President Barack Obama gave the commencement speech at Barnard College on Monday, urging the school’s all-female graduating class to “fight for a seat at the head of the table” in the midst of an election cycle that has put a spotlight on women’s issues ranging from economic equality to reproductive rights.
Obama noted that the class of 2012 were freshmen the economy crashed and that they may be looking to the future with concern but delivered a dose of optimism.
“Today, women are not just half this country; you’re half its workforce,” he said. “More and more women are out-earning their husbands. You’re more than half of our college graduates, and master’s graduates, and PhDs. So you’ve got us outnumbered. 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 of this world.”
Analysts and Republican lawmakers are encouraging presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to visit Israel to burnish his foreign policy credits (TheHill).
Romney, a long-time friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has already promised Israel would be his first foreign trip as president if elected, but supporters say going now would advance U.S.-Israeli relations and help him politically as well as shame President Obama, who has not visited Israel since his election.
“A visit to Israel could give Romney a chance to hone in on a foreign policy issue that conservatives — and Americans in general — largely agree on, and give Obama something to react to for a change,” says Alana Goodman at Commentary.
Some international travel is coming up for the GOP candidate. Romney, who helped organize the 2002 winter Games in Salt Lake City, has said he plans to attend the Olympics in London this summer. British news outlets are reporting a possible meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron (Telegraph) during the trip, though nothing has been announced yet.
Romney’s remaining rival for the Republican nomination, Ron Paul, is putting the breaks on campaign spending for the remaining states left this primary cycle, but not yet ending his campaign (WashPost).
Paul explained his plans in a statement on his web site: “Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that liberty is the way of the future.”
Paul and his brand of isolationist foreign policy clashed with Romney during the primary debates (CSM) and Paul is not expected to endorse Romney.
— Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor