Study: Twice As Many Democrats to Speak at Commencements as Republicans

by Andrew Johnson

Twice as many Democrats as Republicans will be doling out advice to graduates at this year’s commencement ceremonies, according to a new study.

According to Campus Reform, more than half of President Obama’s cabinet is slated to speak at ceremonies next month, ranging from Vice President Joe Biden (who’s speaking at the University of South Carolina and the University of Delaware) to Secretary of State John Kerry (Yale University) to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell (Whitman College).

The president himself will speak at two schools — the University of California, Irvine and West Point — while first lady Michelle Obama will also speak at Dillard University, a historically black college in New Orleans. Bill Clinton (New York University in Abu Dhabi) and Al Gore (Princeton University) will also be speaking.

Republicans outnumber Democrats in federal and state offices, but trail their counterparts in campus invitations by huge margins. Nearly twice as many Democratic members of Congress will be speakers (17 Democrats to 9 Republicans), as well as governors (11 to 6).

Some potential 2016 hopefuls will have the privilege of being ignored by sweaty, hungover 22-year-olds: New Jersey governor Chris Christie will speak at New Jersey’s public Rowan University; Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal will speak at the Evangelical Liberty University; Ohio governor John Kasich will speak at the University of Cincinnati; Maryland governor Martin O’Malley will speak at the University of Maryland, College Park, his state’s flagship institution; and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker will speak at Concordia University in his state.

Among Democrats’ other speakers include former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau (College of Holy Cross) and former Tip O’Neil staffer and current MSNBC host Chris Matthews (Ohio State University and the University of Rochester).

One of the more prominent Republicans speaking is former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, whose invitation to Rutgers University has drawn protests, including an official resolution from a faculty council calling for the administration to retract its invite.

Below is a chart of the prominent politicians speaking this spring:

Via Campus Reform.

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