May 20, 2006


Graduates at New School Heckle Speech by McCain (DAVID M. HERSZENHORN, 5/20/06, NY Times)

The jeers, boos and insults flew, as caustic as any that angry New Yorkers have hurled inside Madison Square Garden. The objects of derision yesterday, however, were not the hapless New York Knicks, but Senator John McCain, the keynote speaker at the New School graduation, and his host, Bob Kerrey, the university president.

No sooner had Mr. Kerrey welcomed the audience to the university's 70th commencement than the hoots began to rise through the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Several graduates held up a banner aimed at Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican and likely 2008 presidential candidate, declaring: "Our commencement is not your platform." Other students and faculty members waved orange fliers with the same message.

Mr. Kerrey, a former Democratic senator from Nebraska, was unapologetic yesterday about inviting Mr. McCain, his friend and fellow Vietnam War veteran, to speak. He noted early in his welcoming remarks that there had been intense media coverage of Mr. McCain's graduation speech last week at Liberty University, headed by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, in which Mr. McCain strongly defended the Iraq war.

"Many predicted that his speech today would not receive as friendly a reception," Mr. Kerrey said.

His campaign staff could hardly script a better scenario than a respectful greeting at Liberty and hostility in NYC.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 20, 2006 8:28 AM

Kerrey might have instructed his students to show common courtesy to a guest, rather than predict they'd behave like savages, but then his contract may not have been renewed.

Posted by: erp at May 20, 2006 1:46 PM
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