Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to Clinton, Oprah

Sixteen people were awarded the nation's highest civilian honor that was established by President John F. Kennedy fifty years ago.

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Evan Vucci / AP

President Barack Obama awards former President Bill Clinton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

President Barack Obama presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to former President Bill Clinton and 15 others on Wednesday, the award’s 50th anniversary.

“These are the men and women who in their extraordinary lives remind us of the beauty of the human spirit,” Obama said at the White House.

Clinton received the award for his public service in office, and afterward as the founder of the Clinton Foundation.

“He remembered what his mom had to do on behalf of him and he wanted to make sure he made life better and easier for so many people across the country,” Obama said of Clinton, whose father died before he was born.

Obama presented the award to 15 others, including talk show host Oprah Winfrey, country music legend Loretta Lynn, feminist activist Gloria Steinem, and Hall of Fame college basketball coach Dean Smith.

The president also delivered a brief tribute to the medal’s founder, President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated 50 years ago this week.

“This year it’s just a little more special,” Obama said.

21 comments
TaraJeanOlson
TaraJeanOlson

What an f***ing joke. that award should be given to REAL heroes.  As he stands, B.O. has degraded the constitution down to a piteous level. This is just one more embarrassment

FarRightOfLeft
FarRightOfLeft

This is like Al Capone breaking into an upscale jewelry store and "awarding" each of his top thugs a prize!

statingtheobvious2025
statingtheobvious2025

What have any of you done to better mankind in any way?  Ye without sin cast the first stone...

fblancof
fblancof

Everytime I open a newspaper that woman is on the first pagina! GRRRRRRR !

fblancof
fblancof

I can't stand that Ophra anymore! Enough is enough!

corey715
corey715

Oprah.....the racist within!

johnshephard
johnshephard

I missed it, but was Oprah's for the racist comments and Bill's the rape of Juanita Brodderick?  

TruthByTZ
TruthByTZ

If the greedy obnoxious people party and the racist and hateful tea party wanted to redeem themselves and truly repent of their sins they would nominate Oprah for president.

SvetlaHanrahan
SvetlaHanrahan

OPRAH! really Mr President?! How did Oprah do anything other than spew hatred and racism? 

therealdude
therealdude

Wow, I bet the people at Fox news are foaming at the mouth today.

goldengrain
goldengrain

Oprah's comment may not have been so 'pc', but she's right, as we found out in the election of Obama.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

Congratulations to the recipients.  You make the world a better place.

perplexed
perplexed

And are we forgetting the 'lovely' comment Oprah recently made about all the old white people needing to 'die off', to end racism?  (I'm not ready to die yet, Oprah - thanks very much - and I'm no racist, either.)   If I don't like what Obama (or anyone else) does - it's is because in my opinion, they are not doing a good job.   Do we 'not' have the right to criticize anyone - because of their race?   You never said anyone needed to 'die off' when they criticized George W. Bush, did you?    The kind of elite reverse racism you espouse is hurting us, not bringing us together.   But there's nothing most ordinary people can do, except what we do every day - live and love our fellow man.  We are falling farther and farther behind in equality, when people who have the soap box say things like that.  It is beyond the pale, to give awards to a few of these people - who's lives are no better than the average citizen, and less respectable than many.    I have a feeling that people will become less likely to vote for a minority in the future, if then, they cannot ever say a negative word about their actions.  And your mindset will have contributed that.  I agree with 'pauledb' who just said that The Medal of Freedom has gone the way of the Nobel Peace Prize that Obama won - which was an embarrassment to most people.  (But, of course, we are not allowed to say that, are we?.  It's simply that he did nothing, yet, to earn it - except become president.)

therigel
therigel

Oprah disses the US while in England.  She needs to realize that her success means her statement rings of hypocrisy.  People dislike President Obama for his policies, not the color of his skin.  She owes the American people an apology.   

paulejb
paulejb

Damn! The Presidential Medal of Freedom has reached the level of the Nobel Peace Prize. A total absurdity.

Soulice
Soulice

Oprah?  Oprah?   really?  for what?   oh, forgot....all the money and networking done in 2008.

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

@therigel 

Oprah just may be entering another chapter in her life: Over.

Was glad to see Loretta Lynn and Gloria Steinhem get recognition.

JedStarnes
JedStarnes

@therigel Perhaps Oprah and Harvey Weinstein both owe the American public, from whom they profit, an apology.

JedStarnes
JedStarnes

@Soulice She bailed her mom out of $155K of debt to a Milwaukee-area clothing store about 4 years ago. Maybe that's what earned her the Medal of Freedom.