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The more things change...

From NBC's Mark Murray
... the more they stay the same, we guess.

As it turns out, a controversy over a president giving an education speech to students isn't new.

One, George H.W. Bush gave a speech to students back in 1991. And two, Democrats criticized him for it.

From the Washington Post on Oct. 4, 1991 (hat tip to KY3 and our friends at Hotline):

White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater came armed to the lectern top yesterday to rebut complaints that the president used taxpayer money for a political event to promote himself as the education president.

Democrats are complaining that the $26,750 paid by the Education Department to a private media firm to produce television coverage of Bush's speech to students on education Tuesday was improperly used. The television performance was broadcast live by CNN and other stations around the nation could pick it up by satellite.

Not that the White House is sensitive about the issue, but Fitzwater said that if the White House instead had sent a letter to only 86,000 of the nation's 4.6 million schoolchildren, it would have cost more. The TV show was just another way to get the president's message out, Fitzwater said, and cynical journalists should get with the new technology.

Wouldn't the film make good campaign commercials, Fitzwater was asked. "We certainly would use any tape of the president, doing anything, anywhere in the world at any time if it was to his political benefit," Fitzwater agreed.