In an interview with AP, Donald Trump raises the issue of Barack Obama's undergraduate grades and his admission to 2 Ivy League schools -- Columbia University and Harvard Law. Trump avers that Obama wasn't merely an OK student, he was "terrible," and wonders how that merited admission to 2 highly competitive schools.
Trump states that he doesn't have access to Obama's well-hidden transcripts, and doesn't specify the source of his knowledge that Obama was a "terrible" student (presumably at Occidental College and the elite Punahou School in Honolulu). However, given Obama's existing biographies, it is no secret that he failed to apply himself to his studies when he was younger.
Trump does not utter the words "affirmative action," but that is clearly the implied answer to the questions he raises. Richard Baehr comments:
Most Americans do not like affirmative action. if Trump has found some transcripts, it would explain why Obama has hidden them, and damage his halo for brilliance (though it may take more time to change David Brooks' mind), and be pretty embarrassing and a distraction for him, raising more questions of what he has hidden.
Studies of ten of the most elite schools admissions files revealed that being black is worth an extra 330 SAT points (back when the maximum was 1600).
The interesting aspect of all of this is that the sort of families who place greatest emphasis on getting their children into elite colleges also tend to be the urban elites whose support for Obama has been strong. It is not clear to me that the revelation that Obama got a lot of help getting into Columbia and Harvard would sour them on him. But it would, as Rich writes, diminish the reputation for brilliance, which is already suffering in the face of demonstrated lack of understanding of basic economics, foreign affairs, and the effects of taxes.