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Saturday, May 20, 2006
 
McCain Gets Back-Handed Endorsement

He's gotta be loving this story:

Senator John McCain of Arizona received a cantankerous reception during his appearance at the New School commencement Friday, where dozens of faculty members and students turned their backs and raised signs in protest and a distinguished student speaker pointedly mocked him as he sat silently nearby.

The historically liberal university has been roiled in controversy in recent weeks over the selection of McCain, a conservative Republican and likely 2008 presidential candidate, to deliver the commencement address.

Some 1,200 students and faculty signed petitions asking the university president, former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, to rescind the invitation. Petitioners said McCain's support for the Iraq war and opposition to gay rights and legal abortion do not keep with the prevailing views on campus.


A few more stories like this and McCain may start sewing up his rift with the religious right. And get the dripping sympathy for a twit student:

But Kerrey's remarks were immediately overshadowed by those of Jean Sara Rohe, one of two distinguished seniors invited by the university's deans to address the graduates.

Beginning by singing a wistful folk tune calling for world peace, Rohe announced she had thrown out her prepared remarks to address the McCain controversy directly.

"The senator does not reflect the ideals upon which this university was founded," Rohe proclaimed to loud cheers, with McCain sitting just a few feet away.

She added that she knew what McCain would be saying to the graduates since he had promised to deliver the same speech he gave at Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University last weekend and Columbia University on Tuesday.

"He will tell us we are young and too naive to have valid opinions," Rohe said. "I am young and though I don't possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that pre-emptive war is dangerous. And I know that despite all the havoc that my country has wrought overseas in my name, Osama bin Laden still has not been found, nor have those weapons of mass destruction."


No, Jean Sara, you're not too young to have opinions. You're just too young to have opinions that will impress many adults beyond sympathetic New York Times reporters.
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