Thursday, October 14, 2004

Bush has always had a trick memory, apparently. I just hope this is true...

What Bush's Harvard Business School Prof Has To Say
Originally Posted by

By Mary Jacoby
Sept. 16, 2004

For 25 years, Yoshi Tsurumi, one of George W. Bush's
professors at Harvard Business School, was content
with his green-card status as a permanent legal
resident of the United States. But Bush's ascension to
the presidency in 2001 prompted the Japanese native to
secure his American citizenship. The reason: to be
able to speak out with the full authority of
citizenship about why he believes Bush lacks the
character and intellect to lead the world's oldest and
most powerful democracy.

"I don't remember all the students in detail unless
I'm prompted by something," Tsurumi said in a
telephone interview Wednesday. "But I always remember
two types of students. One is the very excellent
student, the type as a professor you feel honored to
be working with. Someone with strong social values,
compassion and intellect -- the very rare person you
never forget. And then you remember students like
George Bush, those who are totally the opposite."

Tsurumi said. "He showed pathological lying habits and
was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and
biases. He would even deny saying something he just
said 30 seconds ago.
He was famous for that. Students
jumped on him; I challenged him." When asked to
explain a particular comment, said Tsurumi, Bush would
respond, "Oh, I never said that."

Bush, he recalled, "made this ridiculous statement and
when I asked him to explain, he said, 'The government
doesn't have to help poor people -- because they are
lazy.' I said, 'Well, could you explain that
assumption?' Not only could he not explain it, he
started backtracking on it, saying, 'No, I didn't say

Bush once sneered at Tsurumi for showing the film "The
Grapes of Wrath," based on John Steinbeck's novel of
the Depression. "We were in a discussion of the New
Deal, and he called Franklin Roosevelt's policies
'socialism.' He denounced labor unions, the Securities
and Exchange Commission, Medicare, Social Security,
you name it. He denounced the civil rights movement as socialism. To
him, socialism and communism were the same thing. And when challenged to
explain his prejudice, he could not defend his argument, either
ideologically, polemically or academically."

Students who challenged and embarrassed Bush in class
would then become the subject of a whispering campaign
by him, Tsurumi said. "In class, he couldn't challenge
them. But after class, he sometimes came up to me in
the hallway and started bad-mouthing those students
who had challenged him. He would complain that someone
was drinking too much. It was innuendo and lies. So
that's how I knew, behind his smile and his smirk,
that he was a very insecure, cunning and vengeful

Bush sometimes came late to class and often sat in the
back row of the theater-like classroom, wearing a
bomber jacket from the Texas Air National Guard and
spitting chewing tobacco into a cup.

"At first, I wondered, 'Who is this George Bush?' It's
a very common name and I didn't know his background.
And he was such a bad student that I asked him once
how he got in. He said, 'My dad has good friends.'"
Bush scored in the lowest 10 percent of the class.

"I used to chat up a number of students when we were
walking back to class," Tsurumi said. "Here was Bush,
wearing a Texas Guard bomber jacket, and the draft was
the No. 1 topic in those days. And I said, 'George,
what did you do with the draft?' He said, 'Well, I got
into the Texas Air National Guard.' And I said, 'Lucky
you. I understand there is a long waiting list for it.
How'd you get in?' When he told me, he didn't seem
ashamed or embarrassed. He thought he was entitled to
all kinds of privileges and special deals.
He was not
the only one trying to twist all their connections to
avoid Vietnam. But then, he was fanatically for the

Tsurumi told Bush that someone who avoided a draft
while supporting a war in which others were dying was
a hypocrite. "He realized he was caught, showed his
famous smirk and huffed off."

Tsurumi's conclusion: Bush is not as dumb as his
detractors allege. "He was just badly brought up, with
no discipline, and no compassion,"
he said.

He said other professors and students at the business
school from that time share his recollections but are
afraid to come forward, fearing ostracism or
retribution. And why is Tsurumi speaking up now?
Because with the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq and Osama
bin Laden still on the loose -- not to mention a
federal deficit ballooning out of control -- the
stakes are too high to remain silent. "Obviously, I
don't think he is the best person" to be running the
country, he said. "I wanted to explain why."

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