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clinton-mHillary, and Louise Robertson dressed as a set of road markings

We were privileged this week to have had The Sainted Hillary come to St Andrew’s University, to address the University with a speech on Human Rights, and receive an Honorary Degree of Laws honoris causa.  It was her first foreign trip since she stepped down as Secretary of State back in February.

Now this is important for two reasons that I can see that were not to the fore of other commentators thoughts.

It certainly was a coup for the University in its 600th year celebrations to get Hills to come along, but she wasn’t simply there for them.

She has her eye very firmly on the election in 2016 and is starting to drum up the vote everywhere she can.  The vote you say?  In St Andrews?  Well yes indeed.  Unnoticed by many is the sharp rise in numbers of American students studying abroad.  St Andrews with its couthy old world charm (see photo below), its quaint old town architecture, and curious student dress codes all give St Andrews more than a hint of Hogwarts-meets-the-Unseen-University of Ank Morpok.  However, it also provides a quality education being in the top twenty institutions in the world.

St Andrews dressing upAdmit it you wouldnt get away with this in the South.

This is a University proud of its American connections with three of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (John Witherspoon, James Wilson and Ben Franklin) having gone here.

Nowadays a fifth of the undergraduate audience before her are US Citizens.  A constituency more than worth travelling for.

Copyright David Macadam 2013