Sunday, May 13, 2007

Higher Education Gives Bush Low Grades

For a true measure of the President’s unpopularity, forget approval ratings and check that annual cultural barometer, the commencement speech circuit.

This year three safety schools were on his schedule, and two of them reacted badly. In April, Bush addressed graduates at Miami Dade Community College after complaints about the invitation.

When he spoke Friday at tiny St. Vincent’s College in Pennsylvania, whose president was on Bush’s staff until recently, there were protests by students, faculty and nuns.

Later this month, he will address graduates of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, presumably without incident.

By comparison, Bill Clinton and ‘08 candidates are a hot ticket. Clinton is making six commencement speeches, including one at the University of New Hampshire where, to add insult to injury, he will appear with the President’s father, George H.W. Bush.

But lest Clinton get too cocky about it, he should know that, at Ohio State University, he was their third choice after Barack Obama and Jon Stewart turned them down.

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