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Campaign Watch: Obama Earns High Grades for Exams; Should a President Be Computer-Literate?

PresbadgeGrading Professor Obama -- Back before presumptive Democrat nominee Barack Obama became a rock star, he was an unassuming senior law lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, where he taught constitutional law and "Current Issues in Racism and the Law." The New York Times Caucus Blog asked prominent law professors such as Pamela Karlan of Stanford and Akhil Reed Amar of Yale to grade Obama's teaching performance, and uniformly, they awarded him high marks and spoke of his intellectual skills in glowing terms. For example, Professor Amar, a constitutional scholar himself, remarked that he was "dazzled, really — by the analytic intelligence and sophistication of these questions and answers," while Karlan could not find any distinction between the less-experienced Obama's exams and those prepared by full-time, first-rate academics. Take a look at the comments to the post, since several of Obama's students chimed in with their thoughts as well.

Must A President Be Computer Literate? --  Lee Gomes of the Wall Street Journal poses this question: Should a president -- of the United States, or even of a company, for that matter -- use a computer?  He writes:

Sen. Barack Obama lives the life of every modern road warrior, checking a BlackBerry as easily as he checks his wristwatch, and decompressing in his downtime with an iPod. That latter preference is one of the few he shares with the current president, who is known to take along an iPod, preloaded by his White House staff with classic rock, on his mountain-bike runs.  Sen. John McCain, by contrast, represents the last generation that will be able to claim imperviousness to the machines. Judging by the way his self-acknowledged computer illiteracy is mocked in YouTube videos, it's probably a safe bet that his campaign wishes he were more fluent in technology, especially considering the number of his contemporaries who have taken up the machines without a problem. But anyone who has ever been flustered by a gadget, or who has watched a teenager work a cellphone, won't be unsympathetic to Sen. McCain.

What do you think? How important is tech savvy to serving as Commander-in-Chief, for the country or even for a large law firm? 

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on July 31, 2008 at 01:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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