Tuesday, April 27, 2004

How to Get a College President's Goat

Only now are we finding out that Dick Cheney's attack on John Kerry's patriotism yesterday at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, was a phony set-up that has angered the college's president. Seems that Cheney's people called the Westminster officials days before to say that the vice president wanted to make a "major foreign policy" address in the exact same campus building where Winston Churchill first coined the term "Iron Curtain" in a famous speech in 1946. Oh, well then, a history-making event like THAT induced the college president, Fletcher Lamkin, who also used to be a former administrator at West Point, to assemble the entire college community to sit reverently for the vp's important "major foreign policy" address. Only it turned out to be nothing more than a campaign event, a slashing attack on Kerry as unpatriotic, from a man who dodged the draft himself during the Vietnam War with a student deferment.

Well, President Lamkin AIN'T amused. Josh Marshall published today an email that Lamkin sent to the entire Westminster College community expressing his distaste for Cheney's craven behavior: "I was surprised and disappointed that Mr. Cheney chose to step off the high ground and resort to Kerry-bashing for a large portion of his speech. The content and tone of his speech was not provided to us prior to the event -- we had only been told the speech would be about foreign policy, including issues in Iraq."

President Lamkin has felt obliged to offer John Kerry the same platform and opportunity to defend himself against the vp's intemperance. We trust that Kerry will take the president up on the offer. Missouri is one of those battleground states, after all.

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