Harvard grapples with rejection
Harvard is far more accustomed to giving rather than receiving rejection. But in the wake of the devastating electoral rejection of alumnus/professor Michael Ignatieff and the Canadian Liberal Party, the university community is struggling to cope. As Tamsin McMahon of Canada's National Post chortles, "Boston's chattering classes are struggling with the stunning political defeat of one of Harvard's most popular academics at the hands of Canadian voters, painting Michael Ignatieff's historic loss as Liberal leader as a new low in Canadian politics."
Keep in mind that the putative best-and-brightest Ignatieff didn't just lose an election, under his leadership, the most dominant political party in the Western world, holding power for 69 years of the 20th century and the first 5 years of the 21st, lost its status as the Loyal Opposition, dropping to number 3 behind the loony left New Democratic Part. Humiliatingly, Ignatieff lost his seat in Canadian Parliament, to boot. He immediately resigned as the Party's leader.
Ominously, Canadian and American pundits alike completely failed to predict the Conservative sweep in Canada, just as so many now predict with high confidence that Obama is all but undefeatable in 2012.
At Harvard, he was a superstar - a handsome and popular academic with crossover appeal whose essays appeared in the New Yorker and whose fiction was short-listed for the Booker Prize.His foreign policy classes were oversubscribed, and students scrambled for invitations to the dinners he hosted at his residence at Mather House. Few from the Kennedy School have appeared on the cover of GQ. But he did.Then Michael Ignatieff's charmed life became something else entirely when he plunged into the surprisingly caustic world of Canadian politics in 2005.
Hat tip: Herbert Meyer