Last fall, President Obama and his GOP rival Mitt Romney were crisscrossing Ohio on a weekly basis, hoping to snag the Buckeye State and its 18 Electoral College votes. At the time, the thinking was that whichever candidate won Ohio would go on to win the White House.
Sadly for Romney, he not only didn't win Ohio, he lost all the other key battleground states, winning him a ticket to historical obscurity.
For the president, winning Ohio again last year as he did in 2008, guarantees he'll go down in history as one of America's most notable chief executives, if not for the fact that he's the first African-American to hold the post but because he overcame a money machine that tossed billions at him to no avail.
President Obama will return to Ohio, this time as the graduation speaker at The Ohio State University, founded in 1870 in Columbus, Ohio's capital city.
The president's appearance at OSU marks the third time a sitting U.S. president will speak at the giant university's graduation ceremony.
The Ohio State University announced today that the two-term president will speak at noon on Sunday, May 5, in Ohio Stadium.
"This is a historic occasion for the university, the city of Columbus, and our graduates and their families," said President E. Gordon Gee. "We are honored to have President Obama address our graduates at the university’s largest commencement ever. To be sure, this is a signal moment in the life of one of the most vibrant and vital universities in our nation."
Previously, George W. Bush spoke to spring quarter graduates in 2002, Gerald Ford spoke to summer quarter graduates shortly after ascending to the presidency in 1974. Both George H. W. Bush and Walter Mondale spoke to graduates when they were vice president, university officials noted.
This will be Obama’s fifth visit to Ohio State in the last 16 months. Previous 2012 visits occurred in March, when he delivered a speech on alternative energy and energy independence; in May, when he officially kicked off his re-election campaign; in August, when he briefly visited the Ohio Union; and in October for a campaign rally on the Oval.
Ohio State students are uniquely engaged with the community, twice earning recognition for excellence over the last month, OSU said in a media release Wednesday.
This is the university’s first spring graduation on the semester system. Approximately 12,000 students are expected to graduate, the largest class in university history.
Ohio State is unique among major universities in having one, university-wide commencement each semester at which each graduate receives his or her actual diploma.
Details on commencement ticketing will be made available closer to the May 5 ceremony, OSU said, directing people to visit the commencement website where details will be updated as they become available.
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