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Report: Liberal 2012 Commencement Speakers Outnumber Conservatives 7-to-1


"President Obama has spoken on campuses one out of every 12 days on his Presidency."

Here's a shocker: the top 100 universities* in America prefer left-leaning commencement speakers to conservatives by a ratio of seven-to-one, according to a new report from the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), the principal youth activism wing of the conservative movement.

In fact, according to the YAF report, out of 106 keynote speakers scheduled to address America's "top universities," an astounding 71 can be identified as “liberal” while the rest are either politically unaffiliated (25) or conservative (10).

“Among the top 35 universities, only one conservative is scheduled to speak, compared to 29 liberals,” YAF spokesman Ron Meyer writes, adding that 16 White House officials have been scheduled to speak this year, more than all the conservatives combined.

“Young America’s Foundation’s previous research shows that Bush administration officials spoke at the top 100 universities a total of 14 times throughout his Presidency. In President Obama’s first three years, administration officials have spoken 29 times—more than double the total number of Bush administration speeches,” Meyer adds.

Among the White House officials scheduled to speak this year are:

  • Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary (Georgetown University)
  • Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy (Penn State University)
  • Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States (Virginia Tech)
  • Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the EPA (University of Washington and Tulane University)
  • Valerie Jarrett, Senior advisor to the White House (American University)
  • Justice Sonia Sotomayor (New York University)
  • John Brennan, chief counterterrorism adviser to the President (Fordham University)

How did YAF put this list together? What were the criteria?

“To qualify as ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ for the survey, speakers must have publicly supported ideological causes through speaking, writing, serving in public office, commentating, or financial contributions,” Meyer explains.

And here’s another fun fact from the report:

An ongoing Foundation study shows that President Obama has spoken on campuses one out of every 12 days on his Presidency, and the Daily Caller reports administration officials have made 130 appearances at colleges and universities since spring 2011.

That’s quite a speaking schedule.

But it makes sense. As The Blaze noted in January, President Obama won the presidency with 68 percent of the youth vote, the biggest in American presidential history. And this is no small thing. It can be argued that youth vote guaranteed him the Oval Office.

Therefore, it only makes sense that the president, in an attempt to win back the collegiate vote, would spend so much time campaigning on campuses.

“This administration wants to sell its failed policies to college students, and clearly, higher education is more than willing to help. As tuition and student loan debt grow at historic rates, what are students getting for the money?” YAF’s Ron Robinson asks.

“An education from leftist professors that—combined with the Obama administration’s policies—has left 53 percent of recent grads unemployed or underemployed. These commencement speakers are just the icing on higher education’s indoctrination cake,” he adds.

These are the "top 10" American universities and their commencement speakers:

1. Harvard University

Speaker: Fareed Zakaria

Occupation: Editor-at-Large, Time; CNN Host

Ideological Tilt: Liberal (Commentator)

2. Princeton University

Speaker: Steve Carell

Occupation: Actor and comedian

Ideological Tilt: Leans liberal (Comedy)

3. Yale University

Speaker: Barbara Walters

Occupation: Host, The View

Ideological Tilt: Liberal (Commentator)

4. Columbia University

Speaker: Lee Bollinger

Occupation:  President, Columbia University

Ideological Tilt: Liberal (Teacher and Speaker)

5. California Institute of Technology

Speaker: Elon Musk

Occupation:  Technology entrepreneur

Ideological Tilt: Liberal (Major donor)

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Speaker: Salman Khan

Occupation: Founder of Khan Academy

Ideological Tilt: Leans liberal (Foreign politics)

7. Stanford University

Speaker: Cory Booker

Occupation: Mayor of Newark

Ideological Tilt: Liberal (Politician)

8. University of Chicago

Speaker: Stephen Raudenbush

Occupation: Lewis Sebring Professor of Sociology

Ideological Tilt: Liberal (Teaching record)

9. University of Pennsylvania

Speaker: Geoffrey Canada

Occupation: President and Chief Executive Officer, Harlem Children's Zone, Inc.

Ideological Tilt: Liberal (Obama supporter).

10. Duke University

Speaker: Fareed Zakaria

Occupation: Editor-at-Large, Time; CNN Host

Ideological Tilt: Liberal (Commentator)

Click here to see the rest of YAF’s list of 2012 commencement speakers.

*As identified by “US News and World Report.”

Front page photo courtesy Shutterstock. This story has been updated.

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