Postgraduates in politics episode 1: Tom Cole

Many of those who complete higher degrees go on to a career in public life. But their academic record is almost never mentioned, even although a PhD or Masters project is likely to display a person’s interests. Consider Tom Cole, Oklahoma Republican, chair of the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee and the only registered native American in Congress. There is an interesting profile of his role as NRCC chair and an analysis of the Republicans’ congressional prospects in the NY Times (located via Swampland). Cole comes across as one who despite numerous evocations of devotion to ‘mainstream conservative values’ would like the Republicans to move to the centre. The Liberals in Australia confront a similar debate and it would be interesting to compare the plight of the two parties. What was Cole’s University of Oklahoma PhD in British history on? Life and labor in the Isle of Dogs : the origins and evolution of an East London working-class community, 1800-1980.

I was expecting something on military history or diplomacy! Assumptions are to be refuted.

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