May 14th, 2009
04:50 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama turns controversy into jokes, lesson at commencement

President Obama addresses the graduating class at Arizona State University on Wednesday.

President Obama addresses the graduating class at Arizona State University on Wednesday.

TEMPE, Arizona (CNN) - President Obama on Wednesday turned a flap over his commencement speech at Arizona State University into a joke - then a lesson about never being satisfied with one's accomplishments.
The university said last month that it would not be awarding Obama an honorary degree at the ceremony, saying that "his body of work is yet to come."

Saying he wanted to address "the little controversy everyone was talking about a few weeks back," Obama said, "we all learned an important lesson."

"I learned to never again pick another team over the Sun Devils in my NCAA bracket," he said, referring to the school's basketball team. "It won't happen again."

"President [Michael] Crow and the board of regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS," he joked.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Debra Austin, Texas

    This guy has gravitas. He walked into a storm and not only eased the tension but taught a lesson without being defensive or rude. Thus the lesson to doubters and Republicans about the meaning of character.

    May 14, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. Romney2012

    Obama is a joke. The Court Jester in Chief.

    May 14, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. Romney2012

    The Court Jester in Chief representing the "Party of D'oh!"

    May 14, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. Jean

    Sounds about right, the first four months has been one big joke.

    May 14, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. Obamabot

    If they think he's joking about the IRS, they are in for a rude awakening. How can they dream of not granting another honorary doctorate on our supreme leader? Wht do they mean he his body of work is yet to come? You telling me the american peoples elected us a president with no credentials worthy of an honary doctorate?? Yep, IRS will be calling you next year, hahaha!

    May 14, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. Susan

    The President's speech at ASU was brilliant!

    May 14, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Cowboy in West Texas

    He is the President – respect him as such!

    May 14, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. Big red shoes

    The president is doing what he does best making the stupid members of Arizona state feel stupid. Booozoes.

    May 14, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. Kitchen Police

    Well said, Mr. President!

    May 14, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  10. Big mistake

    I voted for Clinton.He was the greateast republican in sheeps clothing ever.He sold our tech jobs to India,Manufacturing jobs to China, allowed insourcing with visas that took millions of jobs.He was not good for the American workers.His best was sellout was Nafta.

    May 14, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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