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UPDATED: How Will Critics Respond After Obama Gives His Back-to-School Speech?

By Michele McNeil — September 08, 2009 1 min read

When President Obama addresses the nation’s students today (or at least those who are allowed to watch), he’ll deliver a back-to-school pep talk that surely doesn’t live up to the controversy it created.

In prepared remarks, he takes a walk down his own memory lane by recalling early morning tutoring sessions and a dad that wasn’t around. He acknowledges that many students out there aren’t learning under the best of conditions—that they may live in neighborhoods that aren’t safe, or in families affected by job losses.

“That’s no excuse for not trying,” he is expected to say during his noon speech at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., which my colleague Alyson Klein will be staffing.

And he’ll tell students: “You make your own future.”

It’s a feel-good message about personal responsibility. What will be really interesting is to see the reaction after he delivers it, especially from those who thought Obama would push a “socialist” agenda.

UPDATE: Alyson just reported in from the scene at Wakefield High School, where about a half-dozen protesters are holding up signs that read “Children of God, not Obama” and “Obamanation.”

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