Political Animal


August 07, 2014 5:10 PM Trump Gilds the Lily

By Ed Kilgore

Even by The Donald’s standards, this one’s a howler (per TPM’s Tom Kludt):

Donald Trump thinks that Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was a Rhodes Scholar. Donald Trump is wrong.
The reality television star and real estate mogul gave his endorsement to Cotton, the GOP U.S. Senate aspirant in Arkansas, with a tweet on Thursday touting the congressman’s credentials.
“A vet and Rhodes Scholar, @TomCottonAR will be a strong Senator. A man of integrity dedicated to liberty. AR, vote Cotton in November!” Trump tweeted.

What makes this funny is that Cotton’s resume—two degrees from Harvard, military service in Afghanistan and Iraq, a circuit court clerkship, a stint with McKinsey—is basically his entire rationale for candidacy. No one would be surprised if he had it tattooed on this chest. Yet Trump manages to come up with a credential Cotton hasn’t attained, and gives it high billing in an endorsement.

I am reminded of attending a rubber-chicken dinner a million years ago in which Georgia congressman Bo Ginn was the guest speaker. On the agenda, it described him as a “Leader, a Lawyer, and a Friend.” That’s the same sobriquet the introducer applied to him repeatedly. Ginn, who had never spent a day in law school, was trying not to laugh (as were those of us who knew his actual biography). So ol’ Bo got up there sheepishly and decided he’d just ignore it.

If I were a good, vicious, Arkansas Democrat, I’d plant someone in the crowd at Cotton’s next public appearance to yell out: “Congressman! Why Were You Passed Over For a Rhodes Scholarship?”

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


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