Yesterday was the Boalt Commencement Ceremony, where Howard Dean was scheduled to be the Commencement Speaker. Unfortunately, the campus service workers were picketing the ceremony. [Aside: The campus service workers were picketing last summer to. I have no idea whether this protest has been ongoing for the past year, or whether this is a new protest with new issues, or whether they just protest once a year to keep themselves spry.] Anyway, since Howard Dean is either (1) committed to liberal ideals, (2) politically astute, or (3) both, he cancelled his appearance when he heard about the strike, not wishing to cross the picket line. This meant that Boalt was without a Commencement Speaker for its graduation ceremony.
Based on a few extra facts I've heard about this, Dean's cancellation was not entirely a bad thing. As the title of this post suggests, this gives the Boalt class of 2006 a great story to tell when people ask who their Commencement Speaker was. Liberal alumni can say, "Howard Dean blah blah strike blah blah blah. Isn't that cool?" Conservative alumni can say, "Howard Dean blah blah strike blah blah blah. Can you believe that crap?" Everyone else can say, "Nobody, which made the ceremony a lot shorter. Isn't that great?"
Also, apparently the cancellation was far enough in advance that Dean Edley was able to throw together a party at his house to which he invited the graduating 3Ls, and Howard Dean showed up at the party and gave some kind of talk. So the graduating students got some Dean action, but their friends and families missed out. Edley further softened the blow by doing his own impression of Howard Dean during his speech at the ceremony. Specifically, he re-enacted the moment where Dean's candidacy fell apart (the list of states followed by the scream). Remember, kids: Jokes aren't appropriate for graduation ceremonies unless they're at least two years old and have already been beaten to death.