Cokie Roberts asks grads to consider public service

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(Host) Political analyst Cokie Roberts called on the graduates of St. Michael’s College today to consider public service careers because she says it’s the glue that holds us together.

Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and senior news analyst for National Public Radio.

More than four hundred degree recipients listened as Roberts told them that political institutions may be unpopular but they need to be embraced.

(Roberts) “We need political leadership, we need St. Michael is who we need …but in the absence of an archangel we need political leaders there and we need them around the world to bring the peace and justice that many of you in this college are dedicated to.”

(Host) Roberts said it’s largely their own fault that professional politicians are unpopular. She said that presidential candidates should stop running down the Senate, when many of them have served there.

She said the press and the voters also need to take some responsibility for the lack of respect for Congress.

(Roberts) “To denigrate the professional is to denigrate the profession. And we demand professional doctors. We respect the practice of medicine. We expect professional bridge builders and we respect the art of engineering. To say that only amateurs, non professionals, should govern us is to show disrespect for government. And I know that that’s often a popular sentiment. But I think it’s basically dangerous- nothing binds us together except for our government.”

(Host) Cokie Roberts received an honorary degree from outgoing St. Michael’s College president Marc vanderHeyden.

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