It is finally here. The Most Important Presidential Election Ever. The technocrat vs. the conciliator. The protean vs. the proletarian. The guy who made his dog ride on the top of the car vs. the guy who gave the Queen of England pictures and recordings of himself talking. The electoral champion who vanquished the mighty Rick Santorum (loser of his last election six years ago by eighteen points) and Ron Paul (whose campaign may have been sabotaged by the candidate’s inability to monitor the horribly racist newsletters issued under his name) vs. the unbeatable hero who managed to defeat a supremely unpopular incumbent party during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression when his septuagenarian opponent sat out his own campaign for a few days to look presidential.
One could imagine that a clash of such titans would focus right from the outset on the most important issues facing the country. Indeed, that is the case. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have commenced a smug-off over who is more closely tied to Harvard.
How to evaluate the competing claims? Well, Obama was President of the Harvard Law Review. But Mitt got a J.D./M.B.A. and was thus actually a student at Harvard for one more year than the President. They have both spoken about how much they enjoyed their time here. Both campaigns have recruited heavily from HLS.
Of course, the plain fact of the matter is that they are both “out of touch” in a sense. Ordinary people don’t run for President. It’s a waste of time to argue over whose plebian purity was more tainted by their time in Cambridge. More than anything else, the whole argument illustrates how pointless this presidential campaign will get before the country is granted a merciful reprieve in November.
And so, no one wins the who-is-more-Harvard sweepstakes.
Well, actually, hold on. Late-breaking development: there is going to be a real, actual reading group at the law school next year called “Understanding Obama.” Romney is officially less Harvardian. He will surely win in a landslide.
John Thorlin is a 3L. His column runs Thursdays.
The views in opinion editorials, columns, and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of The Harvard Law Record. The comments posted on this Website are solely the opinions of the posters.