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tv   Senator Barbara Boxer Delivers Commencement Address at the University of...  CSPAN  May 30, 2016 10:15pm-10:29pm EDT

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works in life? if you remember one word from the speech, let it be faith. that should be all the planning you need. may god bless you and keep you in his care. congratulations once again. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> california senator barbara boxer told graduates at the university berkley school of politics to be resilient in the face of criticism. the democratic lawmaker who announced in january her plans to retire after serving 30 years in congress also talked about her own future beyond elected office. this is 10 minutes. [applause] sen. boxer: thank you so much, professor. and i am so sorry about that
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internship, but remember, jennifer lawrence did not win american idol. we all make mistakes and i apologize. my staff is here and they are going to get an earful. but what a wonderful welcome. i want to say to the faculty and the parents and the friends, it is wonderful that you are here. most of all, congratulations to the uc berkeley class of 2016. congratulations. you did it. no more late nights at libraries. no more last-minute cramming for your last poly psy final. it is over, folks. no more. today, you can finally celebrate. but right now, there is only one thing standing between you and your hard-earned diploma and that is me. i get it.
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despite being a united states senator i promise you not to , filibuster. this is your day. you earned it. you studied. you focused, you learned, you worked, and you managed to do all of that and live your lives. you started relationships and you ended relationships. somebody is really happy about that breakup. [laughter] i could tell that. [applause] you missed your family but you enjoyed being away from your family. you ate healthy and you exercised. [laughter] that is debatable. but then you squandered all of
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that good work at top dog and kingpin doughnuts. you balance your budget. [laughter] on occasion, you busted your budget. i think you are the very definition of the word survivor. i'm a survivor. i have survived 40 years in elected office. 40 years. thank you for supporting me, most of you, to get that done. [laughter] like you, i have managed to enjoy living my real life and a lot of that is here today. you were introduced to my son and his family. my husband is here and we will celebrate 55 years of marriage very soon. [applause] of course, when you take time away when i was in those planes,
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it was only 25 years but it is still fabulous. more than 20 years ago, as the professor stated, i had the honor of speaking to another class of uc berkeley graduates. doug was one of those. he got his degree in "the political economy of an industrialized society." that was his degree. my husband and i were very impressed, but we did have one parental concern. just who exactly cannot wait to hire someone with a degree in "the political economy of an industrialized society?" after many hours of deep discussion and drawing a total blank, we realized there was only one answer. law school.
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by a show of hands, how many of you are thinking about going to law school? you can be proud. higher. how many of you are thinking about careers in public service, maybe working for a senator, member of congress? i hope you do. we could use you in public service, which, as a career, i can attest to is fascinating and frustrating and at times, extremely rewarding. i decided to write about it over the past three years. i'm excited to tell you my memoir will be released at the end of the month. it is called the art of tough, and i have the battle scars to prove it. you will have to learn to be tough in your life, regardless of your career choice. people are going to try and dissuade you from your dreams. people will try to scare you into silence and onto the sidelines where it people will
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try to make you doubt your resolve and even doubt yourself. but if you master the art of tough, you will win the day. let me be clear, the art of tough does not mean being a bully or obnoxious. we have seen some of that in politics, haven't we? it means being smart and doing the right thing, not being afraid to step up, even when you are called every name in the book. and i have been. i can attest to it. one day, i woke up and heard on the radio someone say this about me. please do not applaud after i tell you what they said. [laughter] i trust you. they said, "barbara boxer is a great candidate for the democratic party. female and learning disabled." that is what they said. someone else wrote, "barbara boxer is quite possibly the
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biggest doofus ever to enter the senate chambers." you will not believe what they said about me when i spoke out against the iraq war. some even called for my resignation. when i was one of the few standing up for gay marriage, and when i stood alone protesting the impossibly long lines during the 2004 election in ohio, one senator, speaking on the senate floor, said, "barbara boxer is driving herself further toward the political fringe with the long grass already tickling her knees." i am happy to tell you that guy lost his race the next time and i got elected. that was good. [applause] that was good. but when you are attacked for something you deeply believe in, you need to wear those attacks as a badge of honor.
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if you know you are doing the right thing, you simply have to do it. when i was a kid, there were no women in politics to speak of. as i grew older, i saw things in the world that made no sense to me, just like you see things in the world that make no sense to you. perhaps that is why you chose this major, to change things for the better. i saw a war that made no sense to me, the vietnam war. i saw a racism that made no sense to me. the great baseball player jackie robinson, being booed and attacked because of his skin color. i saw women being treated less than equal and having no say over their health care. i saw all these things happening and i knew i had to take a risk and i hope you are ready to take a risk, too. are you ready to do that? [applause]
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you know it is an election year. you cannot miss it. you hear those cynical voices people who say there is no , difference between the candidates. you are political science majors and you are graduates now and you know better. you know because you have a sense of history. if people in the 1960's had said why bother voting, we would never have passed landmark laws like the civil rights act and the voting rights act. if people had sat out the election eight years ago we , would never have elected the first african-american president in our nation's history. [applause] this year, every issue is at stake. women's rights, voting rights, income inequality, the environment, security is all at stake. we need your energy and your voice. when you hear a presidential candidate say 11 million immigrants should be deported,
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or that we should ban muslims from entering the country, if you disagree with that, you need to speak up and speak out. [applause] with a clear voice. when you hear someone say that climate change is a hoax, you need to speak up with a clear voice if you disagree. when you hear states like north carolina discriminating against the lgbt community, if you disagree, you must speak out. [applause] and when you hear there is no student loan crisis, you know they are wrong. you must speak out if you disagree. i could go on and on but you do not want me to so i will skip to the next part of my speech. you have a college degree from one of the greatest universities in the country. you know how to think. you know how to write. you know how to speak. in short, every single one of you, you now have the tools to
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be a leader. you have no excuses to shrink from what you know is right. i know you are aware you did not get here alone. so one more time, let's hear it for your family and friends who are out here cheering you on. [applause] and let's hear it for your professors who are out here cheering you on. [applause] i am about to get to the two words everyone loves to hear a senator say. in closing, i have been so lucky in my life because of you and the people in this great state. i have been able to work on my passions for 40 years. i do not intend to retire from the work that i left. i will just be doing it in california and not on those long flights. it is now your time to focus on your passion and it is your time to employ the art of tough. it is not going to be easy.
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there will be times when you wonder why you decided to speak up. you're at a party or an event. everyone is echoing the next one. you say, you know what, i do not think that is right. and you will wonder later, why did i bother? there will be times when you want to pull the covers over your head and just give up. but you know better, because you have this degree almost in your hand. you want to make the world a better place, it starts with you. part of mastering the art of tough is ignoring the naysayers, following your passions, so, that is what i want to say. don't be afraid ever to do what you believe in, to take the risk, be thankful to your families and your friends, your professors, never forget them. they will be cheering you on and so will i. i ask everyone to join me in
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rockets ovation for our graduates of berkeley political science class of 2016. go bears. [applause] fabulous. congratulations. [applause] announcer: alabama republican senator jeff sessions spoke at the university of alabama in huntsville. he talked about the school's growth in recent years and its reputation as an engineering institution. he also shared some of the struggles he encountered after graduating from college and offered advice about what to do in order to be successful. his remarks are 15 minutes. [applause] sen. sessions: thank you very much. i am excited to be here today.


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