Here’s To The Veep

Remember, a few years back, when a pompous New York Times reporter was asked to give a commencement speech at Rockford College, and wound up delivering a tiresome anti-war harangue instead? The guy’s name was Chris Hedges, and he was literally booed off the stage, partly because his message was so tendentious (opening sentence: “I want to speak to you today about war and empire”), and partly because it was incredibly rude of Hedges to spend somebody else’s graduation day giving them a political diatribe.

For future commencement speakers, that’s how you don’t do it. And as another point of reference, here’s how you do do it, courtesy of Vice President Dick Cheney, who gave the commencement address at Auburn University (my alma mater) yesterday. Read the whole thing, as they say. It’s a really nice speech: short, funny, touching, and enjoyable regardless of your politics.

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t quote my favorite section here:

I know you’ll always carry with you the Auburn spirit, and fond memories of your time here. You’ll remember the Cater Hall call-outs; the Tiger Walk; the flight of the Eagle; and the music of the fight song played every day at noon. You’ll remember many challenges as well — hard work in the classroom, long nights in the lab or library, and all those hours spent circling the campus, looking for a place to park. (Laughter.) You’ll remember those special places — Samford Hall, Jordan-Hare Stadium, the Concourse, Toomer’s Corner, the Supper Club. (Applause.) And you’ll remember your senior year, for the many fine achievements in academics, research, and athletics, and for a football record of 13 and 0 which sounds a lot like a national champion to me. (Applause.)

War Eagle.

AUDIENCE: War Eagle!

I still can’t quite believe the Vice President of the United States actually mentioned the War Eagle Supper Club. My only quibble: I would have noted Auburn alumnus Johnny Mike Spann. But it’s still a terrific speech.


11 Responses to “Here’s To The Veep”

  1. GruntDoc Says:

    Sounds like there’s an Auburn alum on his speechwriting staff.

  2. Jonathan Says:

    AU alum speech writer? … maybe, but Cheney usually believes in what he says, or he’ll change it.

  3. Jonathan Says:

    AU alum speech writer? … maybe, but Cheney usually believes in what he says, or he’ll change it.

  4. Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0 Says:

    Nefarious Mastermind

    You have to hand it to Cheney – able to come off as disarming, amiable and self-deprecating, even as he plans the destruction of the world. Via Vodkapundit…

  5. robyn Says:

    Y’all so should have been in Miami this January instead of us!

  6. Wisdomcube Says:

    This isn’t surprising. E.L. Doctrow, whose book Ragtime I admittedly enjoyed, gave a politically charged and innapropriate speech at my school, Hofstra University, last year. But even his speech wasn’t as out of context and wildly innapropriate as this.

  7. Robin Roberts Says:

    If one remembers back to August 2000, when George W. announced – in a rather huge change of custom – that Dick Cheney would be the Vice President candidate, you will recall that Dick Cheney was known as a level headed, competent, rationale, grownup.

    Of course, that was before the MSM decided to engage in a never-ending stream of misrepresentation of who Cheney was.

  8. craig mclaughlin Says:

    I was going to write that I have many happy memories of the War Eagle Supper Club, but I don’t. Remember, I mean.

  9. . Says:

    chris hedges knows a lot more about war than dick cheney– he’s actually been to one…

  10. holdfast Says:

    Well, Hedges also knows a lot about knitting – or at least how to spin a yarn. The only reason that he wasn’t crucified a la Jayson Blair for his Gaza “reporting” is that nobody actually reads Harper’s. Hedges is a lot like Sy Hersh – wrote a big story or two back then, and keeps trying to recreate the moment, truth be damned.

    How even the NY Times can continue to employ this blatant hack as a “news” reporter is beyond me.

  11. Blogesota Says:

    Pro-war speeches aren’t political at all , are they?

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