Dems dominate commencement despite defeat at the polls
- Although Republicans dominated the 2016 election cycle, their Democratic counterparts boast far more commencement speaking engagements, keeping in line with long-standing tradition.
- Between them, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are delivering five commencement addresses, while Donald Trump is the only one of the 16 Republican candidates to secure an engagement.
- Whereas 14 senior Obama administration officials gave commencement speeches in 2009, just one of Trump's selections will be speaking this year, while Democratic senators outnumber Republicans 9-4.
Although Republicans dominated the 2016 election cycle, their Democratic counterparts boast far more commencement speaking engagements, keeping in line with long-standing tradition.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, for example, are set to deliver a whopping five commencement speeches combined, yet of the 16 Republicans who ran for president in 2016, only Donald Trump is engaged to address a graduating class.
In fact, Clinton is set to speak at two universities, her alma mater Wellesley College and Medgar Evers College, while Sanders will be speaking at Brooklyn College, Lyndon State College, and Johnson State College.
Meanwhile, Democratic senators will significantly outnumber their Republican peers on the commencement speaker circuit this year, delivering nine such addresses compared to just four featuring GOP senators.
Moreover, while the Democratic senators were primarily invited to speak at high-profile schools, the Republicans will mainly be addressing much smaller institutions in their home states, such as Sen. John Boozman at Williams Baptist College and Sen. Susan Collins at Maine Maritime Academy.
Perhaps even more strikingly, Campus Reform’s analysis shows that senior officials in President Obama’s administration (including Cabinet secretaries and top-level advisors) were offered 14 speaking engagements during his first year in office, whereas Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke (who is speaking at the University of Montana) is the only one of President Trump’s senior officials to have secured a commencement slot.
As The College Fix recently reported, Trump will not be speaking at a single university amongst the top 100 schools listed by U.S. News & World Report, though Obama spoke at three universities during his first year in office, including Notre Dame, which this year abandoned the tradition of inviting the president during his first year in office instead extending an invitation to Pence.
Such trends are nothing new, though, with Campus Reform observing last year that liberals outnumbered conservatives 4-1 on the commencement circuit, with only ten speakers at America’s top 100 schools being identifiably conservative.
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