Bush Aide Fleischer Collapses

White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer collapsed Friday while giving a commencement speech at the suburban New York high school he attended.

After being given oxygen, drinking some water and sitting down for about 10 minutes, he returned to the lectern and finished his address.

"I knew there was some hot air in here; I didn't realize I was supplying it," he said.

Fleischer, 40, was speaking to the graduates of Fox Lane High School in a ceremony staged in a tent at the Caramoor Music Festival in the village of Katonah, part of the Westchester County town of Bedford. He was reminiscing about attending the local public schools and playing baseball when his voice trailed off. He repeated a phrase several times and paused, and several faculty members who were onstage rushed to help him to a chair.

The hot stage lights were turned off, Fleischer removed his cap, gown and tie, and emergency medical technicians administered oxygen.

Later, Scott McClellan, one of his deputies, said after speaking with Fleischer, "Ari's doing great. He got a little lightheaded" from the heat and from skipping a meal.

Asked during the week whether he was the most famous graduate of the school, Fleischer put himself behind TV personalities Susan Dey of "The Partridge Family" and John Schneider of "The Dukes of Hazzard."

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
73°