Friday, May 19, 2006

Cheney jokes about draft-dodging

Dick Cheney today, giving the graduation speech at Louisiana State University

In addition to those of you receiving your bachelor's degrees this morning, I'm told we have many men and women who have earned graduate degrees -- including a number who have earned their PhD's. Their presence here reminds me that I was once in a PhD program myself, and met all the requirements except for the dissertation. (Laughter.) I'll get started as soon as I think of a topic to write about. (Laughter.)

Explanation of some of Cheney's five deferments from the Vietnam draft:

In May 1965, Mr. Cheney graduated from college and his draft status changed to 1-A. But he was married, which offered him some protection.

In July, President Johnson announced that he was doubling the number of men drafted. The number of inductions soared, to 382,010 in 1966 from 230,991 in 1965 and 112,386 in 1964.

Mr. Cheney obtained his fourth deferment when he started graduate school at the University of Wyoming on Nov. 1, 1965.

On Oct. 6, 1965, the Selective Service lifted its ban against drafting married men who had no children. Nine months and two days later, Mr. Cheney's first daughter, Elizabeth, was born. On Jan. 19, 1966, when his wife was about 10 weeks pregnant, Mr. Cheney applied for 3-A status, the "hardship" exemption, which excluded men with children or dependent parents. It was granted.

Make love, not dissertation topics.

UPDATE 22 MAY: Turns out it's an old joke that Cheney is not tired of (via Dan Froomkin).

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