Obama at Notre Dame: The 7 Top Moments
He came, he got shouted at, he told jokes: The Daily Beast offers the highlights and lowlights of President Obama’s controversial day at Notre Dame.
Obama Not Completely Disrespected by the University
He didn’t get an honorary degree from the Arizona State (unlike, we kid you not, Art Buchwald), but the president did receive an honorary doctor of laws from Notre Dame, a fact about which he soon made some rather pointed jokes.
Notre Dame President Doesn’t Denounce Obama as a Heretic
University President John Jenkins, C.S.C., gave Obama a graceful introduction, focusing on the president’s human compassion, such as leaving behind his presidential campaign to go to his dying grandmother’s bedside.
Protesters Fail to Rattle President’s—or Audience’s—Cool
The president's speech looked like it was about to take a turn for the worse when a protester began shouting from the stands, but Obama kept his cool and recovered with a thunderous applause from the graduates.
Comedian in Chief Takes Over
For a guy who’s considered hard to make fun of, Obama sure gets the laughs. Still on a roll from the White House Correspondents' Dinner, Obama (or his speechwriter) lets the jokes fly, including a tailor-made bit about offering the university his skills on the basketball court.
Obama Confronts Abortion, Probably Satisfies Neither Side
Would he avoid the issue of abortion or wouldn't he? President Obama not only didn't avoid it, he spoke on the controversial subject at length, though in such a way that neither the pro-life nor the pro-choice crowd would feel totally pleased.
President Proves He, Too, Can Offer Vague, Useless Graduation-Speech Advice
Obama ended his speech by calling for harmony and cooperation, and imparting the following words of wisdom: “Each of us, endowed with the dignity possessed by all children of God, has the grace to recognize ourselves in one another.” Sure, dude, but how am I gonna get a job and pay off these loans?
“Extend a Little Bit of That Good Faith to Me on This Issue”
Immediately following Obama’s speech, RNC Chairman Michael Steele spoke with Fox News. Directly addressing the president’s remarks on abortion, Steele said, “His actions have told me, as a pro-life Catholic, that I should be concerned.”
Bonus: Michelle Inspires at Merced
A day earlier, the president’s better half handled her speech at the University of California at Merced’s commencement with her usual grace and aplomb, comparing her background to those of the graduating class and encouraging them to build up their home communities.