Condi Rice and Chris Matthews Get Backlash as Commencement Speakers
Matt | On 01, Apr 2014
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be visiting the campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey as its 2014 commencement speaker. However, there is plenty of heat about her visit at least a month and a half before she is scheduled to arrive.
Rice, who served as U.S. Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, is quite a polarizing figure in modern-day global politics. Rice, along with several others in the Bush Administration, ardently pushed for the war in Iraq under false pretenses. The conflict would ultimately lead to the deaths of over 4,000 servicemen and women in combat and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths. Since leaving her post in 2009, Dr. Rice has served as a political science professor at Stanford University.
The Rutgers Board of Governors is responsible for the decision to host Rice as the commencement speaker. The move enraged some university faculty, who then circulated petitions to have her removed as speaker. I am really not surprised that happened. I do believe that as pioneering as Rice has been, her willingness to stick by the obviously failed and misguided trek into Iraq will tarnish her name in history for years to come.
Rutgers commencement is to be held on May 18. She will be paid $35,000 for her appearance.
Meanwhile, at The Ohio State University, graduating seniors were up in arms about MSNBC host Chris Matthews as their commencement speaker. The reason behind the Matthews outrage was simple. Students complained that they did not know who he was. Like Rutgers, the Ohio State speaker decision was one primarily left up to university personnel. That move further pissed off the students considering they usually have a strong say in choosing the speakers.
As a MSNBC fan and Ohio State alumnus, this news saddens me and makes me laugh all at the same time. They didn’t know who Chris Matthews was?! OMG LOL! I can kind of see that happening. But, I also think about how Chris Matthews must feel. Ohio State is one of the largest schools in the nation. I honestly didn’t think he would get that type of reaction. But hey … kids are honest! Matthews is a long-time journalist, but that doesn’t really matter in the eyes of the students.
Ohio State students will receive their degrees on May 4.