The Campaign Spot

President Announces Initiative to Help Students Learn About Works of George Orwell

In other news, President Obama will address every student in every public school in the nation in a short address on September 8.

Perhaps this will be a completely innocuous, standard-issue “education is important, study hard, and you can achieve all your dreams” that the president usually gives to one classroom around this time of year. If so, there’s not too much need for hullabaloo. And besides, it’s not like Obama’s the first national leader to think of addressing all the country’s children at once; the idea has been around since 1984.

But I’m not sure this is a good move when your job approval is just above 50 percent, and independents are splitting 43–53. A month or two ago, Jon Stewart mocked Obama’s discussion of how he reads Urdu poetry with the rejoinder, “that’s great, now fix the economy.” This seems to be inviting another sarcastic reminder. And if there’s anything political in this address, there will be hell to pay. There’s already some really awful, ominous wording in the prep materials that students can “write letters to themselves about how they can help the President.” I thought that was Rahm Emanuel’s job.

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