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Friday, June 16, 2006 

Another Blake Gottesman Followup

A recap on Blake Gottesman (here and here) for those who are wondering why he is getting all this attention. Blake Gottesmans, is the 26-year-old Texan who was the Presidential aide who has no college degree who recently was allowed to pass go and collect 200 dollars as he just got accepted into the prestigious Harvard Business School. In other words, he was admitted by way of Harvard's affirmative action program, better known as the legacy system.

For a brief run down:
  • Blake Gottesman once dated Dudya's daughter Jenna in high school. has the title of personal aide to the President.
  • According to Laura Bush, Blake and Jenna got into a fight, Dudya to choose not to defend his daughter
    Jenna woke him at 1:30 a.m. to tell him her boyfriend, Blake Gottesman, had been mean to her, and she asked her father to speak with him. Jenna became angry when, instead of defending her, Bush told Gottesman, "Could the two of you please just work this out in the morning?"
  • Blake began working for Dudya his presidential campaign back in 1999.
  • Attended Claremont-McKenna College in California for one year and dropped out (still hasn't said why he did).
  • Began as junior aide to then - White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and in 2002 he became Dudya's full-time personal aide.
  • Blake's salary has constantly been on the rise. In 2003 - $52,100; 2004 - $54,400; 2005 - $70,000; and now in 2006 - 95K
  • Blake's daddy is Sanford Gottesman, who runs The Gottesman Company
  • Sanford also on the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a government corporation, which to serve of the board, he had to be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
  • OPIC supports projects that encourage "political stability, free market reforms and U.S. best practices" by providing loans and insurance to US companies investing abroad. OPIC exists only for the sole purpose to "support US foreign policy."
  • Since Iraq is now a free-trade zone, US business have been pouring billions of dollars in Iraq, however, if the new Iraqi government decided to nationalize all privately owned business, those businesses would be royally screwed, and OPIC would save the company by compensating them for their lost. Who bails out OPIC? - the US Treasury which means the US taxpayer.
It seems Blake is concern with his public image. The Time recently published a puff piece on Blake, "Who Knows Bush's Mind Best?". I guess Blake wasn't feeling the love from the blogosphere and especially his soon to be alma matter, considering it was the student paper The Harvard Crimson rolled out the un-welcome wagon when they first broke the story. It was the Times' article which exposed Blake's current salary.
At Bush's ranch, Gottesman, who makes $95,000 a year, sleeps in the senior-staff trailer...
As a Z-list blogger and knowing I have a few regulars (I humbly thank you for stopping by and reading my blog), I do have to admit I like to think I am causing some to type of concern to some mucky-muck within the Dudya administration through my blog. The first post I did on Blake, Harvard's Royal Treatment, I asked: "How did Blake fairly compete with all the rest of the people (not just minorities, everybody!) who applied to get into HBS? Given the President's schedule, did Blake even take the GMAT?" Then on my follow-up, My Special Shout Out - I See You Too, I noted that I come out first in a Google search for "Blake Gottesman gmat." The only blog that brought up the issue compared someone they knew who had done everything Harvard required of him and speculated the score was to get in. In jacek's blog, or How I learned to stop worrying and love the MBA, he writes:
But what one Mr. Gottesman has that my friend does not, is that he dated the President’s daughter. And while my freind, like the rest of us, has to work, be creative, involve himself, and really be a go getter to get that grad diploma. He didn't date the president's daughter, and unlike Mr. Gottesman, will probably have to do better than drop out of college and in all lieklihood score a 420 on his GMAT (yes, the pun was intended).
I bring this up because in the Times article, not only addressed the issue about Blake being admitted into Harvard without having a college degree, but the article also addressed the GMAT question.
Gottesman had a notable hurdle: he went to work for the presidential campaign when he was 19, so he didn't finish his undergraduate degree. He found a 1991 Boston Globe article, "Harvard Business School on a High School Diploma," that described cases of successful graduates who had been admitted without finishing college, and he won over admissions officials by outlining the earlier cases in an essay. "I researched not just the precedent but whether I'd be able to hack it and contribute to the classes," Gottesman says. "I talked to a bunch of alumni and current students and decided it was worth a shot." Gottesman scored in one of the top percentiles on his Graduate Management Admission Test. He also got into Stanford's business school.
There are three things I want to address here - the Boston Globe Article, the GMAT, and his acceptance to Stanford's business school.

GMAT
Time write that Gottesman scored in one of the top percentiles on his Graduate Management Admission Test. Time's article is a play on words, when one sees "top percentile" one would automatically ASSUME a score above 700. GMAT scores are often mentioned along with GMAT percentiles. A percentile is the percent of test takers you have outsmarted out of the total number of test takers. Say Blake scored a 630, which would place him approximately to the 90th percentile, meaning that 90 percent of test takers scored at or below this level. Another question, what does Time consider as one of the top percentiles? Do they consider being in 50th percentile as top, or is it 60?

Percentiles may vary from year to year.

Chart provided by 800score.com.

Stanford's Business School
It is interesting Blake mentions Stanford as if to show that other highly regarded graduate schools would also have accepted him regardless of Harvard's Affirmative Action Program for Rich People. However, Stanford also has a "Legacy Admissions" program. In fact, back in 2003 The Stanford Daily ran a story, Higher admit rate for legacies, how Stanford was had a higher admit rate for legacies than other students.
According to a newly published research paper by Thomas Loverro, Class of 2003, legacies are admitted to college at higher rates than other students — even if they are somewhat less qualified.

In the paper, which was published in the Stanford Undergraduate Research Journal, Loverro cited a Department of Education report that found that legacy students at Harvard averaged 35 points less on the SAT than non-legacies. According to Loverro, Harvard's admit rate for legacies is 40 percent versus 11 percent for general applicants.
So why would Blake choose Stanford as his second choice? Could it be that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also happened to be the former Provost at Stanford. It is very disheartening that both Blake and the Times are trying to fool the people into thinking was not given special consideration. And it is more disheartening that universities like Stanford and Harvard, continue to defend their affirmative action program for the rich. Face it Blake, you have the connections some people would die for.

Boston Globe
There is an article in the Boston Globe written back in 1991. It was written by Paul Hemp back and the article was published on December 22, 1991. For $2.95, I figure, what the hell, so I purchased the article to see if there were any similarities between him and those who went before him, since he did say he researched the precedents.

The first person mentioned is Edward Popper, Class of '75 who flunked out at Northwestern University - three times. But at the age 23, he was managing a $20 million advertising budget for a milk trade association. He decided to apply to Harvard after taking some part-time business courses at the University of Chicago. Something tells me his business experience had something to do with his acceptance. And managing Dudya's dog fails in comparison to managing a $20 million advertising budget.

Anthony Athos Class of '57 - He came to the business school after four years of part-time study at the General Motors Institute in Detroit. - He was still going to college before he was accepted into the Harvard's MBA program. - No comparison.

Deborah White, Class of '84 - She had dropped out after her first year at Antioch College in Ohio in 1970. - Something Blake did. Here is the difference, she felt her career at Standard Oil was stalling because she lacked an MBA. People told her "We like you very much but we wish you had the credentials." He was already working in the business industry, it is hard to compare being boy lacky to someone who had a career at Standard Oil. Besides, she also went back to college to take some courses:
After taking some economics courses at the University of California at Berkeley and the Graduate Management Admission Test White applied to Harvard "to see what they would say.
Nope Blake, I don't think you can compare yourself with Ms. White.

Thomas Pyle, Class of '67 - After entering MIT at age 16, Pyle dropped out after one year. At 18-year-old production assistant on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour television program. Later he produced daytime soap operas. Another one who had business experience, something tells me the Pyle would be considered outside the norm since he entered college at the age of 16. From MIT News section of Technology Review via Matt McGann's McGann's Factor:
...Each year, a handful of "underage" teenagers are among MIT's incoming students. The university takes no initiative to court them, but anywhere from one to five, ranging in age from 14 to 16, join the MIT community annually.
If Blake was consider a Doogie Howser, I highly doubt that he would be Dudya's butt boy. Nice try Blake.

Louise Gross Hersey, Class of '77 - was former dude ranch manager. "she went to the Katharine Gibbs secretarial school, became a secretary in the chemistry department of Harvard College. Several years later ... she began attending Simmons College at night to get the necessary college diploma." After her two years she was told that an undergraduate degree wasn't needed to apply. Even though she was admitted through the same "Legacy Admissions" program, what makes her different from Blake, she went back to college - Blake never did.

Those were the people mentioned in the Boston Globe article Blake. It is interesting how he found that article, either way, he found it. Blake is correct about Harvard accepting prospecting students without an undergraduate degree, but he and Time failed to mention that each one were also attending courses at the same time they applied. It would be hard a hard sell to compare his duties to those who already were contributing to business industry before they were accepted. Nice try, Blake.

Both the Times' and Blake Gottesman are trying really hard fool people into thinking he was accepted by his own merits. But the of truth of the matter, the only merits Blake has is being a $95,000 glorified lackey who is nothing more but being proficient at keeping hand-sanitizers for Dudya and placing his note cards on the podium.

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  • From Tejas, United States
  • Un Xicano who is tired of the current status quo.
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