You know it’s bad when even Obama can’t save you.
Former President Barack Obama reportedly advocated for Harvard University’s then-president, Claudine Gay, behind the scenes, attempting to maintain her position. However, since the controversial resignation announcement sparked uproar on social media, Obama has maintained silence.
A confidential source revealed to Jewish Insider in late December that Obama, an alumnus of Harvard, had privately lobbied for Claudine Gay after her appearance before Congress addressing antisemitism and threats against Jewish students at the university. The source suggested that Obama aimed to rally support to preserve the overall stability of the administration.
Despite Obama’s efforts, Gay eventually resigned from her role as Harvard’s president but opted to remain part of the faculty. In her resignation letter to the Harvard community, Gay expressed the difficulty of her decision, citing the institution’s best interests as the driving force behind her departure.
The resignation followed Gay’s congressional testimony where she faced challenges answering a question from Rep. Elise Stefanik regarding the condemnation of genocide against Jewish people, an incident that triggered widespread calls for her removal. Gay issued an apology after the testimony, and the university’s board stood by her despite the controversy.
Post-resignation, Gay faced allegations of plagiarism, with approximately 50 instances reported, constituting around half of her published works. Critics, including Rep. Stefanik and Rep. Jim Banks, portrayed Gay’s resignation as a victory for Stefanik and a defeat for Obama.
Stefanik criticized the lack of an apology or commitment to combat antisemitism in Gay’s resignation and the statement from the Harvard Corporation, emphasizing that it marked only the beginning of a reckoning.