Most graduation speeches are filled with optimistic anecdotes and bits of advice for young people ready to take on the world.
At the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts commencement on Saturday, it was all about Hillary Clinton, because, after all, she had the microphone.
During the roughly 28-minute address, Hillary talked about herself 106 times, or once every 16 seconds.
All told, she said “I” 75 times, “Me” 18 times and “My” 13 times.
“It is absolutely wonderful for me to be here,” she began, not clarifying whether she was talking about her own feelings, or what the audience should be thinking.
“As I was preparing to come, I couldn’t help but think back to my very first visit to Arkansas, my very first visit to Hot Springs,” she recalled, before going on a stem winder about Bill Clinton picking her up at the airport for a southern tour.
“And I have to confess that I was already sort of in love with the driver of the car, but I fell hard for Hot Springs and Arkansas,” she told the students.
“And as I made the trip today, so many memories were flooding my mind,” she said.
Hillary went on to tell the students about what she did as first lady of Arkansas.
“I chaired a commission” on education,” she told the kids. “I testified before the state legislature,” she said.
She went on to give the graduates some advice — with her own stories, of course.
“Well, what is it that I would want to hear if I were in those seats instead,” she said.
A baby cried out, as if to say, “Please be done, Hillary!”
“I’ve had a lot of role models in my life. I’ve been very lucky in that way,” she continued, undeterred by the fussy child.
She encouraged kids to have resilience, recalling a story from her childhood in which she fought an youngen to gain acceptance.
“The other kids were not interested in playing with me,” she said. “They would taunt me, they would circle around me, they would bully me and they would often pull the bow out of my hair and knock me to the ground,” Hillary lamented.
“It was the pattern of my life,” she said, before telling the kids that one time her mother locked her out of the house, forcing her to confront the others.
“I thought it was the end of my life. I was so stunned,” she recalled.
“I didn’t know what I was supposed to do once I got out there,” Hillary said.
“I could not retreat. I could not give up. I could not be bullied,” she summarized.
Concluding, she said, “I’m very optimistic about the future even though I know how many huge problems we face,” she said, adding it comes from how much time she spends with young people.
“I am not only reassured, I am thrilled,” Hillary said.