2006_05_mccain.jpgSenator John McCain is facing a very tough crowd outside of the Beltway. Students and professors alike at the New School are upset over his selection as the commencement speaker. New School president, fellow Vietnam vet, and former McCain colleague Bob Kerrey selected McCain as a commencement speaker because he's "one of the world's most important leaders," as Kerrey explained to the Times. But a lot of the student and faculty population feels differently, as hundreds of people signed a petition arguing that McCain shouldn't speak, noting that his positions on the war and a woman's right to choose, and a bunch of people protested outside the New School office yesterday. However, Kerrey is sticking to the plan and keeping McCain on the speaking list.

McCain is also the Class Day speaker for Columbia College next week, which didn't make many Columbia seniors happy either. He was their third choice, after Bill Clinton and Columbia alum Barack Obama declined invitations. McCain is also the father a junior there, so that might have had something to do with it. The plus side of having a commencement/class day speaker you don't like is that you remember who it was. So the Columbia Law School graduates will have a class day speaker for the ages - their speaker is Governor George Pataki!