President Obama kicked off his annual commencement-speech tour on Sunday with a visit to Ohio State University.
In front of a crowd numbering close to 60,000, according to the New York Times, the president steered clear of stumping or any partisan politics. Instead he chose a message of uplift and hope for the graduating Buckeyes of 2013.
His address was both a pitch for good citizenship and an optimistic message as the economy recovers from the most serious recession since the Great Depression.
“While things are still hard for a lot of people, you have every reason to believe that your future is bright,” Mr. Obama said. “You’re graduating into an economy and a job market that is steadily healing.”
The president described the graduates’ generation as having a “sense of service” that “makes me optimistic for our future.” Ohio State’s class of 2013, he noted, included military veterans, volunteers for the Peace Corps and Teach for America, and entrepreneurs who are already running start-up companies.
Their lives, he said, started as the cold war was ending and the Internet age was beginning, and they came of age as the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, wars, recession and technological advances transformed America.
For Obama, this was the fifth visit in the past year to the university, which was a hotbed of youth voting for his re-election campaign. It was his first visit in his second term.
Read more at the New York Times.