Yale at the time still had legacy admissions.
Bush is actually bright, appearances to the contrary. He scored higher than Kerry on his military assement tests they give you on entrance. His mixing of words isn't due to being dumb but crossed wires similar to how some folks stutter. I think his biggest problem running a company, baseball team, or country is that he can't adapt and learn from his mistakes. Can't accept different viewpoints.
There are lots of funny videos of McCain making bigger gaffs than losing his place while speaking but I choose not to post them. I have a lot of respect for him. I think he's doing the best he can with what he has. For a while I wondered if the party would just have him bow out for health reasons and stick someone with a better chance in his place. Or someone they want to go with next time. Huckabee or Romney. There's no way he'd give it up though, he wants it bad. Same disease Hillary had. After wanting it for so long they'll do literaly anything. Sad. He's past his game.