Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times in 6 Years

According to the Associated Press, Sarah Palin switched colleges 6 times in 6 years before getting her degree in journalism with a concentration in sports broadcasting.

Federal privacy laws prohibit the schools from disclosing her grades, and none of the schools contacted by The Associated Press could say why she transferred. There was no indication any were contacted as part of the background investigation of Palin by presidential candidate John McCain's campaign.

"Our office was not contacted by anyone," said Tania Thompson, spokeswoman for the University of Idaho in Moscow.

So apparently "vetting" Ms. Palin didn't include looking up her academic record? Remind me not to hire McCain's vetters for my HR department.

Also, maybe Ms. Palin is counting Moscow, Idaho as foreign policy experience? (Just kidding.)

Here is the rough chronology:

Fall 1982 - University of Hawaii at Hilo, left after a few weeks because of the weather

Fall 1982 - Hawaii Pacific University, majoring in Business Administration

Spring and Fall 1983 - North Idaho College, two year college, majored in "general studies".

Fall 1984 and Spring 1985 - University of Idaho

Fall 1985 - Matanuska-Susitna College in Alaska

Spring 1986, Fall 1986, and Spring 1987 - Back to the University of Idaho to finish her degree.

No transcripts of any of her grades have been released to the public from any of these colleges. Although a journalism major with a focus in broadcasting, there is no record of Palin ever having worked on any college newspaper or radio station.

So, since we're interviewing Ms. Palin for potential leader of the free world, I have this question. Ms. Palin, what were your grades? Let's see those transcripts. Obviously, we'd expect no less if you were interviewing to be manager of Denny's, so please provide those transcripts as soon as possible. It's nothing personal. It's just that after 8 years of George W. Bush, we're not quite sure we want another C student in the White House.

Tags: Sarah Palin 2008 Presidential Election Republican (all tags)



Re: Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times in 6 Years

Within the Palin Pantheon, there are two classes of weirdness:  the first makes a person go "ZOMG CRAZY ITZ OVER!" and the second elicits the response of "ha-WHUH?!"  This story falls clearly into the second class.  Nothing removal-worthy, but patently weird enough to fall decisively into the class of noteworthy biographical details of the esteemed governor's life that merit a "ha-WHUH?!"

by robitude 2008-09-05 04:18AM | 0 recs
I hold none of this against Palin.

Well... maybe what she's doing to her teenage daughter, but that's another story.

I hold this against McCain. It's such a prime example of poor judgment. He has to make one major decision before the election, choosing someone to take his place should he croak, and THIS is the best he could do?

by Travis Stark 2008-09-05 04:24AM | 0 recs
Not sure this matters

I'm a college professor and I see students bouncing around between 2 and 4 year colleges quite often. Sometimes it's a matter of maturity, other times it's money. More people do this than you think, and it doesn't hinder them down the road.

by elrod 2008-09-05 04:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times in 6 Years

You know I agree with Elrod. This to me doesn't mean much. Unless someone can show me transcripts with a lot of Fs on it I think this is a non story.

by jsfox 2008-09-05 04:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times in 6 Years

Lets see, I went to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 schools, yeah, I thought I had her beat (and thats all undergrad too so apples to apples), and since two of mine were in 'foreign' countries, that makes me even more evil!

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-09-05 04:38AM | 0 recs
You miss the point.

The question isn't specifically that she switched schools 6 times. It's "why did she switch schools?" If you're trying to tell me that if she barely eeked out a journalism degree from the U. of Idaho after shopping around schools and getting possibly poor grades that that doesn't matter when you're interviewing somebody to be President of the U.S., then I think you're sorely mistaken.

On the one hand we've got a Democratic candidate who is a certifiable scholar and intellectual. He chooses as his running mate a guy who is without question qualified to be President.

On the Republican side we have a guy whose made his entire career out of being a POW (for which he deserves to be respected), and he chooses for VP... who? We don't know. The fact that the McCain camp never checked what kind of student she was is telling. They don't care whether she's qalified to be President as long as she paid enough attention in sports broadcasting class so that she's good with a teleprompter.

by Travis Stark 2008-09-05 04:51AM | 0 recs
Stop being mean

to Jerome's new crush!

by JJE 2008-09-05 07:44AM | 0 recs
And no offense Jerome, but...

I wouldn't want you as my President either. ;-)

by Travis Stark 2008-09-05 04:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times

As someone with a checkered college history myself, I think this plays into the whole elitist thing.

I got my degree.  It wasn't pretty.  She got hers.  

Do world leaders even need to graduate from college?   Is that a requirement now?

by RichardFlatts 2008-09-05 05:32AM | 0 recs
Yes. Yes. And yes.

I've personally had my fill of uneducated presidents of mediocre intelligence. We can do much better. Also, the answer to every problem we have as a country is education, and unless we have a president who realizes that, and values education, then we will not only never solve any of our problems, we will doom ourselves to Republicans winning elections by assuming people aren't smart enough to discern the truth.

by Travis Stark 2008-09-05 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes. Yes.

When are some people going to learn.   The average voter votes for the person they like the most.   It is that simple.

by RichardFlatts 2008-09-05 09:03AM | 0 recs
Sadly true.

One shouldn't expect outstanding candidates to be elected when it's mediocrity doing the voting.

by Sumo Vita 2008-09-05 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Sadly true.

It is lines like that that sometimes cause me to admire the Republicans ... just a little, just for a minute.  

Elitist much are ya?  

Why can't we just go and win?   We lose in 2000 and 2004 and we blame the voters instead of ourselves.  I don't know how it is possible for us to lose this year, but I swear, we are giving it the old college try.

Can't we just go out knock McCain's block off, appeal to the average Joe on the street and sit back and celebrate a win for change?

by RichardFlatts 2008-09-05 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Sadly true.

Alright, "pardner". What did "we" do wrong in 2000 and 2004?

More to the point, we've had an utter trainwreck of an administration for the past 8 years.

So why can't we just go out and win, you ask? Just maybe wou'll find the secret answer in my earlier comment.

by Sumo Vita 2008-09-10 06:09PM | 0 recs
They do, if they have little else to go on.

Sorry, joining the PTA doesn't count.

by Sumo Vita 2008-09-05 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times in 6 Years

Is that a requirement now?

The requirement is that they answer questions and answer questions truthfully.

Grades are pertinent - especially in this case wherein Mcain in not holding up well and is particuarly academically challenged - I forget where he came in his naval class but it was like 395 out of 400.

Americans should learn from  their there massive mistakes an demand truth and intelligence - especially in this cycle.

Are we going to continue to suffer this Orwellian world where War is Peace, Ignorance is Knowledge and slavery is Freedom.

by dbeall 2008-09-05 05:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times in 6 Years

I think the republicans are going to announce that Palin's college history is off the table.

by pollbuster 2008-09-05 05:59AM | 0 recs
I hope so.

Because to do that automatically puts it on the table, and whether or not we get her transcripts we will eventually find out what kind of a student she was, unless this is a George W. type case where nobody can actually remember Sarah in college.

If they declare her college career off limits, then we can assume she did poorly.

by Travis Stark 2008-09-05 06:08AM | 0 recs
Re: I hope so.

Actually I was just being snarky, but you do have a very good point.

by pollbuster 2008-09-05 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times in 6 Years

This is not the sort of issue we need to be going after. At least it's not her clothing or something like that, but it's still irrelevant compared to attacking her ethics, her false claims to be a reformer, and her social stances which are well out of the mainstream.

This makes the very real problems with her look more frivolous.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-09-05 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times in 6 Years

So the intelligence of our candidates is irrelevant? I couldn't more strongly disagree. You're saying that she's auditioning to potentially be President of our country and we don't have a right to know what kind of a student she was/is? How's her ability to absorb a learning curve, because she would have one hell of one to climb were she to become President with her level of experience.

Her education is off limits? That's insane!

by Travis Stark 2008-09-05 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times in 6 Years

I didn't say that. I happen to think it's very important.

There are dozens of times as many people in this country whose college degree is from Podunk State than from Harvard Law. There are lots of people who change schools. There are far more people who struggle for grades than get straight A's.

While it's important that the President be smart, it's a loser of an attack argument to go after Palin on switching colleges. It loses you far more voters than it reaches. Most people who went to Podunk State think they got a pretty good education there, after all.

My point is that we go after the more significant arguments first. If Palin turns into a full-on object of ridicule, this is a great argument. Until that happens, this is a sympathy-builder for her.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-09-05 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times in 6 Years

This seems like a silly attack to me.  I have friends who have switched colleges a couple times as well, so I can actually relate to this..

Why not attack policy, seriously.. this type of stuff just makes our side look petty.

Also one should keep in mind she finished college when a lot of women during her time did not.  We were still a very sexist country back then, and women were not pushed to get a college degree like men were.  I just don't see how brining this issue up helps our side at all...

by njc2b5 2008-09-05 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times in 6 Years

I agree. On top of everything, it was over 20 years ago!

What's more relevant to me is that she is simply a continuation of the failed policies of the last 8 years of the Bush administration.

by bushsucks 2008-09-05 06:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times in 6 Years

looking at the comments in this diary I am very proud to be a dem. Instead of attacking her for the smallest things. I commend everyone for their defense of our opponent over this non issue . I doubt you will see people on conservative blogs (or some former dem blogs)  defending Obama on non issue like flag pins or "typical white lady" remarks

kudos to all  

by wellinformed 2008-09-05 06:55AM | 0 recs
Judging by the comments here, guess McCain's right

We don't have to pick a vice president based upon their education, or intelligence, or experience, or ability to learn. They don't need to know anything about foreign policy, or legislation, or Washington. They just have to be photogenic, have ovaries, and appeal to the shotgun in the window of the pickup truck set.

The more I read, the more I'm convinced the death spiral of Republican ignorance may be impossible to get out of.

by Travis Stark 2008-09-05 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times in 6 Years

I see this as a non-issue especially when other politicians in the campaign are not disclosing theirs. It is better to leave this issue alone. If I was Obama, I would focus on Palin's history:
1) Give her credit for standing up against corruption in her state of Alaska (Of course, brought on by her own Republican party);

2) Tell the people that Gov. Palin has NOW decided to carry the water for the same, corrupt party that she had fought with in the past AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE.

3)She laughed while an Alaskan shock jock denigrated a fellow woman state legislator--she continued to laugh as the Republican mutt hurled his fuselage of sexist, downgrading attacks on a fellow woman politician. Does this sound like groundbreaking? No, it's more like a dust up! To the remarks of Sarah Palin being for women's right, I say, "No way, No how, Hell NO!!!

4) Gov. Palin has showcased her character in more than one occasion, not including the aforemention topics. Her supporters like to promote that she has strong character, expert ideas on energy, and vastly held reputation as a reformer. Now, as we look at Gov. Palin's history or should I say "Her-story," we find that Gov. Palin was initially for the infamous "Bridge To No Where" before she was against it. She was initially against the corrupt party that has entrenched America in joblessness and home ownership crises through a useless, new, unfair bankruptcy policy before she gleefully took up it's mantle. She was against unnecessary wars with unnecessary evils due to energy concerns, before the Republicans party asked her to become its attack dog. Lastly, Gov. Palin was initially for change and post-partisan politics, trumpeting her above 80% approval rating in the state of Alaska, before throwing change aside for the new word, reform. See, republicans like to parrot that we, democrats, like to gripe about the "smallness of the state Alaska." No, I would say that we are "griping about Gov. Palin's state of denial," especially over republican's eight year reign.

In the blink of an eye, Gov. Palin has proven to be the same old, divisive, corrupt politician that wants to continue the same old, divisive, corrupt tactics that has been characterized by the last eight years and the current Administration.

In this case, we do not need a reform; we need a complete, "turn-the-page" kind of change.  

by Check077 2008-09-05 07:25AM | 0 recs
Who else refused to release their transcripts?

by Travis Stark 2008-09-05 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Who else refused to release their transcripts?

As far as outright refusing, I can not tell you that, but as far non-disclosure I think you can figure that out...

by Check077 2008-09-05 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Who else refused to release their transcripts?

Can and did, after reading your comment. If Obama hasn't released his transcripts he should. As should McCain. And McCain should also release his medical records.

I'm sorry, but I value my vote very highly, and I refuse to treat it with any less diligence than if I was interviewing a new engineer for my group.

by Travis Stark 2008-09-05 09:50AM | 0 recs
OK She Didn't Go to Columbia, Princeton or Harvard

She has shot a moose! Hey that has to count for something!

by hypopg 2008-09-05 07:50AM | 0 recs
She and Huckabee should hold a fundraiser

They could call it the "Bullwinkle and Rocky Dinner".

by Travis Stark 2008-09-05 09:51AM | 0 recs


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