Just about every moderate-to-rightwing newsblog, today, is buzzing over the Boston Globe write-up of a portion of Kerry's recently-released military papers. The hot item that they picked up on is, of course, his college scores at Yale, and how they're actually a whole percentage point lower than those President Bush earned.
But I don't think they're seeing the bigger picture: according to this release, he had a total of 5 "D"s -- and this was from a young man who had been sent to elite preparatory schools, where he should have had little difficulty in making the transition to college's regimen. Young Mr. Bush, however, had only one "D" in his college career, in astronomy class. So, while Kerry might have excelled at some studies, in order to bring his average up after many near-failures, Dubya maintained an even keel, even as a so-called "party boy". Dubya was stable, steady, reliable, not at all flashy, and could recognize his own weaknesses, thereby making himself less vulnerable over the long haul. In other words, Dubya was the reliable work dog, and Kerry was the high-strung show poodle.
Still, I favor Bush for more than that. One of his top three scores was in a history course. One of Kerry's lowest scores was in history, (but he did very well in poli-sci). If you can't learn history, you can't learn from it. And, these days, historians have a lot to teach us. Political scientists, by and large, have a lot to learn and a great unwillingness to do so.