Conservative writer Dinesh D’Souza was on the receiving end of an insult from former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner when both were students at Dartmouth College.
As an undergraduate, D’Souza wrote for The Dartmouth Review, a conservative campus publication. While a registered Republican at the time, Geithner writes in his new book that he was disgusted by the “McCarthy-style” list of gay students the Review published, many of whom had not come out publicly. When he ran into one of its contributors, he let him know.
Geithner describes himself as “an unexceptional and most uninspired student” who found the one economics class he took “especially dreary.”
He also writes he had little interest in politics, saying he did not even remember if he voted in the 1980 presidential election.
However, he did find himself repulsed by “the strident conservative Republican political movement that was spreading across college campuses at the time.” He describes the Review as “the intellectual center of the movement.”
After college, D’Souza would go on to serve as an adviser to President Reagan and write a number of popular conservative books. In 2007, he published a book blaming the “cultural left” for the 9/11 attacks. In 2010, he published a book that claimed President Obama’s attitude toward America was driven by an “anticolonialist rage” he inherited from his father. Obama’s parents divorced when he was 3 years old and his father, Barack Obama Sr., did not play a large role in his life.
Geithner describes D’Souza’s work as “conspiracy-minded best sellers.”
“I guess I didn’t sway him,” Geithner quipped.