This afternoon the president conducted a “town hall” event at Benedict College, a historically black institution in Columbia, SC (my home town, as it happens), his first trip to the Palmetto State since taking office. He was there mainly to tout his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, aimed at mobilizing public and private resources to help young minority men. More broadly, he may have been seeking to allay chronic concerns (particularly on the week that the Department of Justice declined to pursue prosecution of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson) his administration hasn’t been all that great for African-Americans (for the contrary case, see Simon van Zuylen-Wood’s 2013 piece at WaMo).

Speaking of WaMo, we could not help notice that the White House backgrounder on this trip noted that Benedict was 14th out of 236 schools in our 2014 Baccalaureate College rankings. Good choice of venues, Mr. President.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.