President Obama will deliver this year’s commencement address at Barnard College, a women's college in New York City. It's obviously not unusual for a president to be invited to speak to young graduates about the hopes of the future. What is unusual, however, is when a sitting president invites himself to speak:
An Obama administration official confirmed on Friday that the White House had called Barnard to offer the president as the commencement speaker.
Debora L. Spar, the president of Barnard, said she was thrilled that the president would deliver the keynote speech at the commencement on May 14.
“This is just an extraordinary opportunity for the college, a moment in time that will be unforgettable for the graduates and their parents,” Ms. Spar said in an interview on Friday.
I'm sure it's pure coincidence that Obama has chosen to speak at a women's college amidst the Republicans' ongoing "war against women," or whatever Democrats are calling opposition to the administration's contraception plan these days. I'm sure the aspiring young women of Barnard's class of 2012 can't wait to hear how evil Rush Limbaugh is and how "women's issues" today are defined by fighting for free birth control. Whoopie.
Though I feel bad for the young ladies who will have to sit through such a speech, the real victim here is Barnard's first choice:
A month ago, Barnard College announced that Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times, would be its graduation speaker, but those plans changed with the call from the White House. Ms. Spar said that Ms. Abramson had said she would be happy to speak at Barnard in the future.