Once again, Donald Trump raises an important issue about President Obama, but, then in the next breath, puts his foot into his mouth. He’s right to question “Obama’s refusal to release his college grades” and to point out that this refusal is “part of a pattern of concealing information about himself.” But, he’s wrong to speculate that “Obama had been a poor student who did not deserve to be admitted to the Ivy League universities he attended.”
One thing we do know about the president’s academic record is that “he graduated magna cum laude” from Harvard Law School. You don’t graduate magna cum laude if you’re not qualified to attend an institution. To graduate magna cum laude, you often have to be in the top 10, if not 5% of your class. One blogger has looked into this more deeply than I have and contends “Obama finished in, say, the top 30% or 40% at HLS in grades.” Still not too shabby.
Not just that, most law schools have a policy of blind grading (and my preliminary research indicates that Harvard had such a system in place when Obama was a student there) which means his professors wouldn’t know whose exam they were grading, thus law school grading provides a pretty reliable measure of a student’s aptitude, not colored by the professor’s affection for the student (or concern about how much money his family could donate to the school).
If, at worst, Obama was in the top 40%, he was above the median GPA for his class. If he didn’t deserve to be admitted to Harvard Law, then the majority of his class didn’t merit admission either.
In her article on Trump’s latest (and apparently successful) attempt to raise questions about Obama’s refusal to release his records, the AP’s Beth Fouhy includes this line, “The so-called “birther” controversy has dominated the early stage of the 2012 GOP nominating contest, with Trump leading the charge.” Seems someone wants to make it appear the GOP is obsessed with birther-ism.
Hey, Beth, most Republicans aren’t even paying attention to the contest right now, just political junkies. And the news media.