One of the things that President Obama does best is inspire children. Accordingly, whether his speech is appropriate or not, it is likely to do more good than bad. At least I hope so.
Of course, we haven't seen the text yet, though we will before the speech is given:
Then Obama aides said they would release the text of Obama's address on Monday, a day before his speech is to be beamed into the classrooms -- an apparent attempt to show skeptical parents ahead of time what he plans to say.
Rich Galen may have it about right:
Republican strategist Rich Galen said he didn't have a problem with Obama reaching out to school children because "he is everybody's president. But you have to be very careful that it is not seen as literally propaganda. The original idea to have them write letters about how to help the president crossed the line and the White House realized that."
In other words, the Obama administration has backed off its earlier suggestion for students to write "Dear Leader" letters. The sad thing is that government bureaucrats had to be told how inappropriate their plans were before they wised up.
Whether the Republican pushback plays well with the public or not, it may have dissuaded Obama from making statements as aggressively statist or collectivist as he would have made without the pushback. Personally, I will be watching for Obama's statements about his 2008 campaign goal to have every middle and high school student perform 50 hours of community service every year. I suspect that the unexpected Republican opposition will cause him to softpedal this goal in his speech.
Inducing students to spend an hour listening to the president and setting goals for achievement is probably on balance a good thing — and certainly a much better prospect than the administration's plans to put community organizers in the schools and have them run the new service learning programs contemplated by the service learning act that Congress passed last spring.