February 1, 2014

VIRGINIA POSTREL: Obama Fails Art History and Economics.

It was the cheapest of cheap shots because, as I noted in a column two years ago, almost no one majors in art history. Art history majors account for less than 0.2 percent of working adults with college degrees.

It was also a cheap shot because art history isn’t a major naive kids fall into because they’ve heard a college degree — any college degree — will get you a good job. It’s an intellectually demanding major, requiring the memorization and mastery of a large body of visual material, a facility for foreign languages, and the ability to write clearly and persuasively. And it’s famously elitist. . . .

If the president had been serious about his message, he would have compared learning a skilled trade to majors that are actually popular, such as communications and psychology. It would have been much braver and more serious to take on the less-rigorous majors that attract lots of students. But it wouldn’t have gotten a laugh.

Bravery is not one of President Obama’s hallmarks.

UPDATE: From the comments:

First he snubs Mike Rowe as a candidate.

Now he is making Mike Rowe’s point as a lame duck.

Mike Rowe for President: it is a dirty job and someone has to do it.

I’d vote for him, I think.