Graduation Day: Obama and Bush in Colorado

Colorado hosts two graduations with major policy speeches today: one by a current president looking back and one by a (possible) future president looking forward.

Barack Obama will host an invitation-only town hall meeting at 11:30 a.m. at Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts (MESA) in Thornton, where he is expected to address high school renewal programs, citing Mapleton as an example. Obama will speak with the school’s 44 graduating seniors, all of whom are heading to college. On the campaign trail, Obama has said repeatedly that educational reform, particularly for urban school districts, will be a primary goal of his time in the White House. Mapleton principal Mike Johnston has been advising the Obama campaign on education issues for more than a year, though the Denver Post quotes Johnston saying that today he is just “the principal” on the visit and joking that he tried to discourage Obama from visiting his particular school.

Contrast that with President George W. Bush’s speech to Air Force Academy graduates in Colorado Springs this morning at 10 a.m., when his prepared remarks will draw connections between the conflict in Iraq and World War II, wire services report: