The news media are intimidated by politicians who are smarter and more talented than they are—this is because the news media is supposed to be the top of the intellectual food chain, handing down “wisdom” and “knowledge.”
All told, of Obama’s top 35 appointments so far, 22 have degrees from an Ivy League school, MIT, Stanford, the University of Chicago or one of the top British universities. For the other slots, the president-elect made do with graduates of Georgetown and the Universities of Michigan, Virginia and North Carolina.With regards to my Vietnam analogy, let’s be brutally honest: there’s very little chance Obama could be that stupid as to get us into another Vietnam. Stranger things have happened, but, that being said, bringing in the eggheads and the Poindexters from the Ivy League was what got us the whiz kids and the bean counters who helped LBJ get us into Vietnam. Is Obama that stupid? Let’s pray that he is not.
While Obama’s picks have been lauded for their ethnic and ideological mix, they lack diversity in one regard: They are almost exclusively products of the nation’s elite institutions and generally share a more intellectual outlook than is often the norm in government. Their erudition has already begun to set a new tone in the capital, cheering Obama’s supporters and serving as a clarion call to other academics. Yale law professor Dan Kahan said several of his colleagues are for the first time considering leaving their perches for Washington.