Perhaps the reason John Kerry took so many years to release his Naval records to the public was that he couldn’t stomach the thought of the Boston Globe’s gumshoes poking through the paper minutiae of his life, especially at a time when he was so on the make.
That is certainly understandable. As evidence, today’s Boston Globe dedicates front page ink to the startling fact that Kerry’s undergraduate grades at Yale were very slightly lower than those of the “Texas village idiot” who beat Kerry in the November election. No word yet from the Globe on the grade inflation-adjusted averages.
Bush has always admitted that he was a mediocre student, and has made good use of his undistinguished academic record in self-depreciating humor – to the criticism of some Kerry supporters. Kerry speaks incessantly of his time in Vietnam but has by contrast been quite mum about his academic record, and self-depreciation is a talent that he keeps well hidden. Now he has an occasion to show it.
The delicious part of this revelation will, of course, be hearing some Kerry die-hards excusing his mediocre grades and being certain in spite of such evidence that their man is far “smarter” and that his opponent remains an imbecile.
In 1999, The New Yorker published a transcript indicating that Bush had received a cumulative score of 77 for his first three years at Yale and a roughly similar average under a non-numerical rating system during his senior year.
Kerry, who graduated two years before Bush, got a cumulative 76 for his four years, according to a transcript that Kerry sent to the Navy when he was applying for officer training school. He received four D’s in his freshman year out of 10 courses, but improved his average in later years.
Younger readers should be aware that Kerry and Bush attended college in an era before students were treated as customers by colleges, and when many college professors believed that challenging their students’ sense of self-esteem was an important part of their education.