NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
Stormy weather delayed former President Bill Clinton's speech to graduating seniors at Nashville's LEAD Academy, but more than a couple thousand people were more than happy to wait an hour for a speech that at times seemed like a political endorsement for potential mayoral candidate Jeremy Kane.
The address came after a promise to LEAD founder Kane from Mr. Clinton who said he would come to speak to his graduates if they all get accepted to college.
Kane knows Clinton from his days at Stanford when he dated Clinton’s daughter Chelsea.
"Seven years ago, he [Kane] said, 'I want you to come when I have my first group of graduates that are going to go to college,'" Clinton told the gathering at Temple Baptist Church. "I should have written it all in then."
Mr. Clinton added "everyone has a story" as he said "I knew Jeremy Kane in college, the person whose idea brought us all into this great house of worship today."
Kane recently stepped down as the charter school's CEO, but according to friends "has not made a decision yet" about a mayoral bid.
The speculation about Kane's political future was fueled by an independent film crew at the event that was reportedly hired by a local PR firm.
While past and potentially future politics was one theme at the event, the day really belonged to the 44 graduates of Nashville's first charter high school.
As the former president watched, each one announced to the overflow crowd the college to which they had been accepted.
Names like Middle Tennessee State, Morehouse and Western Kentucky rang out 44 times.
The charter school called the event National Signing Day--much like the attention star high school athletes get when they announce where they will play sports in college.
Each of the seniors had their pictures made with Mr. Clinton and Mr. Kane after they called out the school that accepted them.
"The fact that he [Clinton] could pronounce my name correctly is an honor alone," laughed senior Jamila Hill. "He acknowledged what we were doing, and what Mr. Kane has started is something great, and its history--its unique and I like that about him."
"With me doing it for academics," said LEAD star athlete Antonio Campbell who will be attending Western Kentucky.
LEAD Academy opened in 2007 an open-enrollment public charter school.