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Biden adds three commencement addresses to his busy schedule

Democratic Vice president Joe Biden extolling the virtues of rail travel in preparation for his commencement address at the U S Air Force Academy in May

(UPDATE: See below.)

Not to be left out in the ceremonial graduation speaker category, Vice President Joe Biden's schedule now includes three speech stops, just like his boss President Obama, who had only graduated from elementary school long ago when Biden first entered the U.S. Senate.

Obama has agreed to speak at the U.S. Naval Academy; Arizona State University, which decided not to give him an honorary degree because he's yet to accomplish much; and Notre Dame University, which will award him an honorary degree because it doesn't mind his support of abortion rights despite protests from a growing number of other Catholics who do.

Democrat Biden's otherwise impossible schedule now has him speaking to the graduating class at Syracuse University on May 10, a Sunday.

After eight days of recovery, the vice president will speak to graduates at Wake Forest University on May 18.

And then, because the vice president is such a devoted, longtime fan and user of rail travel, on May 27 Biden will travel to Colorado Springs to address the graduating class at the Air Force Academy.

(UPDATE: Just released. The vice president's weekend schedule. Here it is:

"Weekend Guidance for the Vice President, Saturday April 18th and Sunday, April 19th, 2009

The Vice President will be in Washington DC. No public events are scheduled."

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

 
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Get To Know Joe Biden - Before The Commencement Address.....
Since Joe Biden has been selected by these schools to give commencement addresses, I thought it would be good to refresh our collective memories on Joe Biden.
In September 1987, Joe Biden's Presidential campaign ran into problems when he plagiarized a speech by Neil Kinnock, who was then-leader of the British Labour Party.

It was also discovered that, when he was a law student at Syracuse Law School, he had plagiarized a law review article. While the then-dean of the law school, as well as Biden's former professor, played down the seriousness of the incident, they did find Biden drew "chunks of heavy legal prose directly from" the article in question. Biden said it was unintentional due to his not knowing the proper rules of citation, (after 4 years of college one should know the rules of citation) and Biden was permitted to retake the course after receiving a grade of F, which was later dropped from his record.

When questioned by a New Hampshire resident about his grades in law school, Biden had inaccurately recalled graduating in the "top half" of his class when he actually graduated 76th from a class of 85, and he also falsely stated that he had received a full scholarship, and had earned three degrees. The truth is that he had received two majors, History and Political Science, and a single B.A degree, as well as a half scholarship based on financial need, not academic achievement .

When he was confronted with these truths, Biden withdrew from the nomination race on September 23, 1987, saying his candidacy had been overrun by "the exaggerated shadow" of his past mistakes.

Questions Students Should Ask Joe Biden

The media pretty well grilled the other VP candidate over the arcane, the meaningful, the obscure and otherwise but where were the tough questions for Joe Biden. Here are some that would be meaningful for the student body to ask and the electorate to know.
Why has Israel's Army radio reported that Senator Joe Biden told Israeli officials that they need to accept the idea Iran will acquire nuclear weapons?

Why does Joe Biden, a past supporter of Israel, now support direct negotiations with Iran despite UN violations as to their nuclear program?

Why, during his 1987 presidential run, did he lie about his grades in law school, recalling inaccurately that he graduated in the in the "top half" of his class when he actually graduated 76th from a class of 85?

Why, in the past has Joe Biden also falsely stated, that he had received a full scholarship, and had earned three degrees when he in fact received two majors and a single BA degree and got a half scholarship based on financial need not academic achievement?

When he was a law student at Syracuse Law School, he had plagiarized a law review article passing it off as part of his course work? How exactly did he convince the then-dean of the law school, as well as Biden's former professor, to not kick him out of school? His excuse was that his act of plagiarism was unintentional due to his not knowing the proper rules of citation, but of course how could that be after 4 years of college prior to going to law school.

Why did he vote for the war in Iraq but against the surge?
Why did his son not mention that he was going to Iraq soon when he introduced his father at the convention? Did dad ask his son not to mention why he was going to be leaving soon?

These are very valid questions and they go to the heart of Joe Biden's intelligence, integrity, character as well as his intentions. It would be good for all of us to know his answers on these issues or to see him hem and haw over them.

It is so sad when a politician doesn't care about lying to the people and I believe it is our fault for voting these kind of politicans.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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