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President Obama at Barnard College N.Y. (Photo by: David Wentworth)
During President Barack’s Obama’s first campaign for the White House, what happened in Iowa sharpened his focus on caucuses rather than on primaries; he saw the validity in caucus votes first and primaries second. According to campaign strategy reports, his campaign manager was uniquely familiar with the dynamics of university campus life in Iowa and he mounted a large-scale effort to go after those students by zeroing in on their campus residential habits. He knew that traditionally, most students voted where they live not where they went to school. So he changed that behavior pattern and zoomed in on the students convincing them to vote from their campus address. And it worked. The result: university and college campuses became the candidate’s (Obama’s) base of support. Now as president, he (the First Lady and his surrogates) are once again revitalizing his base of support by visiting campuses as the campaign for his second term is in full swing.
President Obama recently addressed graduates of historic women’s college, Barnard College, and received the Barnard Medal of Distinction.
President Barack H. Obama delivered the keynote at Barnard College’s 120th Commencement ceremony, held on Columbia University’s South Lawn. Addressing approximately 600 members of the Class of 2012, he said, “We know we are better off when women are treated fairly and equally in every aspect of American life—whether it’s the salary you earn or the health decisions you make. After decades of slow, steady, extraordinary progress, you are now poised to make this the century where women shape not only their own destiny, but the destiny of this nation and this world. Now more than ever, America needs what you, the Class of 2012, has to offer. America needs you to reach high and hope deeply.”
“Clearly, Mr. President, you know something that the 594 Barnard graduates seated proudly here before you are well on their way to discovering—that there is no opportunity they cannot embrace, no dream they cannot make real. You have demonstrated this truth through your own amazing story, your own compelling example, your own irrepressible spirit,” said Barnard President Debora L. Spar, in a speech presenting President Obama with the Barnard Medal of Distinction, the College’s highest honor, alongside Helene D. Gayle ’76, president and CEO of CARE USA; Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry; and Sally Chapman, Barnard professor of chemistry. Prof. Chapman, who was unable to attend, was represented by her sister Diana Chapman Walsh, former president of Wellesley College.