Professor says Bush revealed National Guard favoritism
A business school professor who taught George W. Bush at Harvard University in the early 1970s says the future president told him that family friends had pulled strings to get him into the Texas Air National Guard.
Yoshi Tsurumi, in his first on-camera interview on the subject, told CNN that Bush confided in him during an after-class hallway conversation during the 1973-74 school year.
"He admitted to me that to avoid the Vietnam draft, he had his dad -- he said 'Dad's friends' -- skip him through the long waiting list to get him into the Texas National Guard," Tsurumi said. "He thought that was a smart thing to do."
"What I couldn't stand -- and I told him -- he was all for the U.S. to continue with the Vietnam War. That means he was all for other people, Americans, to keep on fighting and dying."
Tsurumi got to know Bush when the future president took his "Economics EAM" (Environmental Analysis for Management), a required two-semester class from the fall of 1973 to the spring of 1974, Bush's first year at Harvard's business school.
Bush had transferred to Air National Guard reserve status before he enrolled in the MBA program. He had enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard in May 1968 and trained to fly fighter jets until he was suspended from flying status in August 1972 for failing to submit to an annual physical, according to Bush's military records released earlier this year.
Tsurumi said he remembers Bush because every teacher remembers their best and worst students, and Bush was in the latter group.
"Lazy. He didn't come to my class prepared," Tsurumi said. "He did very badly."
Tsurumi concedes that he disapproves of Bush's politics. He wrote a letter to the editor of his hometown newspaper, the Scarsdale Inquirer, that derided the president's claims to "compassionate conservatism."
"Somehow I found him totally devoid of compassion, social responsibility, and good study discipline," Tsurumi said. "What I remember most about him was all the kind of flippant statements that he made inside of classroom as well as outside."
Sunday, September 26
Bush's Proud Academic Record
His academic record matches his military record, it seems. Bush's business school professor, Yoshi Tsurumi, remembers his student for his...well, outstanding qualities.
Posted by Howard Hoffman at 10:27 AM