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I Declined Admission to Space Camp

11:28 AM, May 8, 2008 • By JAIME SNEIDER
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Gov. Bobby Jindal is a rock-star, and it's no wonder he's generated a lot of VP buzz. If he graced the GOP ticket, it would be a coup for McCain. I do have one, albeit minor reservation about Jindal. It was sparked when a friend emailed me his congressional bio a few years back, an archived version of which is available here:

Bobby is a native of Louisiana, born in Baton Rouge. He is a graduate of the Louisiana Public School System, Brown University (with a 4.0 Grade Point Average) and Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar, having turned down admissions to medical and law schools at both Harvard and Yale.

I'm willing to overlook the fact a young congressman felt compelled to include his college GPA on his official website. What I object to is the last clause. I feel a bio should only make note of honors and distinctions one accepts. Since Jindal declined to attend medical or law school at Harvard and Yale, he shouldn't mention it. And Jindal isn't the only Rhodes Scholar guilty of this sin. Consider former New Republic editor Peter Beinart's bio: "Beinart graduated from Yale University, winning both Rhodes and Marshall (declined) scholarships for graduate study at Oxford University." That "declined" would be heartbreaking if it weren't so annoying.

Surely Jindal has grown as a person since becoming governor--his target=_blank>new bio does not mention his GPA from Brown, though it continues to note that he declined admission to Harvard and Yale some 15 years ago. So my advice for Jindal (not that he's listening) is that his underachieving peers are plenty impressed by what he's actually accomplished and he doesn't need to tell us what he could have done, if he'd wanted to. Be a little modest, or at least appear that way. McCain might have a huge personality, but that's one lesson I'd guess he could teach Jindal.