(CNN) – The commencement season controversies are continuing for the White House with Arizona State University's decision not to award President Obama an honorary degree when he addresses graduates next month.
The university says that the president's achievements have yet to rate the honor, and is directing reporters to use a statement given to the Associated Press. "His body of work is yet to come. That's why we're not recognizing him with a degree at the beginning of his presidency," Media Relations Director Sharon Keller told the AP Thursday.
The university's guidelines say the degree is merited by "significant contributions to education and society over the course of a person's career," though Sandra Day O'Connor and Barry Goldwater - both Arizonans - received the honor after the latter had served just over one term in the Senate, and the former was roughly three years into her Supreme Court tenure. Also honored: activist Cesar Chavez, legendary Arizona senator and former presidential candidate Mo Udall, and broadcaster Walter Cronkite.
The White House has not commented on ASU's decision.
Last month, the National Right to Life Committee called on the University of Notre Dame to rescind its invitation to President Obama to speak at that school's May commencement, and the bishop for the Ft. Wayne/South Bend diocese said he planned to boycott the university's graduation ceremony. Bishop John D'Arcy said his decision "is not an attack on anyone, but is in defense of the truth about human life."
Notre Dame has said it has no plans to rescind the president's invite.
This year, President Obama will also address the graduating class at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis.
To hades with Arizona anyway... this is all political junk.. i bet you they gave it to Bush and look what honor he brought us.?
I think that President Obama should forgo going to ASU, until they feel he has done enough to receive an honoray degree.
I don't see any problem here and doubt Obama does either.
One won't give a degree because it's real early...
One guy won't show because of personal beliefs...
What's the problem?
Mountain out of a mole hill CNN!
That's right folks, we elected a president who hasn't done anything noteworthy other than getting elected to the next highest office. Remember when one of his surrogates was asked to name one of his achievements and couldn't come up with anything? I do.
I guess ASU doesn't have a public speaking or ethnic studies department that can award him with a worthless degree in their pointless specialty areas.
Why is this news? ASU's decision is not in anyway directed at Pres. Obama or the quality of work he is doing. They are very clear to point out that it has only to do with the breadth of his body of work, which is small as of yet because he has been in office a short time. Even the supposedly harmful language the article cites says as much.
This seems really ridiculous to me on the part of ASU. Why am I not surprised that it comes from the state who voted not to celebrate the national holiday associated with MLK's birthday with the rest of the country. What harm would it do to give him an honorary degree? I am SURE, without a doubt, that they have issued less accomplished people honorary degrees in the past.
Looks like someone named John called in a favor.
Green is not a good color on him.
President Obama has a law degree graduating magna cum laude from Harvard. He won't miss a degree from Arizona State.
Wrong CNN, these are not the "headaches" of President Obama but the two instituiions involved.
Both institutions INVITED the President to speak, he is certainly not forcing anyone to listen to him. Now, vocal supporters of both schools are unhappy with the invite.
I personally would decline both the Arizona and Notre Dame invitiations and allow other universities the chance to hear President Obama speak on his inspiring story.
OKAY....and? Moving on......
Barack Obama graduated from Harvard Law School. Does anyone really think he give a rat's behind about an honorary degree from Arizona Sate University? I'm sure he's in the oval office crying as I type...
Where is 'Journalist integrity' in America?
There is nothing partisan about this. It's just plain common sense and it feels good to hear someone who's not doped up on this guy speak the truth.
This is NOT a headache for the White House...it is for ASU as it shows how stupid they are.
Geee...he is accomplished enough to give the commencement address but not accomplished enough to get an honorary degree.
Fortunately for ASU Obama has class and despite the snub he will be there and give the address.
Someday ASU may get some class!!!
i applaud the decision not to award an honary degree to this rookie that has done nothing.
Like this is news coming from McCain's state. I guess the repugs are going to be angry a long, long time, ever since the "maverick" was beaten by an African American. Still smarting are we Arizona?
CNN, I think you are confused.
This will become a huge nightmare for ASU, and a huge triumph for
Obama as the students stand on their seats cheering him.
Besides, O already has run out of room on his wall, degrees from
Harvard, photos of him w Queen of England, w president of Russia,
Our president is bigger than either school's decision. And I'm sure he'll do a great job regardless of the insults.
It's obviously a snub because he's in the wrong camp. No doubt, the school would have quite ceremoniously bestowed the degree upon the nit-wit Sarah Palin.
Sheesh. What a bore these Rethuglicans continue to be.
The President could care less who gives him a free deree or not. He already got better degrees from better schools.
How racist of ASU!
If Arizona State Univ will not award President Obama an honorary degree, why invite him to give the commencement address "if his body of work has yet to come"? Looks like racism to me. Wasn't Arizona the last state to approve Dr. Martin Luther King's holiday?
I guess Obama should have Geitner [sp?] going in and fire the president of the college for not giving Obama what he wants. Heck... they're doing it with the CEO's, why not college presidents next?
Liberal Schools please take note for future reference.
This is news? A controversy? One created by the press perhaps.