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Gene Weingarten: Electoral college


A few weeks ago, I suggested some reasons why Mitt Romney won’t release any more back tax returns — that they would reveal his real name is Tiffani, that his house is equipped with moneybag elevators, etc. A number of readers contended this was evidence of some supposed bias of mine against Republicans and other reactionary lunatics.

Several letter writers challenged me to prove my objectivity by doing a similar hit job on President Obama, who, they noted, hasn’t released his college transcripts.

Gene Weingarten is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and writes "Below the Beltway," a weekly humor column that is nationally syndicated. View Archive

Frankly, this seems to me a more excusable omission. College is a time for personal “experimentation,” which, in my case, was conducted on the scale of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. I recently found my college transcript; it was so filled with “incompletes” and “withdrawals” that it might as well have noted that I majored in narcotics.

So, where’s the big, impending surprise? Academic records are always a little embarrassing for candidates. During the 2000 presidential primaries, it was revealed that Bill Bradley — Rhodes scholar, Princeton graduate, famously obnoxious know-it-all — had gotten a score of 485 out of 800 on the verbal portion of his SATs.As I wrote at the time, that’s roughly what a chicken would get, pecking at a keyboard.

Mostly, though, I don’t think it’s relevant, or fair, to start flinging around accusations about college transcripts. But then I discovered that a conservative Web site is actually offering a $20,000 “bounty” for Obama’s. This doesn’t appear to be a joke. I say that with confidence because the rest of the Web site is as funny as an aneurysm. (Mission statement: “We are here to ensure America’s survival.”) The site features a two-minute, slo-mo video of Islamic radicals cutting off a man’s head.

(Illustration by Eric Shansby)

Anyway, 20 grand is 20 grand. And it just so happens that I have exclusively obtained Obama’s college transcripts, and it’s quite clear why he doesn’t want them released. I’ll just give you the highlights:

His birth name isn’t “Barack Hussein Obama Jr.” As politically problematic as that pseudonym proved to be, it turns out it is a significant improvement on his real name, “DeathToAmerica Obama Jr.”

Each page of the transcript has a stamp in
Arabic. It translates to: Never to be released under penalty of death, by order of the caliphate ...

His college loan application was co-signed by Idi Amin.

Several of his grades were changed from C to A, with a handwritten notation: “Slavery reparations.”

It turns out he was not president of the Harvard Law Review. He was president of the Harvard Sharia Law Review.

In retrospect, his admission application probably should have been more carefully vetted for possible irregularities. It contained letters of recommendation from Barry White, Martin Luther King Jr. and Frederick Douglass.

He took his junior year abroad in Ho Chi Minh City.

He was president of the Foreign-Born Students Association.

His senior thesis in economics, a new paradigm for wealth-distribution in America, was titled “Mugging Whitey.”

So, there you have it, conservative Web site: Send me my 20 grand, and I will send you the complete transcripts just as soon as your check clears.

E-mail Gene at chats and updates at

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