(New Brunswick, NJ) – After weeks of protests by Rutgers University faculty and students, and just four days after FLATLINEgov reported on the issue, Condoleezza Rice has withdrawn her offer to serve as the university’s commencement speaker for 2014.
She would have been paid $35,000 for her speech.
Rice served as President George W. Bush’s National Security Advisor from 2001-5, and as Secretary of State from 2005-9.
Branded as a “war criminal” by some, a disinvitation was urged because of her role in supporting waterboarding in the name of the War on Terror. Her involvement in the failed military adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq don’t help to bolster her image.
While Rutgers faculty and students were busy patting themselves on the back for a job well done, reports suggested it was the university itself – and not either the faculty or student opposition ‐ that caused Rice to withdraw.
“Ms. Rice heard about the university’s food, and quite frankly, she couldn’t deliver the commencement speech in good conscience,” said a Rice spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I mean, dishes like ‘Codfish Tails Parmesan’ and ‘Turkey Tetrachloride’ sound just awful. In fact, it sounds a little bit like torture. I guess the foot’s on the other hand now.”
Also, the university now finds itself without a commencement speaker just weeks before graduation. Some are now worried about a repeat of the ‘Snooki Incident’ of 2011. In April of that year, Jersey Shore’s Snooki was paid $32,000 to speak at Rutgers, just $2,000 less than the university’s commencement speaker, Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison.
“I’m sure we can find a suitable replacement for Ms. Rice with which everyone will be happy,” said a Rutgers spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I mean, there are lots of famous people who just recently had their time freed up. Donald Sterling and V. Stiviano come to mind. And, if they’re busy, I’m sure either Cliven Bundy or Rob Ford or Frazier Glenn Cross would do.”