Commencement Speeches

I was watching The Colbert Report last night , during which he poked fun at Bill Clinton’s shout out to him in his 2007 Knox College commencement speech (and expressed his man crush on the former president, gushing “and is the question would I?… Yes. Yes, I would.”). Bill Clinton eluded during the speech that he was merely invited so that Colbert could make fun of him..which I guess was bound to happen anyway.  Or as Stephen put it, “Bill Clinton knows who I am!”.  He then argues that his speech was so great it should just have been replayed for every graduating class thereafter, and proceeds to try to burn his honorary doctorate diploma, which turns out to be metal and thwarts his efforts.

Anyway, I got to wondering, how did this college haul in Bill Clinton and Stephen Colbert in back to back years? Our commencement speaker was a Native American Museum director (if there is one thing that inspires college students, its museums, and if there is one thing Georgetown sudents can relate to, its diversity), and it was less than great, or at least popular. I know George Tenet spoke, but really, as a former grad leaving the CIA, what else was he going to be doing? It also turns out Obama spoke at Knox College. What gives?

Well, it appears as if Podesta, Clinton’s former chief of staff, graduated from Knox College (and I sure as hell can’t think of anyone else that did) and as the leader of the Center for American Progress asked Colbert to do the speech. I am assuming he used his position and connections to convince Obama and Clinton to do the same. However , as Podesta is a current member of the Georgetown faculty, how about doing the same for us? Please, spare us the Maria Shrivers of the world…

The text of Colbert’s speech can be found here.

Clinton’s speech as well.

And, just for kicks, Jon Stewarts speech.

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