Chuck Schumer’s B

Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts report that U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) is “still steamed about the grade he got on his college thesis.”

Schumer was a senior at Harvard in 1971 when he wrote the paper about building a more effective Congress — and furious when he received a B. His instructor? Conservative commentator Bill Bennett, a Harvard law student who was teaching the undergraduate social studies course. “He went nuts,” said Bennett, who was unmoved when Schumer lobbied for a higher grade.

Bennett said the senator still reminds him of the beef every time they meet. “He says, ‘I don’t know if you remember this . . .’ and I say, ‘Stop with the grade-grubbing.'”

Ronald Reagan, a “C” student at Eureka College, harbored similar resentments fifty years later. He often told audiences, “Even now I wonder what I might have accomplished had I studied harder.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mythilt says:

    An interesting note of personality there from what you have stated. Schumer’s actions are appearently to blame the teacher / argue that the teacher wasn’t right. Reagans statement indicated that *he* knew he was the one to blame for his grade, not the teacher.
    I’m not saying that it says everything, since we don’t know all the details, but it is indicative to a degree.

  2. James Joyner says:

    That had occurred to me as well.