To these people, Edwards doesn’t pass muster. It’s not that he’s not smart — he clearly has an impressive intellect. It’s much more subtle and insidious: if there’s one unstated lesson these select schools teach you, regardless of how much money your family actually has, it’s how to act like a member of the upper class.
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One wrinkle that Stark missed is that, as discussed in Color and Money, Edwards harshly criticized legacy admissions preferences when he campaigned in 2004. Such a stand probably seemed downright threatening to some of those who earned degrees from elite institutions and hope to see their children follow their footsteps into their alma mater.