Opinion

5 Washed Up Leftists Who Found Homes In Academia

   DailyWire.com
Beto O'Rourke, a 2020 US presidential hopeful, speaks during the "We the People" gathering at the Warner Theatre on April 1, 2019, in Washington, DC.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Periods of political transition usually lead to former government officials bringing their insights to academia — a privilege seemingly as old as America itself.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice currently leads Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. In 2017, outgoing Vice President Biden found a home as a professor of presidential practice at the University of Pennsylvania. One year later, former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush landed a Penn professorship alongside Biden.

Many other Leftist political figures, however, recently managed to gain professorships despite their lackluster careers. Here are five washed up Leftists who found homes in academia.

Beto O’Rourke

Texas State University hired Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke — a former Democratic Congressman from Texas — for a teaching position in the spring of 2021.

O’Rourke served three terms in the House of Representatives. He led an unsuccessful campaign to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the 2018 midterm election, followed by an equally unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

According to Ken Grasso — the chair of Texas State’s political science department — O’Rourke “approached people in the administration… and expressed an interest in teaching.” The university allowed him to teach a virtual political science course.

The former Congressman is earning $7,500 for teaching the class.

Al Sharpton

Controversial minister and activist Al Sharpton landed a far more lucrative position at Tennessee State University.

Campus Reform revealed through a Freedom of Information Act request that Sharpton is earning $48,000 to serve as a “distinguished guest lecturer” for the spring semester.

Tennessee State President Glenda Glover said that the school is “excited to have the Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights icon,” whose presence means that students “will be able to engage with a piece of history at a time when his insight is more relevant than ever before.”

Sharpton — who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 — is teaching “in the area of political science grounded in social justice.”

In 2019, Sharpton earned $327,570 through his social justice organization, National Action Network. He was recently the subject of criticism for providing salaries and bonuses to members of his family — including a $5,000 “scholarship” for his ex-wife.

Alexander Vindman

Former Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — who briefly gained national recognition as a witness during President Trump’s first impeachment trial — was tapped by the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House to serve as a visiting fellow.

Vindman retired from his position in the Army after he claimed that Trump led a “campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation” against him. During the trial, Vindman all but admitted that he leaked information about President Trump’s call to Ukraine to the anonymous whistleblower at the center of the impeachment proceedings.

President Trump promptly ousted Vindman from the National Security Council after the Senate voted for acquittal.

Joy Reid

Howard University hired MSNBC anchor Joy Reid as a journalism professor for the spring 2021 semester.

“It’s never been more important that journalists incorporate a thorough and honest historical context in our coverage,” commented Reid, who is teaching a course called “Covering Race, Gender & Politics in the Digital Age.”

The class covers “issues of race and gender” as they relate to news coverage, as well as “the racial roots of journalistic objectivity vs. fairness.”

Reid faced criticism in 2018 after the New York Post found that she had posted homophobic comments on her blog. She later alleged that hackers were responsible for the comments — a claim that one CNN writer found highly unlikely based on evidence from web archive sites.

“The manipulated material seems to be part of an effort to taint my character with false information by distorting a blog that ended a decade ago,” claimed Reid.

Chasten Buttigieg

Harvard University’s Institute of Politics tapped Chasten Buttigieg — the partner of failed presidential candidate and current Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg — for a fellowship during the fall 2020 semester, in spite of his nonexistent political experience.

“Chasten Buttigieg is an author and LGBTQ+ advocate, who received his bachelor’s degree in theater and global studies from the University of Wisconsin — Eau Claire and his master’s in education from DePaul University,” read the Institute of Politics website, which also highlighted his work as a “busboy, dog walker, nursing assistant, waiter, cashier, bartender, and most recently a middle school drama and humanities teacher.”

The Institute of Politics seeks to hire “prominent public servants.”

In addition to a “modest stipend,” Harvard provided Buttigieg with a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during his tenure.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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