"I'm going to be a great president. I have the gifts. I know more about more policy areas than anybody else in the country. ... My attitude is going to be, 'I've got game. Give me the ball.'"
Buried deep in the comments to an earlier post, TangoMan points to a 1999 LA Times article that sheds some light on the mystery of how the President ranked in the top ten percent at Harvard Law School without much intellectually distinguishing himself during most other periods of his life. Most likely, he didn't rank in the top 10% at HLS, as has so often been assumed based on his magna cum laude honors. Only since 1999 has magna cum laude at HLS been restricted to the top 10 percent.
June 10, 1999|Reuters
When members of Harvard Law School's class of 1999 receive their prestigious degrees Thursday, 36% fewer graduates than last year will be awarded with honors, the school said Wednesday. ... Under a system implemented three years ago that first took effect with this year's class, Harvard Law said it will limit magna cum laude degrees to the top 10% of the class. The next 30% will receive cum laude degrees. Under the old system, 76% of Harvard Law grads earned honors, the school said.
On the other hand, Obama has been told that he's a genius so many times that he apparently is starting to believe it. Peter Baker reported in the NY Times Magazine last year:
One prominent Democratic lawmaker told me Obama’s problem is that he is not insecure — he always believes he is the smartest person in any room and never feels the sense of panic that makes a good politician run scared all the time, frenetically wooing lawmakers, power brokers, adversaries and voters as if the next election were a week away.