I did not return to my alma mater to hear Hillary Rodham Clinton deliver her commencement address to the Wellesley Class of 2017. Nor did I – in the manner of my more liberal alumnae friends here on the West Coast – opt to rise very early on the morning of Friday, May 26 to catch a live broadcast of it.
Even had I been so inclined, I figured I pretty well knew what Hillary would say in that much anticipated talk to a largely partisan crowd of graduates, their parents, and their well-wishers. To some extent, I was wrong.
Let's put it this way: the most incisive post-speech comment on Secretary Clinton's performance came from one of my Wellesley classmates, who said simply, "Hillary never did have any class." And on top of that, Mrs. Clinton was quick to admit to her blasé audience that her class didn't have any class cheer, either.
I'm not sure why Wellesley's most famous alumna bothered to bring this up. Perhaps it was an ice-breaker, certainly one preferable to her ensuing coughing fit, popped lozenge, and gulp of bottled water. It remains a mystery why and how Hillary's class had gotten away with such a singular lapse of tradition at a college so steeped in it. Surely back then one of Hillary's classmates – perhaps she herself – could have come up with a suitable cheer. Or had they all become young allies of radical Saul Alinsky, leaving them little to cheer about?