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Sorry Mitt, You’re One Of Us

by Stuart Shapiro

A few days ago Gov. Romney slammed the president for getting his ideas from the Harvard Faculty lounge. Aside from the fact that talking to smart people might be a good way to get ideas, did Mitt forget his background?  Did Mitt overcome a hardscrabble youth and a community college education?  Are his advisers people who have spent their lives far from the ivy groves of academe?  Um, not exactly. (h/t Jed Lewison)

Romney has never served on the battlefield, but he does hold degrees from Harvard in business and law. That’s one more than Obama, who has a law degree from the school and headed the Harvard Law Review. And it’s not just Romney who has Crimson ties: The Boston Globe notes that three of his children have attended Harvard Business School.

But, hey, at least he’s not taking his advice from the faculty lounge, right? Actually Romney relies on their expertise plenty. Meghan O’Sullivan, a former Bush aide, teaches international affairs at Harvard and reportedly advises him on foreign policy. His economic adviser for 2008 and 2012, Greg Mankiw, is a star professor there whose textbook is used at colleges around the country.

Face it Mitt, you are an eastern elite.  Your father was a governor, one of that extinct species, a liberal Republican.  You’ve went to the top schools and lived in the best neighborhoods since you were a child.   And your first name is Mitt (here’s an exercise for the Tea Party, have you ever met someone named Mitt before . . . didn’t think so).  You can insult Harvard all you want, but the fact remains that you’re more at home there than eating burgers at Carl’s Jr.

About Stuart Shapiro

Stuart Shapiro Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

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