans continuously blocking any attempts to change the status quo. Democrats’ approach is disappointing, at best. Republicans’ tactics are childish, idiotic, and extremely irresponsible.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  246. Mike in Kentucky

    I'd rather he address the Unemployed – there's plenty of them who need his inspirational words, and their number is growing every day. They've all got their shovels ready, but no one is telling them where to dig! Where are the jobs the President promised???????

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  247. Conor in Chicago

    I bet if Obama was going to offer a prayer to the nations school children these same people would scream at the top of their lungs at anybody who brought up the topic of Seperation of Church and State. The simple fact is that these people are upset because they don't want Obama to be a positive influence on their children because they hate Obama for various reasons.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  248. Jon from Indiana

    It was wildly inappropriate when the White House requested that students 'write essays on how they can help the president.' That goes against our entire system of government. The president and all our elected officials work for us, not the other way around. It is disconcerting that someone in the Obama administration thought that that wording was a good idea. Thankfully, due to Republican criticism, that request was stricken from the student address. Now that the offending language has been removed, I see no problem with the president asking children to push themselves in pursuit of their goals.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  249. Jerry

    Hmm...let's see. Is it inappropriate for our nation's President to encourage our nation's children to stay in school? No, actually it makes perfect sense. Anyone who thinks otherwise, should seriously think about joining the little kiddies, for such a person would obviously be in dire need of education.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  250. Larry, Minnesota

    Jack, you have to understand the concerns of the right wing-nuts. They fear that if their kids are exposed to new ideas, they will not grow up to be as narrow-minded, ignorant and racist as their parents. When I was in school some 50 years ago all we knew is that Ike was president of America. Our president. We knew nothing of any ideology.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  251. Tanya

    Not the presidents job to encourage children to stay in school and work hard. If the parents are doing their jobs like they should this would not be an issue. I don't want anyone in government talking to my kids. From where I stand most of them look like liars and cheats. That is why we have sacrificed a lot to keep our kids in private schools. More control over what they learn.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  252. Ray

    A Pres. wants to speak to kids, what's the problem? I'll tell you.

    What makes this speech different from Pres. speeches in the past is that this Pres. is drastically trying to change the landscape of the country. His own word's "spread the wealth around" and "I believe in a single-payer system" speak volumes of his true intent, regardless of what his teleprompter tells him to say.

    This time it's different, it's smells of something funny, something creepy, and people are beginning to wake up and smell the O-roma.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  253. michael

    Totally appropriate. The republican are simple minded without a care about a true and honest debate. Healthcare reform has been talked about for forty years now let’s get it done so average Americans can enjoy the same healthcare as our legislators and President.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  254. GEORGE SUHR

    Texas has the highest teen pregnancy and high school drop out rate in the nation. What are many of they're parents most concerned about? The President of the United States giving a pep talk to their kids! Maybe if he'd just read them a story on a goat they would be o.k. with it.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  255. Deb from W. Bloomfield, Michigan

    Over the past seven months, all we as Americans have heard is nonsense and racist overtones. We, the greatest country in the world is setting a less than third world standard for respect to our President. I am too ashamed of the far right and Re pubs. All this because Our President is BLACK.....Shame on the Re pubs and their intent to see out President fail or worse ASSINATIONED. Today, I have NO respect for the Re pub party . Insanity over the President giving a speech about education. Ignorance of Rush's, Michael Steele, and Palin, Cheney, Glenn Beck is totally beyond comprehension.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  256. s.lane

    Totally inappropriate at this time. He wants the children to influence their parents to vote for healthcare reform.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  257. PD Casteel

    Lincoln toured NYC Five Points talking to children directly in 1860 and McKinley talked to 40K plus kids in SF in 1901. When I was a kid we watched from school whenever Nixon spoke during the day. No one went crazy thinking I was going to give into Nixon indoctrination. Heck I remember sitting in class when he announced the end of Vietnam. My teacher didn't say whether it was good or bad. She just said it was historical. We just need some common sense on this. The Right and Left have spent the last 20 years being too paranoid and shrill.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  258. S.M

    Everyday a child is told in the USA one day you can become the President of the United States of America. The president is now in front of those same children telling them that they can do well in school and they have control over their future.
    A simple request to write a letter about their short term and long term goals to me just get children to sit and think about what they want to do in their future and how they can achieve it. I'm just confuse at why this all could be a bad thing.
    What is wrong with children finding out what they want to do with their lives and how they can achieve it?

    September 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  259. Doyle Coatney

    It is inappropriate. There is nothing wrong with having President Obama address the students. In fact, it is a good idea. What is wrong is what the White House Staff and the Department of Education intended to do in glorifying President Obama, while bypassing local educational authorities, by suggesting children write letters to themselves about how they could help President Obama, how President Obama inspired them and suggesting drawing pictures using famous sayings of President Obama. All of this smacks of a "cult of personality" more befiting to North Korea of Iran than the US.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  260. EJ

    Obama is mixing politics with education. Asking what you can do for your country is one thing, asking how kids can help Obama is somthing else-Obama is not the country.

    The liberals on this cite who are screeching about conservatives attacking Obama, or dredging up the spectre of Bush for the purpose of countering "hate speech" need to remember the point they raised so often over the last 8 years-for many, the president does not speak for them. Leave the kids out if politics.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  261. janet

    I have been an elementary educator for 30 years, and I have seen and written thousands of lesson plans. I can see nothing wrong with the President speaking to the nation's students. If you read the entire lesson plans for both elementary and secondary discussions and activities, you will see that "inspiring" refers to what the President is saying during the speech,(staying in school, working hard, etc,) not what is inspiring about the President. The speech is scheduled for 15-20 minutes, not for an hour as those objecting to the speech are stating. This time includes clips from well known people who will also promote working hard and the value of staying in school. As for taking valuable time, this is the first day of school, a time for motivating children and making them excited about the new school year. I know my children will be thrilled to think that the President is taking time from his busy day to talk to them.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  262. Anthony

    No harm to anyone. All to do about nothing. Just another Republican attach to gain an advantage for the next election.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  263. Pam

    As I sit here in the pa va hospital I am in tears that my and my friend lives means not a dam thing to bunch of ungratful race batting people I will not dignify them as american. Because american are proud of who ad what we have accomplished. And the chicken poop media will not call it what it is FROM THE DAY HE BECAME OUR COMMDER AND CHIEF RACE..I HAVE HEARD FROM MY Friends from around the world and we are a laughing stock and the GOP IS A DISGRACE THEY WILL NEVER BE REPECTED AGAIN...by the world not the tea foolers all white

    September 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  264. Jarrett Cherry hill nj

    Are you kiding with me jack of course it's a good idea for students to think about learn about their future and not drop out after all high school graduation has dropped down to 10% at what i checked in all time low at 60%. It may seem good to some people but not to me because thats a "D"minus my mom would be ticked of if I had "D".

    September 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  265. Jamie

    The real people who need to take "responsibility" are the PARENTS!!! You never see the parents of problem children or children who are non-performers at parent conferences. Wild horses can't drag them in. The parents we see are the parents of students how know what it means to "behave" and "do" classwork and "do" homework.
    When I went to school it was my parents who made inquiries on how I was doing in school and it was my parents who kicked my butt for doing things I should not have done and for not doing things I "SHOULD" have done.
    Every single time we see good students, we see good parents.
    You do the math.
    21 year veteran in education.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  266. emaye

    It seems the republicans don't have enough to worry about with the economy, unemployment, war, and the list goes on. No matter what President Obama does, the republicans find a way to make an issue of it. So, President Obama is not supposed to talk to school children because he might influence their thinking? The republicans must believe students and teachers are a bunch of lost souls who are unable to think for themselves and are just waiting for someone to "show them the way." I am shocked that republicans would even begin to suggest that the government, specificallly President Obama, shouldn't get involved in education. Have they forgotten about No Child Left Behind and the educational publishing houses that directly benefited from President Bush's policies?

    September 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  267. Michelle Newman

    Since no one has heard his speech yet, I am amazed at how all of the commenters here know the contents of said speech. If he wants to speak to the kids, so be it, but if he veers off course even a little, he will deserve the reaction he is sure to get from the right. My advice to him is, do a public service announcement and save yourself the grief.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  268. honesty

    I think the children of this nation would benefit from the President's speech, they would feel that the president is interested in this country and their future and I believe it will have a positive impact. Any one who balks at this thought is only thinking of opposing any suggestions the president has. Shame on them, to not see the positive impact and only their political gains.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  269. lee

    I am staggered by the ignorance of these republican lemmings.
    Its hard to believe that this type of racism still exists but, its obvious that the good old "Dixiecrats" that saved the life of the republican party in the late 50's early 60's are still alive and as dumb as ever. This is obviously a sad discourse by those that are led by what they want to believe, and accept it as absolute truth when some republican of note says it.
    They are so lost in their own hatred that it can be some total lie showing on a republican hate blog somewhere, and they want to believe so badly, they follow right off the cliff. Good bye republicans. Sure wont miss you fools.
    Every republican representative, senator, and governor should immediately speak out against this kind of sick hatred. Not want your children to hear the president?? You're all crazy.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  270. Scott Peek

    The fact that this issue has any momentum at all is a sad testament to the right wing establishment of this country. This in my opinion is just another example of the republicans fake outrage to President Obama's approach to governance and another sad attempt to divide the country.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  271. Carl Vonder Haar

    How can a speech by a sitting US President to the nation's school children possibly be construed as wrong? The freely elected leader of a democratic country speaking to the children of it's citizens – this is wrong? Talk about smacking of racism. I don't recall this uproar when George W. Bush had a "chat" with school kids.
    I wonder how Republican and Conservative "leaders" would construe FDR's fireside chats if they were to occur today – as a rallying cry for all of us to become arsonists? Anything can be twisted out of context so that it looks threatening – especially be people who would prefer to read headlines and hear sound bites rather than actually read an article or listen to more than one viewpoint on the news.
    I'm sick and tired of people seeming to sit on the sidelines doing nothing to help our country move forward from the mess it's been left in by the previous administration. The strategy on the part of the opposition seems to be to wait for any communication whatsover from the White House and then pounce on it like a pack of hyenas. Wouldn't it be more productive to come up with ideas of their own?

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  272. Dan - Eustis, florida

    Lets get to the meat of the issue, what the over riding problem the
    President faces is Racism, period. It isn't a speech to our children, it
    isn't Health care reform, it isn't the deficit ( which the Republicans
    created ) it is simply the fact that the lily white Republicans can not stand the fact that we have a mixed race President. These Tea Parties, where
    were these Hypocrites when President Bush was spending billions on
    an unnecessary war why cutting the taxes of the richest americans. the
    problem we face is bigotry. The majority of Republicans are obviously
    Racist. They are the ones disrupting Town Hall meetings,forming Tea
    Parties and complaining about the Presidents speech to school children. The true enemy of our country is the bigotry being espoused by the Republican party and its Pundits.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  273. Jon Auer

    I feel the President is out of line, and the speech un-necessy Jack.
    He would do be better stiff-arming State Legislators, stressing Schools with books, and equipment to teach every American Child equaly. Providing strong cirriculums that actualy work.
    Not just teach kids to pass advancement tests so they can get Money under the guise of not being left behind.. We already have enough 5th and 6th gradders that pass weither they can read or not. Much less understand a speech!

    I say He drops the whole Idea and just goes about getting a good Health Bill that works for all Americans. Lets let him pass the Health Care final exam first.

    Jon in Nashville

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  274. Wm in PA

    Jack;
    It is a sad day when our first part minority President is criticized for showing leadership by telling students to: be responsible, study in school and stay in school to graduate.
    There is something very sinister in those that would object to this message. They must be the ones making predatory loans, and making big bucks hiring minimum wage workers. Of course, they want a big lower class preferably drug using and selling too. Just not in my back yard we millionaires are sending our kids to Harvard, or Yale assuring they follow us at the top.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  275. Scott O'Canada

    That door you hear slamming shut is the last ounce of dignity leaving the Republican Party. Is there no one in that vacuum they call the party leadership that can, or perhaps will is a better term, offer up a more compromising and thoughtful position. Just because they are the current national opposition party doesn't mean the MUST oppose everything. I realize this is an unfamiliar postition in which to be cast for them recently, but start offering up something other than "no" for christ sake.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  276. Sasha

    Hello Jack I am Georgia. What's so wrong with a a pep talk for the nation’s schoolchildren from the president??? The first President Bush made a similar televised address to students in 1991. It's become political because one party's president is not the one making the speech. So they are afraid that a Democat President and/or a black man is calling on them to take responsibility for their education and do their best. GROW UP!!! Don't you want your kids to take responsibility for their education and do their best.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  277. Marie MD

    Just when you think our country can't sink any lower, here we go again with, what I believe, one of the most stupid republican whining in the last eight months (not that most of the other ones weren't). The President is going to speak to these children about education, working hard and making it and these idiot parents following in the steps of the limbaughs and hannity's just can't take it.
    Sorry folks, but what's his name was reading a childrens' book (just his forte) to a classroom of school kids when we were attacked on 9/11. What is the difference? bush just sat there like a deer in the headlights. President Obama wants a better US.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  278. Philip Wainwright

    The real danger are these right wing conservatives, not the President. Life must be hard for these people–running around every day yelling that the sky is falling.
    The President is offering to provide a learning opportunity in civics directly from the leader of the free world! What a way to involve the students! What a great way for the President to make children across this country feel that he cares about each and every student.
    We expect our President to be a leader, and that is what he is doing in this case. This type of active leadership can be very effective and I applaud his efforts.
    It is shameful that we are giving the critics of this idea any credence at all. This conservative element of our society, mainly made up of Republicans, have taken a good idea and tried to ruin it.
    Hang is there, Mr. President. Remember the old saying, "No good deed ever goes unpunished!"

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  279. Stephanie Watson

    I am an Independent and I get so sick of all this politicking. NOTHING is wrong with ANY president talking to our students. As long as they're not telling them it's right or wrong to be in a certain party, or be a certain religion, what is the big deal.

    Personally, no matter who the president is, I have always made sure to watch any speech by them that I could.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  280. Phil

    What we are seeing is the last breath of an archaic way of thinking..., no progress, no pro-action, no change, no reform. They're numbers are decreasing, the majority voted President Obama. The screaming will not stop but the numbers screaming will be so small we won't even hear them in time!! Phx, AZ

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  281. Noel

    What's different is that this is not a President going to a classroom and speaking directly with children. This is institutionalized indoctrination. Children need to learn the "3 R's" and other subjects so that they can have a more comprehensive understanding of real life before they get subjected to politics (right or left). They need to learn how to get along with one another in the classroom or on the playground before they have to deal with politics. What children need is a parent with a good job and a high wage in a country that is strong, prosperous and proud. The president should focus on those things instead of trying to build a following among kids who are not even close to being old enough to vote. The campaign is over. It's time to lead.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  282. Karen

    Would conservatives object so vehemently and viciously if Michelle Obama was scheduled to deliver this speech? Probably not. The Good Old Boys and their blind followers just can't stand the man's skin colour and will stoop to all-time lows to undermine anything he does.
    Karen from British Columbia, Canada

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  283. Sam, St. Louis

    Uhhh... no, Jack. It isn't. It's just an inspiring message to American children, urging them to invest in their future and take responsibility for their own education. Last time I checked, that's a heck of a lot closer to the principle of personal responsibility and hard work that the republican ideology once claimed to engender than it is to any kind of "socialist agenda," which makes the republican outcry that much more hypocritical.

    The fact that the republicans can rationalize coming down on this address is just a bit cringe-worthy. I mean, I know that they generally prefer to have a thunderously ignorant, highly pliable constituency, hopelessly divorced from the ability to think critically, but can't they be a little less transparent? Getting an education and having more than two neurons to rub together doesn't make you some kind of socialist degenerate. It makes you successful.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  284. Joe from Middletown, Va.

    Jack: Hello!!!!!! Mr. Obama is the U.S. President and deserves Respect and should be listened too when he speaks to the people. He has the Authority to do many things but I doubt this fight is worth fighting with such closed mined imature, biased parents.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  285. Cynthia in Canada

    I cannot believe how ridiculous some of the Republicans are!

    In Canada, we shake our heads at the insane and ignorant reactions to Obama's efforts to reform health care and now this! The level of partisanship there is out of control and is a detriment, embarassment and danger to your country.

    The President just wants to encourage children to take responsibility for their own education and to study hard. This is a commendable goal.

    Get a grip people!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  286. Rod

    Overt racial intent. Obama is going to suffer from comments and opinions which are formulated based on hate for him as a man. Baseless hateful reaction to a black man as president. In the south, we
    remember the 50's and 60's when all the white farmers around here
    hired "nigras" (as they were shamefully referred to), to be field
    foremen, and to take the truck to the county seat for supplies, but they were not allowed to "talk to our kids", and they didn't, except to
    get orders and report results, for fear of losing their jobs. Where did
    these people go politically since the 60's....?....to the republican party, where they were welcomed, and given plenty of comfort.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  287. Mark Wilhelmi

    It is perfectly appropriate for the President of the United States to talk directly to the young people of this country about taking responsibility for their own educations. The Right is using this as another opportunity to attack Obama and by extension anyone who disagrees with them. Their charges are ridiculous. It's all part of a campaign to exploit ignorance, fear, and anger to undermine democracy.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  288. Chris Green

    Bush I gave his speech in the run up to his re-election. Obama is giving his address three years before the next election. Let us face it; those who are against this "indoctrination" would rail against Obama if he made a comment about liking sunshine. The GOP has become the party best defined as anti-Obama in every way possible. Clearly, the GOP has nothing else to offer except to be against whatever President Obama is for.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  289. Denis

    It is very appropriate. Republicans are wrong for critisizing the President, just as Democrats were wrong in the '90's. The President is the inspirational leader for all americans young and old. If he is going to speak of studying, getting good grades and learning, they need to hear it. They obviously don't need to hear health care, stimulus, cap and trade, and other policy issues.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  290. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    I think all of the turmoil is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard from the right wingers, and that's saying a lot! Do they actually expect people to believe that the president is sending secret liberal messages to our children in order to brainwash them? Give me a break! I guess it was allright for two former presidents to talk to children....but then they were white Republicans, weren't they?

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  291. lkr

    I think this is an excellent idea. There are many youngsters who can use this pep talk. Maybe he should give one to the parents, about being there for the kids, and reminding them that the teacher is not a bay-sitter. Also remember (parents) that the children are not all saints, and you have to let the teachers know you are willing to back them when they need it. It's about time parents remember they are the most important people in their children's life, and they are the adults.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  292. Paula from Canada

    Hi Jack,
    As a Canadian I was thrilled and over joyed when President Obama was elected..I still am , as is most of the free world. However, the right wing"nut jobs" are really starting to scare the begeeze out of me ! What kind of slice of crazy pie do these people come from?? I do not see how a President , encouraging children to exceed is communist, socialist or even Liberal for that matter.
    This hate thing has gone way to far..not since the race riots of the late 1960's has there been so much hate..amongst so much hope... go figure.
    Paula from Canada

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  293. Sally Boeschenstein

    My daughter, who teaches in a TX high school, has been notified that she is not allowed to show the President's live address to schoolchildren to her Government class! I am appalled and furious! She must "preview" the speech and then decide if it is "appropriate" for her classroom and "fits the curriculum." This political wrangling is out of control when OUR schoolchildren in a PUBLIC school are prohibited from viewing THEIR OWN President because the school administration decided that a speech urging students to achieve their educational goals from their LEGALLY elected President! might be too "subversive". As a retired educator, I am disgusted and ashamed at the so-called educators in this school district!!! If I were in that district, I would be showing the President on my own computer and then submit my resignation!!!!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  294. Thomas, Houston, TX

    Jack, political or not political, bottom line is three out of four kids won't give a damn either way. In one ear and out the other...

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  295. Marc Jones

    OK. What's wrong with the President of the United States talking to school kids about education? Why is that controversial? Reagan used to do it and there was no out cry? We should respect the fact that he is the President of all of us...I don't see it as a problem and the Republican objections are all part of an effort to demonize him for political reasons. Its the Republicans who have made this political....

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  296. Cynthia in Canada

    I cannot believe how ridiculous some of the Republicans are!

    In Canada, we shake our heads at the insane and ignorant reactions to Obama's efforts to reform health care and now this! The level of partisanship there is out of control and is a detriment, embarrassment and danger to your country.

    The President just wants to encourage children to take responsibility for their own education and to study hard. This is a commendable goal.

    Get a grip people!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  297. Connie Weintz

    I believe there will be more value created by President Obama addressing school children to encourage them to set goals and study hard than the projections of his speech being used as a political platform. I am deeply saddened by the posturing of both parties in this country. As a previous new junkie, I can no longer watch either MSNBC or FOX; the pompous attitudes of their journalists provides nothing of any value for this viewer. Nothing.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  298. Richard Williams

    He will, of course, indoctrinate students about achievement and doing their homework.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  299. DJ

    The Republicans are just a bunch of ignorant bigots....just read the hateful comments posted here by them. Enough said.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  300. Karen

    Why are right wing conservatives wasting time bashing our president? I hope they see a huge backlash from their clearly divisive and perhaps even racist behavior. It's ok for Bush to talk with school children, but not our African American president? What kind of message are we sending to our children? Division and lying and back-stabbing is ok when we have a black president? This is a sad day in our country indeed. We have stooped to a new low.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  301. Gloria

    Lord and only as the republicans call themselves are a total bunch of communism elite – they throw any propaganda against the wall then hoping something will stick to make the Democrats look second class.

    The teaparty is an example a bunch of washups with no anwsers but a bunch of BS propaganda.

    Republicans put us in a enormous debt, split this country and show so much disrepect for the president – I hope to God that I never become a conservative – I rather die as a Democrat liberal – freedom to all but convervatives!

    September 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  302. Mark

    The Republican response is just insane. You could bet your boots that the speech would be bland and non partisan, as such generic school speeches usually are.

    As far as the "cult of personality": I can recall George W. Bush being described by Republicans as "God's anointed".

    September 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm |