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Barack '8 Years of Failed Bush Policies' Obama tells high school grads: 'Don't make excuses'

June 8, 2010 |  2:06 am

A happy Barack Obama points at someone

It was a big deal for the excited about-to-be graduates of Kalamazoo's Central High School. They had won a White House competition against 1,000 other schools, not for payoff jobs in the Obama administration.

But to see and hear the Real Great Talker himself. President Barack Obama went all the way to Michigan Monday to congratulate the teenagers and their proud families:

I’m here tonight because I think that America has a lot to learn from Kalamazoo Central about what makes for a successful school in this new century: Educators  raising standards and inspiring their students to meet them. 

Community members stepping up as tutors and mentors and coaches.  Parents taking an active interest in their kids’ education – attending those teacher conferences, turning off that TV, and making sure that homework gets done.

And why let a good heartwarming Heartland story go to waste? So the president also....

...found time in Kalamazoo to attend two Democratic political fundraisers that just happened to coincide with the party chief's appearance in town.

To the graduates, Obama delivered the usual commencement ceremony fare about the future, setting goals, thinking long-term and not allowing setbacks to deter their determination:

The truth is, no matter how hard you work, you won’t necessarily ace every class or succeed in every job. There will be times when you screw up, when you hurt the people you love, when you stray from your most deeply held values.  
So far, so good. Then, the next line about pointing fingers after setbacks:

It's the easiest thing in the world to start looking around for someone to blame. 

Speaking of blame, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll out Monday finds the American public blaming the Gulf oil spill on BP, of course. But 69% are now giving a negative rating to the Obama administration's federal response.

In fact -- oh, look! -- the 69% thumbs-down Obama oil spill grade is 7 points worse than the negative rating given the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina.

Gee, who can we blame for that? George W. Bush for not being bad enough? Hang on one Chicago minute. The president had that covered too in his advice to the grads:

Don’t make excuses. Take responsibility not just for your successes, but for your failures as well.

Related Item:

Finally, Democrats blame George W. Bush for the oil spill -- Video

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press (file).