For all the talk about the political differences between the parties, the elites who call the shots have one big thing in common: They almost all go to the same schools. President Obama and Mitt Romney, for example, both went to Harvard (five of our current Supreme Court Justices also went there.)
If the American people think the game is rigged or that all the politicians seem the same, they sort of have a point.
The last president who didn’t graduate college was Harry Truman (and he, of course, became president after FDR’s death). The last president who didn’t attend an Ivy League school was Ronald Reagan, who graduated from Eureka College.
Would you rather have a Reagan and a Truman or a Bush and an Obama? (Interestingly, the “best and the brightest” don’t always make the best leaders.)
This trend could be about to change. Sen. Marco Rubio, widely considered a rising star in the GOP, graduated from the University of Florida, after stints at Tarkio College and Santa Fe Community College. He later earned his juris doctor, cum laude, at Miami University.
If all goes well, there is a chance that Rubio could become the first president since Reagan not to attend an Ivy.
Or consider Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, another bright light in the party. Walker didn’t graduate from college, but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of the most important and effective governors in America.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is another effective and popular leader without an Ivy League degree (Seton Hall). So is New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (University of Texas, Oklahoma College of Law.)
Might there be a reason why Walker, Rubio, Christie and Martinez seem to connect with voters better than other politicians of recent memory?