Reclaim the Media: Bring Back the Elites

10/30/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Thom Hartmann Bestselling author and host of a nationally syndicated, progressive talk show

MSNBC's Chris Matthews Friday suggested that Barack Obama is "elite" in part because Obama was wearing sunglasses:

"Can Barack Obama, a man of elite education if not elite background, break into the middle class and talk regular? Can he talk to regular people in their kitchens tonight, in their living rooms?


Everybody thinks Barack is too cool. In other words, there he is with the shades, getting on the plane. A little bit too elegant, a little bit too proud of his own bearing. Is that a problem, that he's just too cool for words. In other words, elite."

Chris Matthews is wrong.

America loves its elites -- we love our sports stars, our movie stars, our rock stars and even our political stars.

John Kennedy was an elite. He came from an elite family, had an elite education, and he had the calm demeanor and the good fashion of a man who knew he was part of the intellectual and political elite. Americans didn't just love him they lionized him calling his administration Camelot -- the story of an elite king in an elite time.

If George W Bush has taught us one lesson, it's that the god-awful consequences of having the guy you want to have beer with running the most complex, powerful, and massive institution in the world, the US Government, is a terrible mistake.

John McCain graduated from the Naval Academy in June 1958; he was fifth from the bottom, 894th out of 899. He has no training at law. Sarah Palin attended 5 schools before getting a degree from North Idaho College that qualified her to be a TV sportscaster. North Idaho College takes pride in its "open-door" admissions policy. She also has no training at law.

Most of our great presidents have been trained in law from John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to Lincoln to FDR and Clinton. Bush and Cheney have no legal training and we were told how great the MBA presidency would be.

It's been a disaster.

Barack Obama got his BA from Columbia University in New York and his JD from Harvard. While at Harvard he was president of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. He was a professor of constitutional low at the University of Chicago. Joe Biden similarly has a JD degree.

It's time for an Elite presidency. It's time for the best and the brightest to once again lead this nation.