President Obama’s Commencement Speech at Barnard College

President Obama gave the commencement speech at Barnard College in New York City. He used it as an opportunity to slam the media for being full of “sensationalism and scandal.” “No wonder that faith in our institutions has never been lower. Particularly when good news doesn’t get the same kind of ratings as bad news anymore,” President Obama said. “Everyday, you receive a steady stream of sensationalism and scandal,” Obama said. “And stories with a message that suggest change is impossible. That you can’t make a difference. That you won’t be able to close that gap between life as it is and life as you want it to be. My job today is to tell you don’t believe it. Because, as tough as things have been, I am convinced you are tougher.” President Obama also had some advice for the all women Barnard graduates. “Until there are women who tell her ignore our pop culture obsession over beauty and fashion and focus instead on studying and inventing and competing and leading, she’ll think those are the only things that girls are supposed to care about. Now, Michelle will say there’s nothing wrong with caring about that a little bit,” Obama said. “You can be stylish and powerful too,” Obama said. He encouraged the graduates saying things will get better. “The question is not whether things will get better, they always do. The question is not whether we’ve got the solutions to our challenges, we have had them within our grasp for quite some time,” Obama said. “We know for example that this country would be better off if more Americans were able to get the kind of education you’ve received here at Barnard. if more people could get the specific skills and training that employers are looking for today. We know that we’d all be better off if we invest in science, technology and that sparks new businesses and medical breakthroughs, if we developed more clean energy so we could use less foreign oil and reduce the carbon pollution that is threatening our planet,” Obama told the graduating class.

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