A Harvard man

David Johnston began his post-secondary studies in the ivy league...but isn’t that a bad thing?

We know, because we’ve been told, that the next governor general is a non-partisan. But other facets of his history and personality are so far less understood.

For instance, though it was not noted in the official release announcing his appointment, in the third paragraph of the attached four-paragraph backgrounder we learn that Mr. Johnston, who was introduced to the country as a respected academic, began his post-secondary studies at Harvard. Granted, while at Harvard, he played “ice hockey,” as they call it there. But still, Harvard.

This is obviously confusing, for if we have learned anything at all over the last four and a half years it’s that the name of that American educational institution is only to be invoked or referenced in the derisive sense, for the purposes of mocking another’s character or intellect.

To wit.

John Baird. “That may sell in the south of France or at Harvard but it does not sell with Canadians.”

Lois Brown. “It seems he had a better place to be. He was also scheduled to go back to Harvard for a little talk.”

Sylvie Boucher. “You do not need to have gone to Harvard to understand what is happening in Canada.”

Jay Hill. “He should set aside his desire for an unnecessary election and a premature return to Harvard, and instead commit to working with our government for the betterment of all Canadians.”

Daniel Petit. “He seems to have his heart set on returning to Harvard. He can rest easy: more than ever, our government is committed to fighting these tax hikes and his centralist fervour and giving Harvard University a gift.”

Greg Rickford. “He has shown time and time again that he is more than willing to flip-flop on the content of his message to suit whatever audience he is speaking to, whether it be in Saanich, St. Catharines or at his home in Harvard.”

Dean Del Mastro. “If the Liberal leader were as smart as his Harvard teaching stint would suggest, he would fire Mr. Kinsella so that he would be free to stick his foot in his mouth whenever he liked without a negative impact on the Liberal Party.”

Jim Flaherty. “Mr. Speaker, I would have thought that someone who taught at Harvard would have learned to read reports before he speaks of them.”

Stockwell Day. “Mr. Speaker, the constant practice of the member from Harvard from Etobicoke is to take something that was said and twist it and torque it into something else.”

Brian Fitzpatrick. “I would also point out to the former professor from Harvard that it was Earl Warren, a Republican who was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, who finally brought sanity to the segregation laws in the United States and struck down its segregation laws.”

Monte Solberg. “That was the honourable member from Harvard.”

Jeff Watson. “I guess that is the Harvard way. It is certainly not the Canadian way.”

Kory Teneycke. “This is politics. This is not a Harvard classroom. You have to be able to take it as well as give it.”

Conservative website. “When you’re a Harvard professor it could be hard to understand Canadians.”