Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Michelle Obama U. of California, Merced commencement speech triggers estimated $1.1 million local business boom


WASHINGTON--First Lady Michelle Obama flies to the University of California, Merced on Saturday to deliver a commencement address before her largest crowd since the inauguration. Here's my report on how Mrs. Obama's visit to Merced is expected to trigger an estimated $1.1 million in business for the hard pressed area. The hotels are sold out, the restaurants are booked and the city is putting on a street fair and festival to take advantage of the crowds her visit is expected to generate.

This is Mrs. Obama's first visit to California as First Lady.


The First Lady of the U.S. is such a grand presence on the U.S. stage. She makes every American proud! She's unique, a great speaker and is very humbled. More kudos for Michelle! She's a great representative of the idea of democracy!

would somebody walk me through, "why" she is a 'great representative of the idea of democracy'? explain it to my like you'd explain it to a child or senior citizen.
like, evita perone and michelle duvallier were 'unique' and struck a 'grand presence'. come on, make this a teachable moment and perhaps we'll begin to 'know' rather then 'want', or 'need'.

I have just finished hearing Michelle Obama's speech to the graduating students of Merced and I can definitely say that she is a "great representative of the idea of democracy". So if you need someone to explain it to you like a "child or senior citizen" then I will try my best to do just that.

Michelle Obama is a "great representative of the idea of democracy" for the following reasons, which are;

1. She herself embodies the spirit of democracy that our country carries. The reasons for this is that she is the American Dream. She came from a hard-working family that was not wealthy yet she still, through her hard work and tenacity, succeed in becoming successful. This is what our country stands for and what democracy was created for, with the intention of enabling all of our citizens with the opportunities needed to reach their dreams. This is what was written in the Declaration Of Independence and these are the foundations of our country (whether we or the powers to be strictly adhere to them or not).

2. Another way she embodies the spirit of democracy is through the social work she has done (even before she become the First Lady or was even married to Barrack Obama). Democracy is about taking care of our people and ensuring everyone gets a fair chance at succeeding in their dreams. This is something she has done and continues to do through volunteer work.

3.Oh and, of course, the most obvious way she embodies the spirit of democracy is by becoming the first black family to be elected as the first family in the white house when her husband Barrack Obama become the first black President of the United States of America. This is what you call a brilliant example of the American Dream, that anything is possible if you work hard and that no one should deny you this or the opportunities to in reaching your aspirations.

So, now that I have throughly explained why Michelle Obama is a "great representative of the idea of democracy" do you now see now why this is something that I, along with many others, "know" rather than "want" or "need"?

i'm sorry. you lost me round 'bout that photo-op volunteer thing and self indulgent 'oh and,' nonetheless, thanks for the effort.

Some people are just envious... don't be a hater; instead of questioning why Michelle is a great representative of the idea of democracy. Ask yourself, "what do I represent" and try to make a difference in your community. The planet needs more doers; less complainers and skeptics. Search for solutions instead of pursuing problems.

Jeffery, it is not the first time that you have felt lost. By this you sould be used to the confusion you inflict on yourelf and others. Get a good night sleep, it will clear your head(smile).

and it's harly the last time i sign in a clarion call. wanna start with gaza? with urban policy? with the old state senate district, rezko, wright, where?

Something to share with White House staff---help to implement ideas in text below:

We should stop allowing nations like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc to use aid to these countries through their governments is like throwing money in the garbage. All help from the US should be carefully directed to help local people ....Help such as food grains for planting; preventive medicine and immediate health care for the sick, etc. There should be someone who can produce tangible evidence that the aid is reaching the right people.
The government “big heads “have more alliances with their own people (even the fighters/terrorists) than with the US people/government. Let’s step out of the box/usual approaches and convene a summit with representatives from various fighting factions to learn what is driving their hate and ongoing war. Find a culturally literate professional from the areas of: linguistics, sociology, anthropology or social-psychology that is multilingual to facilitate the summit: definitely not someone who is a close-minded, educated, yet backward and uncultured politician who feels comfortable with insults over diplomacy. Perhaps if the terrorists/freedom fighters are empowered to: share honestly why they do what they do; discuss how they can change things in their own communities without guns (weapons provided by us when we don’t look at things in the long-term), we could make a Giant STEP out of the ongoing mess and turmoil. The result could be learning about the concrete benefits of compromise, non-violence protest, etc. This may leave the guests (even bad people can be called guests) with some personal status, tangible ways to care for their families, even dignity when rethinking and changing their current course.
Soldiers should be used only as trainers, peacekeepers, etc; no direct combat.... total waste of human capital. No one can survive in the Afghanistan Mountains. We should use military folks proactively and only when attacked. Proactively, in the air, land and sea to protect our shores, airport, sensitive sites, train and bus stations, etc (they should wear civilian clothes so it does not appear as if we are at war). The war cannot end in the countries we are pursuing aggressively; it’s a way of life for people in these countries. We need to teach people how to avoid conflict from kindergarten through to college so it becomes a way of life instead of the pride people feel in resolving things with violence. Please forward to the White House if you have connections. Thanks for reading lengthy comments.

What the heck are you talking about Jeffery. You are just a hater, plain and simple.


I am greatly insulted! I have just read the second comment by Jeffrey McNair who wishes to have explained to him as one would explain to a child or a SENIOR CITIZEN, the greatness of Michelle Obama. What a stupid commentary! In the first place, Mrs. Obama is a gracious, compassionate woman and a president's wife such as we have almost never had! Secondly, I am a SENIOR CITIZEN and would happily go to the mat with him on intelligence and sensitivity. Young boor, get smart!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 13, 2009 6:39 AM.

President Obama official schedule and guidance, May 13, 2009. Commencement address at Arizona State University was the previous entry in this blog.

David Axelrod to guest on Chicago Public Radio/NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me" is the next entry in this blog.

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