Obama tucked away behind Palm Springs gates

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President Obama is done speaking.


His talk lasted about 30 minutes, with roughly two thirds of it dedicated to climate change.


He urged students to take up the issue of environmental stewardship – and pointed out that a low-carbon economy could be a builder of jobs and income in the future.


“I’m not telling you this to discourage you. I want to light a fire under you.”


As he spoke, commentors debated the issue on social media, with some suggesting Obama was inappropriately inserting politics into the graduation ceremony. Others disagreed.


“The man is talking to the leaders of the future about the future. How is this not appropriate?” said Tina Arth on Twitter.


After the president ended his commencement speech, UCI Chancellor Michael Drake took the opportunity to teach Obama the proper way to give the Zot hand sign. Drake enlisted the crowd to join Obama in forming a proper Zot and got all 30,000 to scream “Zot! Zot! Zot!”


Today, we are all Anteaters.




Obama’s helicopter, Marine One, lifted off from the parking lot of Honda Center at 1:09 p.m. He reportedly headed back to Palm Springs, where he is expected to celebrate Father’s Day with his family.


The estimated attendance was 30,641. Of those, 22,641 sat in the stands and about 8,000 were on the field.




The president is speaking.


“Hello Anteaters… that’s something I thought I’d never say.”


Not a bad opening line.


The crowd – some 40,000 UCI graduates and their friends and family – is roaring.


For many, hearing President Barack Obama is the highlight of a long journey.


Frank Clement arrived from Washington D.C. Friday night to see his brother-in-law, Minh Khoan, graduate with a degree in business economics. Clement, Khoan’s brother-in-law, said he last saw Obama speak at his 2012 presidential inauguration.


He said getting into Angel Stadium was much easier.


“It took maybe 20 minutes to get in,” he said. “Not even nearly as bad.”

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