I'm part of a panel discussion today, but the biggest speech of my life was at Cornell University during graduation weekend at an event called convocation. I was a sensation. I spoke before a thousand people. It's been all downhill since then . . . .Frustration?
As the chairman of the Commencement committee, I organized the event and hosted several prominent speakers. We had wanted Mario Cuomo, the governor at the time, but he blew me off. I will never vote for a Cuomo again.
I still remember the first words of my speech. "I'd like to thank Brown University for letting me speak today." There was a hush through the audience--did he just say that? "Like many people here Cornell was not my first choice, but when I hear from those people at Harvard, Yale and Brown that they did not receive the same quality of life and fellowship that I received here at Cornell, they won't get sympathy from me."
I carried the class banner at graduation the next day. Thirty thousand people cheered for me as I entered. The future looked bright.
So what the hell happened?
To be continued . . .