Vice President Dick Cheney, his favorability ratings even lower than President Bush's, gave college graduates a good-natured tour Friday of some of the detours in his life as he counseled them to be ready to roll with life's punches.
Life rarely turns out as planned, he said. Cheney said that when he graduated from the University of Wyoming, he expected to go on to graduate school, a doctorate and a life in academia.
The vice president, 65, cited his first disastrous meeting with now-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld back in the 1960s, when Rumsfeld was a congressman and Cheney was interviewing for a fellowship on Capitol Hill.
"Things didn't go all that well," Cheney recounted. "In fact, he pretty much threw me out of his office."
Cheney also poked fun at himself for never quite getting around to writing the dissertation to complete his doctorate work.
"I'll get started as soon as I think of a topic to write about," he promised.
He confessed that he had started his college years at Yale, but dropped out after a few semesters.
"Actually, dropped out isn't quite accurate," he added. "'Asked to leave' would be more like it. Twice. The second time around, they said, don't bother coming back."
As you would expect, having Darth Cheney show up in front of a bunch of college students, even in the very red state of Louisiana, drew some objections. The most curious one, however, came from one of the students with a rather... "unique" academic background.
Not all students were happy with the choice of Cheney as commencement speaker. Some complained about Bush administration policies on the war in Iraq and other topics, and others said selecting Cheney was inappropriate given displeasure with the administration's Katrina response.
"Graduates need better inspiration," said Jessica Ketcham, a graduate student in rhetoric.
I'm sorry... did you just say a "graduate student in rhetoric"???? Sounds more like she's studying to work in the Cheney administration than to criticize it.