Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bush’s Personal Aide To Enroll at Business School
Gottesman, college dropout and former beau to Bush daughter, to begin in the fall

Published On Monday, May 22, 2006 2:12 AM
By PARAS D. BHAYANI
Harvard Crimson Staff Writer



A 26-year-old college dropout who carries President Bush’s breath mints and makes him peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches will follow in his boss’s footsteps this fall when he enrolls at Harvard Business School (HBS).

Though it is rare for HBS—or any other professional or graduate school—to admit a student who does not have an undergraduate degree, admissions officers made an exception for Blake Gottesman, who for four years has served as special assistant and personal aide to Bush.

Gottesman, a Texas native who attended Claremont-McKenna College in California for one year, has long had ties to the Bush family. He dated the president’s daughter, Jenna Bush, nearly ten years ago when he attended St. Andrew’s Episcopal School of Austin.

After completing his freshman year at Claremont in 1999, he left to join the Bush presidential campaign and later served as a junior aide to former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. In February 2002, he became the president’s personal assistant.

In his current role, Gottesman performs a wide range of duties, from dog-sitting the president’s Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley, to carrying the president’s speeches and giving him the “two-minute warning” before a speech begins.

Gottesman has declined all requests for comment on his business school admission, but White House staffers have described him as loyal, warm, and fun-loving.

“He is a friend and adviser to every employee of the White House, from career maintenance workers to cabinet secretaries,” Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin told The Myrtle Beach Sun News. “He is consistently kind and warm and generous with his time and provides extraordinarily good advice.”

Gottesman has likened his role at the White House to that of Charlie Young on the NBC television program “The West Wing.” When asked about his similarity to Young in an interactive question-and-answer session on the White House’s Web site, Gottesman wrote, “Charlie seems to be smarter, funnier, and better-looking. But, from what I remember—our jobs are probably pretty similar.”

HBS spokesman James E. Aisner ’68 explained the decision to accept Gottesman, even though he is not a college graduate, by telling The Economist that “extraordinary circumstances will sometimes compel it to drop [its] rule” of only admitting students who hold bachelor's degrees.

He refused to comment specifically on Gottesman, citing Harvard’s policy of not commenting on the admission of any individual student.

Aisner also pointed out to The Economist that Harvard would surely admit applicants like Bill Gates and Michael Dell, both of whom are college dropouts.

But the often-snarky British weekly noted: “Needless to say, holding the president’s hand-sanitizer is a far cry from heading a Fortune 500 company.”

—Staff writer Paras D. Bhayani can be reached at pbhayani@fas.harvard.edu.

10 comments:

Karen Zipdrive said...

Bush has singlehandedly turned Harvard into the WalMart of the Ivy League.

The Educated Eclectic said...

I wonder what really well-qualified, intelligent, college grad with a great GMAT score was dropped off the list to make room for this Bush ass-kissing flunkie?

dusty said...

The kid won't make it thru the first year..bet me.

Lulu Maude said...

Well, if Dubya can get through, anybody can.

Legacy acceptance?

Karen Zipdrive said...

Ms Julien, they probably dropped some bright beaner kid in favor of this Bushian toady.
And Dusty, I think the kid will make it through, just as Bush made it through.
If the Harvard administration can be bullied into accepting someone because Bush said so, you think his professors will flunk him?
Shit no.
They oughtta just give him the MBA and waive the two long years of metriculation.
The kid's got peanut putter n' jelly samiches to make for King George.

Shelley said...

I suppose this guy *could* actually be incredibly bright, so I can't even begin to comment on whether he really deserves (if that's the word) to be admitted to HBS or anywhere else. What I find fascinating is this:
"White House staffers have described him as loyal, warm, and fun-loving." Come ON. Dude sounds like the family golden retriever puppy, for crap's sake. Wouldn't you be just about 27 shades of mortified if that was the best your colleagues could come up with to say about you after working with them for 4 years?

cynicalgirl said...

If the guy is at Harvard long enough to park his car he'll probably still be smarter than Bush, which doesn't say much.

Heck, I can make peanut butter sandwiches and tote hand sanitizer--wonder if it's too late for me to apply.

Karen Zipdrive said...

I wonder if it's occurred to anyone at Harvard that they are fucking up their reputation by continuing to enable the Bushes and their little friends to use their university as a diploma mill?

The Educated Eclectic said...

Well, Yale gave Euan Blair, the spoiled, unpleasant son of Bush-bot Tony Blair, a ree ride to their formerly-prestigious univeristy.

dusty said...

Damn Yale and Harvard eh? My respect for those institutions of higher learning just fell..cronism in college entrance..who knew? :p