From the Spring 2010 National Affairs
March 17, 2010
by Tevi Troy
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America's intellectual class seems to adore President Barack Obama nearly as much as it reviled his predecessor. While George W. Bush was routinely derided for his purported lack of intelligence and learning, Obama has been embraced by the intellectuals as one of their own — to a degree unmatched by any president since perhaps Woodrow Wilson. Indeed, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof spoke for many when he argued after the 2008 election that "American voters have just picked a president who is an open, out-of-the-closet, practicing intellectual." Rebecca Mead of the New Yorker even sought to make it official, calling Obama a "certified intellectual.". But when his memo on the subject was leaked to the New York Times (quite possibly by a young Leon Panetta), the subsequent, sensationalized front-page story put Moynihan at the center of yet another controversy involving race. Civil-rights leaders and liberal journalists responded with outrage, and the furor made Moynihan's continued tenure at the White House impossible. . . .
Tevi Troy is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute and served as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2007 until 2009.
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