President Obama supplants NYT editor as Barnard speaker

NEW YORK, March 4 ( - New York Times, move aside for the President of the United States.

President Barack Obama has supplanted Times editor Jill Abramson as Barnard College's commencement speaker this year, per an announcement on Barnard's website.

"This is an extraordinary honor for Barnard and we are thrilled to welcome President Obama for this important moment in the lives of our graduates and their families," Barnard President Deborah L. Spar said in a statement. "His commitment to empowering women is so meaningful to our students, who aspire to lead and make their mark on the world. No doubt, the President's words will make this year's Commencement truly unforgettable."

Obama is busy fending off criticism of his Iran policy and prepping for his upcoming presidential campaign, but that won't stop him from speaking at one of the nation's premiere all-female schools.

He attended Columbia University, which is affiliated with Barnard and located across the street. After graduating in 1983, he went on to Harvard Law School.

Past speakers include New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actress Meryl Streep and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Abramson, who took over the top post of the Times last September, had been slated to speak at Barnard's Morningside Heights campus in Manhattan.

She's a New York local and graduate of Harvard University.

Barnard's statement says that Abramson "has noted that she is happy to speak at Barnard at a later date."

News of this change was first reported by Politico's Dylan Byers.


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