July 20, 2003
Professor Claims Bush Reading Skills Okay; Nation Is Relieved
President Bush and his national security adviser did not entirely read the most authoritative prewar assessment of U.S. intelligence on , including a State Department claim that an allegation Bush would later use in his State of the Union address was "highly dubious," White House officials said yesterday. . . .
- Washington Post, July 18, 2003
Concerned about the President's poor reading comprehension and the impact it may be having on major U.S. policy decisions, Opinions You Should Have contacted Yale English Department Professor Heidi Stump, who taught the President in all of his undergraduate English classes. Stump said there was nothing wrong with the President's reading and analytical skills.
"He was outstanding. He was always able to single out the key essence of the work that he read." For instance, Bush definitively concluded that War and Peace involved a "conflict in Russia."
Acccording to Stump, Bush was excellent at topic sentences and titles. Of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Bush wrote a paper entitled "You Can't Poison Somebody By Putting Something In Their Ear."
"I was absolutely pleased and surprised at how good it was. In class, he seemed not to have grasped that Hamlet's mother had remarried. He was always asking, what does this dude have against his father? And then he writes this gem."
Of Tale of Two Cities, Bush wrote:
Many folks say that there are runners capable of the worst times, and on other days, the best times. It just depends how their days are going.
Stump noted that it was a wholly original take on the book's famous first sentence
"For some people, it's fine to see the forest for the trees," Stump said enthusiastically. "Other people," she said triumphantly, "can see that the forest is green."
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:24 AM