Yesterday, President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address at Arizona State University. A controversy surrounding the event was the decision by the university NOT to give the president an honorary degree, the given reason being that his "body of work" was not yet complete. Here is how the president responded:
Now, in all seriousness, I come here not to dispute the suggestion that I haven't yet achieved enough in my life. (Laughter.) First of all, Michelle concurs with that assessment. (Laughter.) She has a long list of things that I have not yet done waiting for me when I get home. But more than that, I come to embrace the notion that I haven't done enough in my life; I heartily concur; I come to affirm that one's title, even a title like President of the United States, says very little about how well one's life has been led -- that no matter how much you've done, or how successful you've been, there's always more to do, always more to learn, and always more to achieve. (Applause.)
How cool is that? Here, something that might be perceived as a slight is turned, the a good deal of humility and good humor, into a major point of his speech.
It has been a very long time since I have come to look forward to a politician's speech.