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Watch: Rachel Maddow's Commencement Speech at Smith College


Rachel Maddow delivered the commencement address at Smith College on Sunday where she received an honorary degree. Maddow talked about how personal triumphs are overrated, with regard to Carrie Nation, Jack Abramoff, prohibition, the criminal economy, KFC's Double Down sandwich, the AMC Gremlin, and public policy.

She adds: "I would caution against believing the 'life is short' advice that you should live every day as if it is your last. As if you're only ever going to be roughly the age you are right now. Frankly, if all goes well, life's long. So if you might take any advice from me, I would offer this. Hopefully life is long. Do stuff you will enjoy thinking about and telling stories about for many years to come. Do stuff you will want to brag about..."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Rachel is THE BEST! Such intelligence and good humor as she nails stupidity and injustice.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 17, 2010 12:07:37 PM

  2. My god, I love Rachel.

    Posted by: Laurie | May 17, 2010 1:09:18 PM

  3. Awesome speech!
    Absolutely loving Maddow more and more each time I listen to her. :)

    Posted by: aleabeth | May 17, 2010 1:11:14 PM

  4. Good God. This was such a brilliant speech. It's so good to know that sanity and intelligence are not completely gone in this country. More power to her. It's just sad that so many people are listening to the voices of ignorance, greed and dirty politics.

    Posted by: Ray | May 17, 2010 1:36:14 PM

  5. A living national treasure...

    Posted by: Buster | May 17, 2010 2:01:47 PM

  6. Rachel Maddow is awesome! Wise words and wise advice. Rachel, be careful. Somewhere along the way, you are going to be asked to run for office, probably the U.S. Senate. Although you would make a great Senator, our nation needs your intelligence on a nightly basis, explaining the "spin" and unraveling the lies and deceptions that pollute our body politic and our social contract with one another.

    Posted by: jamal49 | May 17, 2010 3:20:03 PM

  7. Love love love her!

    Posted by: Allan | May 17, 2010 4:06:24 PM

  8. Wow.

    Posted by: ty | May 17, 2010 5:13:06 PM

  9. Even if the Asian student in one row was obviously not impressed by Rachel, my Rachel love quota has been surpassed for the day.

    Posted by: Peter | May 17, 2010 6:10:00 PM

  10. I love her topic and approach -- that some hardworking, dedicated people dedicate their lives to EVIL and worsening the living circumstances of other people. This is such a refreshing rejoinder to all the creeps who blindly suggest that hard work is the answer to all life's ills -- as if this is a solution for anything???

    Bravo to Rachel and to being a step ahead and truly moral.


    Posted by: Jnee | May 17, 2010 6:36:03 PM

  11. I LOVE Rachel. Brilliant speech, brilliant subject, and wise words I truly hope those students carry with them.

    Posted by: Nuttsy1la | May 17, 2010 11:06:30 PM

  12. Rachel has always impressed me, from her start on Air America to the election a year ago, and now on her own television show that is as my podcast addiction every day on my commute (recommended, if you don't yet subscribe).

    She is not only an intelligent, wise, and balanced woman, but she is a great American. She loves this country so much, valuing truth and equal treatment for all.

    I hope her star continues to rise and grow brighter. We need her voice.

    Posted by: JeffDalon | May 18, 2010 12:51:24 AM

  13. Thank god for Rachel Maddow -- so smart, such great values. And she's a hometown hero there in Northampton.

    Posted by: RB | May 18, 2010 11:02:12 AM

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