Blogger Jim Hoft calls this “unprecedented.” It sounds like he’s right, but is he? Are you aware of any of his predecessors delivering a national address to our nation’s schoolchildren? Did, say, Franklin Delano Roosevelt take to the radio to remind them of the importance of the war effort and the sacrifices their parents, uncles and older brothers must make? And how they could help out at home?
Considering the questions the White House has provided, blogging law professor William A. Jacobson contends that the Administration has the “whole line of reasoning and questioning . . . backwards. It may have become lost in the mania, but HE [Obama] works for US, not the other way around.”
Read Jacobson’s post, ponder his question and wonder whether it’s appropriate for an American President to deliver such an address.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Skip answers my question:
Emphasis added. I wonder how the media would have reacted if the incumbent’s predecessor tried to pull this off.
UPDATE: Jim Geraghty weighs in:
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.
UP-UPDATE: In her syndicated column, Michelle Malkin details how teachers’ unions and other Obama allies have used the classroom to promote liberal policies:
The activist tradition of government schools using students as junior lobbyists cannot be ignored. Zealous teacher’s unions have enlisted captive schoolchildren as letter-writers in their campaigns for higher education spending. Out-of-control activists have enlisted their secondary-school charges in pro-illegal immigration protests, gay marriage ceremonies, environmental propaganda stunts, and anti-war events.
As per the gay marriage ceremonies mentioned above, the problem was not the ceremony, but that the teacher took her class there. It would be just as problematic if a straight teacher took her class to her traditional wedding.
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush addressed the nation’s students, urging them to study hard, avoid drugs and turn in troublemakers. In his speech, he told students to ignore peers “who think it’s not cool to be smart.”
And Democrats responded then by criticizing him for spending Department of Education money on a broadcast they claimed was political advertising used to counter claims that he was ignoring domestic issues.