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Tipsheet

Howard Dean Digs Scott Walker: "How Well-educated is This Guy?"

As Jazz Shaw notes, educated enough to get elected three times in four years.

Yeah, this guy’s pretty dumb:

"This is a particular problem for Scott Walker which has not been an issue yet, but it will. Scott Walker, were he to become president, would be the first president in many generations who did not have a college degree. So the issue here is not just the issue of dancing around the question of evolution for political reasons, the issue is, how well educated is this guy?"

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I share Scarborough’s indignation. This is a cheap and snide attempt to question Scott Walker’s intelligence and therefore his fitness to serve as president. Because he didn’t earn his Bachelor’s degree, we’re told, GOP primary voters should look to other candidates. This is absurd.

First, Dean knows full well some of the best U.S. presidents did not graduate from college. He says as much. Still, the point is worth reemphasizing: Lincoln -- whose birthday is today, as it happens -- did just fine without that prestigious qualification. Ditto Harry Truman. I'd rather vote for a candidate for president today, who has demonstrable leadership abilities and a strong record to run on, than an alumnus of Columbia University and Harvard Law School who had...neither of these things. Sorry.

Second, what a revealing argument. In Dean’s estimation, those who didn’t graduate college are “unknowledgeable.” Could his characterization be any more patronizing? For what it’s worth, I attended and graduated from college, but do I know more about advising presidents than Karl Rove or entrepreneurism than the late Steve Jobs? For that matter, do I know more about governing than Scott Walker? Hell no. The more one thinks about these things, the more one realizes how practically irrelevant a college degree can sometimes be. Scarborough's right.

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Don’t get me wrong: a college degree is not nothing. It opens doors of opportunity. But lacking one should not be disqualifying for the presidency -- especially when the constitutional requirements for occupying that office say nothing about obtaining one.

Scott Walker's a smart guy. Those who suggest otherwise are dead wrong and should be called out.

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