Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Nile Gardiner ’98PhD: A Romney adviser’s special relationship.

If you’ve never heard of Nile Gardiner ’98PhD, here’s the first thing you need to know about him: he is not the anonymous adviser to Mitt Romney who suggested this week that the Republican presidential candidate’s “Anglo-Saxon heritage” allows him to understand the “special relationship” between the US and Great Britain in a way that “the White House didn’t fully appreciate.”

Suspicion about those remarks in London’s Daily Telegraph fell upon Gardiner—perhaps because his bio at the Heritage Foundation notes that his areas of specialization include “the Anglo-American ‘special relationship,’” and that the Telegraph named him “one of the 50 most influential Britons in the United States.” In fact, Gardiner also blogs for the Telegraph—his own special relationship with the newspaper, perhaps.

But Gardiner, who co-chairs Romney’s foreign policy “working group” for Europe, immediately denied being the source of the quotation. What’s more, liberal blogger Josh Marshall writes, “a knowledgable source at the Telegraph confirmed Gardiner’s denial.”

Back when he was a grad student in history at Yale, Gardiner was praised by a Unification Church pastor for “literally cleaning up Yale” by mopping up “pornographic chalk drawings” on campus. After earning his doctorate, he worked for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain. But those credentials don’t wash with the John Birch Society–published New American, which considers Gardiner and other Romney advisers “leftist elites.”


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