September 4th, 2009
02:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Cafferty: Obama’s back-to-school address an inappropriate mix of politics and education?

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It was supposed to be a "feel good" event for the White House and a break from all the fighting and name-calling over health care, but instead President Obama's back-to-school speech next Tuesday has created a firestorm of its own.

Some school districts around the country are refusing to carry it. Some Republicans say they're appalled at spending tax money to spread the president's "socialist ideology." They're comparing it to something you would see in North Korea or Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

On the surface, it seems like a good idea — a pep talk for the nation's schoolchildren from the president, calling on them to take responsibility for their education and do their best.

Instead it's starting to look like another political miscalculation by the White House with some Republicans and parents characterizing the ideas as developing a "cult of personality."

The White House is asking students to write letters about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals. They will also release the text of the speech on Monday so parents know what to expect. Seems harmless enough.

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