Kagan at Harvard: Bridge-Builder, Toobin-Shunner

art toobin cnn  Kagan at Harvard: Bridge Builder, Toobin ShunnerThe New York Times this morning offers a look into Elena Kagan’s time as dean of Harvard Law and reveals–in the headline, no less–that she was ambitious. Spoiler alert?

Kagan’s ambition is, of course, one of the few things that is known about her, and the anecdote of her dressing in Supreme Court robes for her high school yearbook has spread wide. She is also known for being efficient, and popular as a dean, but today’s story offers some insight into just how efficient and popular she was.

For example, when confronted with an unpopular plan to move the law school across the Charles River:

She hired a consultant, and persuaded the university to foot the bill, producing a 101-page strategic plan that considered everything from future growth to dormitory space to the intellectual benefits of remaining near the arts and sciences buildings.

And when Drew Gilpin Faust edged out Kagan for the Harvard presidency:

…law school students threw Ms. Kagan a party. Several hundred of them turned up in “I ♥ EK” T-shirts; The Harvard Crimson reported that Ms. Kagan teared up at the sight. [emphasis added]

Page Six also looked at Kagan’s time at Harvard today, but as a student rather than as dean. And really, the story is more about New Yorker/CNN contributor and Kagan classmate Jeffrey Toobin.

“They were only in study groups together. They weren’t friends. Yet he now goes on TV every night yammering on about her,” said one source.

“She kept to herself,” Toobin said the other night on CNN. “All of her actual friends say the opposite,” said our source.