Yale backs a new old boy

THE LEAVES have already turned throughout New England and on this prestigious campus a majority of students and academics have also switched and are deserting one former Yale undergraduate, George Herbert Walker Bush (BA, class of 1948), in favour of another, Bill Clinton (Law School class of 1973).

For President Bush, who was president of the exclusive society, Yale's Skull and Bones, and then captain of the college baseball team, it is a galling moment since in Connecticut he has one of his three residences. His mother lives in Greenwich, where he was once a pupil at the Greenwich Country Day School.

Yale is in little doubt about who the next US president should be, although an economics professor has a mathematical model which predicts a Bush victory. Troubling some who have made dollars 5 bets on Governor Clinton's election is the fact that the professor's formula has failed only once in the past 19 elections.

This Ivy League college is the pre-eminent breeding ground for political leaders in the US and, if Ross Perot does not win the election, the university will be sending yet another president to the White House.

A place of 13th-century Gothic buildings built in the 1930s, Yale is a crucible for would-be presidents and politicians, diplomats and Supreme Court justices. Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court justice, and his accuser Anita Hill both went to Yale Law school as did the former president, Gerald Ford.

All the Democratic candidates who went through the primaries went to Yale Law School. Paul Tsongas, Jerry Brown and Bill Clinton studied at Yale, it was in the Law Library that Bill and Hillary Clinton first met. Both have since been back to Yale while on the campaign trail.

She is remembered at Yale today for being the brighter of the two for taking notes for him while he was away running George McGovern's political campaign in Texas. Soon after meeting they reportedly began living together on the campus, which was going through a turbulent period of anti-war activism and Black Panther trials.

Despite the fact that Yale has thrown up the two leading candidates for the presidency, David Leonhardt, the 19-year- old editor of the Yale Daily News, the college newspaper, is disconsolate about the calibre of candidates for the presidency. 'I am not impressed with seeing them and it does not make me proud to be a Yale student,' he said.

He is not impressed with Governor Clinton, because of his use of 'racial code words', aimed at the white middle class or with President Bush because of the economic fiasco during his term as president. But Mr Leonhardt is especially troubled by Governor Clinton's approach to race. 'Whites see themselves as the middle class,' he says, 'and you notice that Clinton never talks about the underclass, the true poor.'

Apart from being the only newspaper read by many of its 10,000 subscribers, the Yale Daily News (founded in 1878), appears in a city with the highest infant mortality rate in the nation. New Haven, along with two other Connecticut cities Hartford and Bridgeport, is among the 10 poorest cities in the US.

With crime and poverty sweeping the city, the university is building ever higher walls around its inner-city campus. Students are given keys and special panic buttons have been placed along the streets to alert the police if students are attacked or threatened.

As the recession bites in this corner of Connecticut, the university is cutting itself off from the city, with the result that its students, the new political leaders of the US, are increasingly white and wealthy.

'It costs dollars 40,000 ( pounds 25,500) to get a Yale education and even if you get a college loan, it has to be paid back some time,' said Mr Leonhardt. 'So what's happening is that they're recycling the same people into public life and that doesn't help a country in economic decline.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
election 2015
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Ashdown Group: Accountant - London - £48,000 - 12 month FTC

£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: International Acc...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power