Rick Perry’s newly released college transcript may not look like much, but graded on a curve he’s not doing so bad.
Per the Huffington Post, which obtained Perry’s college records, he scored mediocre to lousy marks in a broad array of subjects:
While he later became a student leader, he had to get out of academic probation to do so. He rarely earned anything above a C in his courses — earning a C in U.S. History, a D in Shakespeare, and a D in the principles of economics. Perry got a C in gym.
Perry also did poorly on classes within his animal science major. In fall semester 1970, he received a D in veterinary anatomy, a F in a second course on organic chemistry and a C in animal breeding. He did get an A in world military systems and “Improv. of Learning” — his only two As while at A&M.
Taken in the broader context of presidential nominees, however, Perry looks much better. President Bush, Perry’s predecessor in the Texas governors’ mansion, was a famously “meh” student at Yale University and graduated with a 77 average. His highest grade was an 88 which he received in three classes. He only had one “D” however.
But despite Bush’s two Democratic opponents’ egghead reputations, both of them produced pretty lame records of their own at Ivy League schools. John Kerry, also a Yalie, was characterized by the Boston Globe as a “lackluster student,” and ended with a near-identical 76 average. He scored four “D”s in his freshman year before improving.
Over at Harvard, Al Gore fared no better. According to the Washington Post’s 2000 analysis of his transcript, “His generally middling college grades at Harvard in fact bear a close resemblance to the corresponding Yale marks of his presidential opponent, George W. Bush.” Even more embarrassing? “The political champion of the natural world received that sophomore D in Natural Sciences 6 (Man’s Place in Nature) and then got a C-plus in Natural Sciences 118 his senior year,” per the Post.
So Perry’s in relatively good company. And besides, he gets extra marks for some very creative engineering projects he completed using his dorm’s plumbing system.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.