Friday, April 10, 2009

Arizona State Reneges on Obama Honorary Degree

I really wonder what strings were pulled at Arizona State University that allowed this to happen. 

Sorry, I should back up.  In case you don’t know what “this” is, Arizona State invited President Obama to be the main attraction at this year’s commencement.  They were also going to present him with an honorary degree.  Now, the University is backing out of the honorary degree part saying that it’s reserved for people who have acquired a certain level of “lifetime achievement.” 

Apparently, writing two top selling books, being a U.S. Senator and being the first African-American President in the history of the country isn’t enough! 

What could possibly be worthy enough?   Speed tortilla making champs?  Rattlesnake wranglers with 65 years of experience?  Adobe molders who have created entire cities with their bare hands?

The flip side of this is Notre Dame.  Obama will speak at their commencement and ND will present him with an honorary degree as well.  Notre Dame is getting drilled on all sides for their decision and you don’t see them reneging on their agreement with the President!

Here’s what Phoenix’s East Valley Tribune said about it:

The University of Notre Dame has no such qualms and will offer Obama a honorary doctorate when he speaks to that college’s graduates on May 17. Perhaps Notre Dame has a better understanding of what Obama already has accomplished simply by reaching our nation’s pinnacle of political power and public service.

But others (who have received honorary degrees from ASU) had much still to accomplish. Barry Goldwater received his honorary degree in May 1961, three years before his Republican nomination for president and only eight years into his three decades as a U.S. senator. Sandra Day O’Connor was similarly recognized just three years in her 25 years on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Of course, all of those people have deep Arizona roots, and Obama has no real ties to the state. But what connection did ASU have to other honorees such as L. Douglas Wilder, the first black governor of Virginia, or Kim Campbell, the first woman to be Canadian prime minister?

I’m telling you, this is a power play by somebody who’s fingers are deep inside ASU’s pie.  This is a horrible decision on their part and they should be ashamed.

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