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June 07, 2005

Kerry's Grades Worse Than Bush's For Three Years

A lot of people concluded Kerry's grades must not be so hot since he wasn't revealing them and no one at Yale did, either.

Our suspicions were correct.

But of course he has an excuse:

In his Navy application, Kerry made clear that he spent much of his college time on extracurricular activities, including the Yale Political Union, the Debating Association, soccer, hockey, fencing, and membership in the elite Skull and Bones Society. Asked to describe nonschool training that qualified him for the Navy, Kerry wrote: ''A great deal of sailing -- ocean and otherwise, including some navigation. Scuba diving. Rifle. Beginning of life saving." He said his special interests were ''filming," writing, and politics, noting that the latter subject occupied 15 hours per week.

With all due respect, Scholar Bush also spent an awful lot of times pursuing extracurricular activities -- including Skull and Bones, of course, and being president of his fraternity -- but the press didn't seem especially eager to credit Bush for that. He was a dummy, pure and simple.

The fact of the matter is that the high-born do not go to college to become standout scholars, by and large. (Unless they're especially gifted and especially driven.) Middle-class kids need to get good grades, as those are the entre into professions otherwise denied to them.

Our country's nobility goes to college largely to network, establish the social skills that will be their primary skill-set later in life (in business, in politics, in... doing very little except living off trust funds), and, of course, to screw around and have fun. Which is part of why everyone goes to school. But the high-born think they can screw around a lot more than the average student and still walk out of college with a low GPA and yet almost unlimited career prospects, and, of course, they're right.

You wouldn't slam an athlete for deciding his best career path was athletics. (Or at least I wouldn't; it's a rational economic decision, even if a risky one.) Likewise, there's little sense in slamming the noble-born for pursuing the non-academic path through college.

And yet the media did this as regards George Bush. Kerry refused to release his grades, suggesting he was not an A student (I don't see Kerry as the modest sort), and the press did not dig.

IIRC, Bush's grades were not released with his permission but rather leaked. Oddly enough, no one at Yale felt the need to leak Kerry's sub-optimal grades.

Shockingly enough, one of Kerry's highest grades (and yet still not all that good) was in... French.

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posted by Ace at 12:55 PM

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