President Barack Obama will be the 2009 commencement speaker at Arizona State University on May 13, but he will not receive an honorary degree. Apparently, his accomplishments thus far have been insufficient to merit such an honor.
Let’s see. What has Obama done?
Graduate magna cum laude of Harvard Law School, where he was also president of the Harvard Law Review.
Become only the second graduate of Harvard Law School to be elected president of the United States; Rutherford B. Hayes, who ended the Reconstruction era and ushered in Jim Crow, was the other.
Become a professor at the University of Chicago Law School and write two best-selling books.
Raise almost $1 billion to support his presidential campaign — more, by far, than any other candidate in history — and generate grassroots enthusiasm like no other candidate in modern times, then earn recognition as the best orator to assume the presidency since John F. Kennedy.
And, incidentally, he is the first African American to be elected president of the United States.
These laurels notwithstanding, Obama has been deemed unworthy of an honorary degree from Arizona State University, an institution so academically chaste that these accomplishments must surely pale before its lofty standards.