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President Obama Includes Harry Potter Story in Education Speech

Posted by: Melissa
September 07, 2009, 10:12 PM

Tomorrow President Barack Obama will address the nation as it goes back to school; the pre-released text of his speech (which you can read here) includes remarks on the beginnings of Harry Potter as proof that not all great ideas or ventures are accepted as such to start:

But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That’s OK.  Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." 
These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying."

Pres. Obama will deliver the address at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., at 10 a.m. MDT; it will be live on the C-SPAN cable channel and streamed life at

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216 Points

Good job, President Obama! Excellent example to use! As others mentioned, the controversy around his appearance is ridiculous. He’s giving great encouragement. And as a public high school student, especially in NYC, there’s way too much stress on tests. We should be getting inspired. Our goals should be to use the knowledge we gain in our real lives, not just to pass a test. I’m at the point where I ace a test and the next day can’t tell you a thing I did on it because our main goal with our lessons is to get a good grade. Unfortunately, I can also see people who object to President Obama speaking there being against Harry Potter. I hope he used that reference just in spite of them. =P

Posted by Scarlet~Phoenix on September 08, 2009, 09:55 AM report to moderator
292 Points

I am glad he is just talking about education in his speech. I don’t like it when they use Harry Potter in politics, so this use is ok in my book.

Posted by Necrotoxin on September 08, 2009, 10:28 AM report to moderator
9765 Points

Not gonna lie. When I read that, I squeed. :D

Posted by maera-kyrie on September 08, 2009, 10:57 AM report to moderator
4056 Points

Cool. Shows how famous Harry Potter really is.

Posted by fifi ~::~ ıɟıɟ {WBM!} {ITC!} on September 08, 2009, 11:24 AM report to moderator
160 Points

That’s so cool! I’ll specifically make sure I watch that speech so I can hear him mention Harry Potter. I hope he’s read them himself.

Posted by Rosmerta Lovegood ϟ♥ on September 08, 2009, 11:56 AM report to moderator
5180 Points

this is great!!

Posted by hermionenluna TZS ROAR! on September 08, 2009, 12:01 PM report to moderator
80450 Points

I personally am very pleased that the US President has read the HP books…

Posted by Won_Two on September 08, 2009, 12:09 PM report to moderator
99 Points

Only one difference between JK & Obama, she had a good idea and he doesn’t.

Posted by Bad-Muggle on September 08, 2009, 01:52 PM report to moderator
8736 Points

I love HP references, I love Barack Obama, and this made my god awful long day. I love it! :D (I also love Politics.)

Posted by Rumbleroarϟ{WBM!}ǝıʞɔnp! on September 08, 2009, 02:10 PM report to moderator
2111 Points

I love what he says.

Posted by Hepburn on September 08, 2009, 02:29 PM report to moderator
1166 Points

I love that President Obama included Rowling’s work and how she struggled to get anyone to realize what she really had there within the pages of the Philosopher’s Stone, a masterpiece! She is a shining example of how perseverance, hard work, and dedication can get you where you want to be! Love her!!

Posted by JessSnape on September 08, 2009, 03:11 PM report to moderator
4852 Points

yay! he mentioned Harry Potter!!!!

Posted by #1 Witch ROAR! on September 08, 2009, 03:25 PM report to moderator
3908 Points

I watched this in school today and I squeed when he mentioned Jo. Then I Was explaining her whole story to my friend next to me. XD

Posted by Imperiused! on September 08, 2009, 03:28 PM report to moderator

Much has been made about the criticism surrounding President Obama’s Tuesday speech to the nation’s schoolchildren.

But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech in October 1991 to students at a junior high school in Washington, D.C., Democratic critics went much further and investigated the event, Washington Examiner columnist Byron York reported Tuesday.

Democrats, who controlled Congress at the time, ordered the General Accounting Office to probe the production of the speech and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for a hearing, York wrote.

The Bush speech at Alice Deal Junior High School cost $26,750 — an expenditure paid by the Department of Education — and drew fire from Rep. William Ford, then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, who ordered the probe.

“As the chairman of the committee charged with the authorization and implementation of education programs, I am very much interested in the justification, rationale for giving the White House scarce education funds to produce a media event.”

The GAO found no wrongdoing on the part of the Bush administration

But after Bush spoke, The Washington Post implied in a front-page story that the speech was staged for the president’s political benefit, and Democratic allies continued to pounce on Bush for the cost of the event.

Posted by Mimblewimble13 on September 08, 2009, 03:35 PM report to moderator
209 Points

OMG that was a great speech.. Way to go Obama!!!!

Posted by Picazo on September 08, 2009, 03:49 PM report to moderator
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