Aug. 23, 2011
The annual American migration to schools of all kinds begins in earnest next month. So it might be a good time to consider the educational bona fides of those aspiring to be our President.
Several of them (Obama, Romney, Huntsman) are Ivy Leaguers. That’s fine, but a degree from a “prestige” school is no guarantee of character, conviction or competence.Clearly, Mr. Obama will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard Law: An impressive list. Yet the current crop of Republican contenders has a wide educational background:
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry hails from Texas A&M, where he served as both a member of the Corps of Cadets and a yell leader at sports events.
- Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, while not formally a candidate, might well become one. She graduated with a degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism from the University of Idaho after a varied undergraduate career that took her as far as Hawaii.
- Businessman Herman Cain went to a historically black college, Morehouse, before getting a graduate degree from Purdue.
- Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann: Winona State (Minnesota), the O.W. Coburn School of Law at Oral Roberts University; and William and Mary for a post-graduate law degree.
- Newt Gingrich went to Emory and Tulane, where he received his Ph.D.
- Ron Paul, M.D., went to Gettysburg College in his native Pennsylvania before graduating from Duke University School of Medicine.
- Pennsylvania native Rick Santorum stayed local for his BA (Penn State), MBA (Pitt) and JD (Dickinson).
So, other than an interesting exercise in trivia, what’s my point? Simply that in a country as diverse and educationally rich as ours, it’s good to know that a non-Ivy League President – like, perhaps, Eureka College grad Ronald Reagan – can emerge from the people and do rather well.