Does Barack Obama have too many Ivy League eggheads* working in his administration? That’s what a piece in the Washington Post today is asking. Out of the 35 appointed so far, 22 of them are from the Ivies, MIT, Stanford, U. of Chicago, or a top British school. Contrast that with the Bush administration.
Bush’s first Treasury secretary, Paul H. O’Neill, went to Fresno State, Vice President Cheney dropped out of Yale before graduating from the University of Wyoming, and strategist Karl Rove never finished college. Dozens of administration members hail from Regent University, founded by Pat Robertson. And many of Bush’s hires were friends from Texas, such as former attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales, former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.
Ok we get that there’s a world outside of the Ivy League, but using Pat Robertson’s Regent University as your big talent pool?
The writer questions whether having too many of the same type of people, influenced by the same person, in this case, former Treasury secretary Robert Rubin, will lead to too much of a consensus. (Hmm, maybe they should hire some of those soon-to-be-unemployed Regent folks?) It also asks whether too many super smart people will be all looking to prove that they are the biggest geniuses in the room by suggesting overly complicated solutions instead of the simple, straightforward, obvious plan.
All good questions but judging from how well Obama ran his campaign—and assembled a great team to execute it and in a quick fashion without tripping over their bright ideas—we’re not that worried.
*Yes, the word eggheads reminds us of the professor from Gilligan’s Island, too.