Vice President Joe Biden gave the commencement speech Saturday morning to the graduating class at West Point, during which he touted the president's successes abroad and the legacy of the 9/11 generation of cadets.
Touching on issues from the 2008 campaign trail, Biden highlighted Obama's ending of the Iraq war and blows made to al Qaeda's senior leadership in Central Asia, including the killing of Osama bin Laden
"In Afghanistan, President Obama laid out a clear strategy...We've taken out - you have taken out - more than half of al Qaeda's senior leadership," Biden said, tying military successes in the Afghan war with the president's policy to "disrupt, dismantle and destroy" the Islamist organization.
Ahead of Memorial Day, in which the entire country takes time to remember fallen heroes and those who continue to defend the United States, Biden also touched on the unique quality of this class of 972 cadets.
"Every single generation that's preceded you at West Point has faced daunting challenges upon receiving their commission, especially in times of war. But your generation, the 9/11 generation, is more than worthy of the proud legacy you'll inherit today," Biden said.
These commencement speeches are seen as vital not only to the office of the president and his agenda, but also to the 2012 re-election campaign. This month, President Obama made the strategic decision to speak at Barnard College's graduation, choosing the all-female sister school of his alma mater, during a key month spent courting women's votes.
Obama has consistently polled higher than presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on foreign policy issues, a lead the president would like to hold onto going into November.
Highly visible commencement speeches, such as this one and Obama's speech to the Air Force Academy last week, allow the president to both push his foreign policy agenda while connecting with the nation's troops.
by RTT Staff Writer
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