State Rep. Kurt Bills, newly endorsed by the Republican Party in the U.S. Senate race, is quoted as saying "we sent a lawyer, a community organizer and a comedian to Washington, D.C., and we get an economy that looks like it does today."
The line is cute, "quippy" and closely follows the Republican playbook established years ago by Karl Rove. In football, it is called a misdirection play. In politics, it says that when your qualifications are nowhere near those of your opponent, go personal and cute while avoiding actual résumé or accomplishment comparisons.
The avoidance/misdirection here is the omission of the qualifications of that lawyer (Sen. Amy Klobuchar), community organizer (President Obama, who's actually a lawyer, too) and comedian (Sen. Al Franken).
The three possess undergraduate degrees, respectively, from Yale, Columbia and Harvard. Klobuchar's and Obama's law degrees come from the University of Chicago and Harvard, respectively. And none of these individuals received a legacy admission.
Depending on the source, the lowest-ranked of those five degrees is Harvard Law, at No. 5 nationally. Franken, with his undergraduate degree from the No. 2 undergraduate university in the United States (No. 2 in the world) is really pulling down the average here.
Bills' alma mater, Winona State University, is a nice local school that doesn't attract the same caliber of student and whose graduates would be better served not denigrating people whose academic accomplishments dwarf their own.
NICHOLAS G. DOLPHIN, MINNEAPOLIS