Why this time? Mostly because she was a member of the last Bush administration and its involvement in the Iraq war. Never mind that, while perhaps not the best choice for Secretary of State considering the times, she is a woman of great accomplishment and those who protested could use a good dose of her insight and wisdom.
Cheers for the University for refusing their demands and thumbs down for Condi's being gracious and withdrawing, not wanting to spoil the day that should belong to the students. I appreciate the sentiment but she should have considered all the students, not the minority making the fuss.
As it is, a large number have taken issue with her decision to withdraw. Those who believe in academic freedom and are open minded enough to listen to points of view that might differ from their own.
Who are the winners and the losers? There are no winners. The protesters have denied themselves an opportunity to be enlightened. By design. The student body has been denied the opportunity to listen to a speaker who has intimate knowledge of what the driving forces are in today's world. And Ms. Rice herself has been denied being the recipient of an honorary degree. I'm sure that is the least of her concerns.
If only she had waited for the theatrics to play out, every one could have been a winner. Especially those who raised the protest. They would have won even though they lost. Don't wait for that admission of truth.