Skip to comments.Bush, Kerry grades give high hopes to C students
Posted on 06/11/2005 9:24:19 PM PDT by SmithL
Let's be frank. Neither George W. Bush nor John Kerry, had he made the White House instead, was any kind of threat to nudge out Thomas Jefferson as our most intellectual president. But, for some of us more than others, there should be a statute of limitations on college grades.
Here you are at age 58, Bush, or 61, Kerry, solidly set on a distinguished career as a U.S. president or U.S. senator and suddenly - THWACK! - your mediocre college grades get hashed out in the press (Kerry) or rehashed (Bush).
The New Yorker, not the friendliest venue for the future president, made Bush's grades public in 1999. He had a cumulative grade of 77 at Yale, very much a "gentleman's C." It played into the narrative, reinforced by Bush's tendency on occasion to grab the English language by the neck and wrestle it to the ground, that he was not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Characteristically, Bush made a joke out of it. Speaking to Yale's graduating class of 2001, the newly inaugurated president said, "To those of you who've received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done, and to the C students, I say you can be president of the United States."
Kerry's grades did not become public in the campaign, and despite political positions on the far side of incoherent, he came off as the more intellectual of the two. Maybe too intellectual. He was at pains to conceal his fluency in French.
During the campaign, Kerry balked at disclosure of the full file of his Navy records, raising dark suspicions that he was trying to conceal something, perhaps something connected with his service in Vietnam.
Now the mystery may have been cleared up. Kerry OK'd the release of his full file to The Boston Globe. While the file contained nothing new about his Navy service, it did contain his Yale transcript.
Kerry, it turns out, had a cumulative grade of 76, making him, depending where you stand, one point dumber than Bush or Bush one point smarter than Kerry. Really, they don't need this kind of thing at this stage of their careers. And it's only out of snotty prurient interest that people delve into it.
Let us delve.
Keep in mind that Kerry and Bush, who were two years apart at Yale, attended two of New England's most elite boarding schools, St. Paul's and Philips Andover, respectively.
Bush received one D in four years - a 69 in astronomy. Kerry got four D's his freshman year - in two history courses, a political-science class and his worst, 61, two points from failing, in geology.
Kerry joked to the Globe, "I always told my Dad that D stood for distinction." Many dads might reply, "Son, it's time to come home and go to work in the family steam laundry."
Kerry's highest single grade was an 89, one point below an A, in political science. Bush's were 88s in history, philosophy and anthropology.
All very interesting - but irrelevant. Entering one's 60s is bad enough without the possibility that someone's going to find out you nearly flunked geology 39 years earlier. There ought to be a statute of limitations. Still, Bush and Kerry give hope to C students everywhere.
Dale McFeatters is an editorial writer for Scripps Howard News Service. Contact him at McFeattersD@SHNS.com.
The press really, really sucks.
An honest writer would have put it in the active tense--this way it's like these grades somehow were ignored. He should have written "Kerry worked harder on keeping the illusion that he was a genius in the public mind than he did on a workable agenda."
Makes me wanna know what grades Dale McFeatters got.
Now, if Kerry would just sign an unconditional Form 180, we could learn a lot more about this wannabe.
Isn't it funny how colleges don't make presidents? (With the possible exceptions of Clinton and Wilson.)
grades do not say a whole lot about how educated one is... nor how intelligent... when i was in school, grades meant everything to me... but now as i honestly look back on my slave's education, i don't believe they say much...
This is true about life in general. For unknown reasons, the really, really bright kids don't seem to advance as far. For every 50 brilliant engineers on a payroll, there is usually a C student at the top of the pyramid making more than all of them put together.
No one ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American voter.
Hogwash. Unlike the loopy Downing memo, here is a case where the "fix" is in.
A Blue Angel mentioned to my son in a Recruiting meeting at his High School,
"You are off the Scale ASVAB, SAT and ACT yet you are a B or C Student, do you know what that means?"
(Smartass Son) "I got lucky three times?"
"It means you are not being Challenged!" says the Blue Angel
(Son) "Yes Sir!"
"Do you have any Questions?"
(Son) "What kind of Car do you drive?"
"An older BMW but I am saving up for a new one"
Has anyone covered this "release of records" accurately? Has National Review or anyone written about how this was merely a release of certain college scores? Because Opinion Journal wrote that he DID sign a 180--sort of. I'm obviously pretty confused as to what, exactly, Kerry has and has not done, because the Swift Vets even commented on it.
IF, IF, one aspires to be a treasonous sunnafabitxh.
I know, no kidding.
Before Kerry's transcript came out all we heard from the MSM about this was that Bush was an idiot, he only had a C average. But now that their golden boy Jean Cheri had the same things it's all "Kerry and Bush give hope".
Come on MSM, at least try to be a little less transparent.
Yeah, Kerry is a real inspiration: if you can't be successful on your own, marry women who married into wealth.
It's more important to look at how they entered politics and became members of the global elite.
Well, knowing journalism majors/graduates as well as I do, I would surmise he's ten pounds of stupid in a five pound bag.
But one could say that colleges make lecherous socialists for Presidents.
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