John Kerry as Chauncey Gardiner
"Included in Kerry's military files were his transcripts from Yale, which were part of his application for officer training. Kerry, it turns out, had a 76 average for his years at Yale--the equivalent of a C and one point below George W. Bush's 77 average. Kerry had a difficult freshman year, scoring four D's, though he did manage a C in French.
"So Kerry was almost as distinguished a scholar as the schoolmate who went on to become president of the United States. That doesn't seem so bad--but for candidate Kerry, it would have been devastating. After all, much of Kerry's appeal, such as it was, rested on intellectual snobbery. His supporters described him, in the words of a March 2004 New York Times report, as "an intellectual who grasps the subtleties of issues, inhabits their nuances and revels in the deliberative process." In this view, Kerry's nose for nuance contrasted favorably with Bush's simplisme.
"But what if Kerry simply lacked the ability to express himself clearly? Consider his answer when asked in a September 2003 debate to reconcile his vote for Iraq's liberation with his subsequent opposition: "The vote is the vote. I voted to authorize. It was the right vote, and the reason I mentioned the threat is that we gave the--we had to give life to the threat. If there wasn't a legitimate threat, Saddam Hussein was not going to allow inspectors in. Now, let me make two points if I may. . . ."
"He went on in this vein for 248 words (quoted in full here), and only someone with a superior intellect and too much time on his hands could possibly have made sense of his answer. "People will often be misled into thinking someone is brighter if he says something complicated they can't understand," IQ expert Linda Gottfredson told the Times' John Tierney last year. The revelation that Kerry was no better a student than Bush suggests that this is just what happened." -- James Taranto, Best of the Web Today, June 7, 2005, WSJ.com, Wall Street Journal