By 2008, I had given up on Don Imus, whose occasional moments of conventional wisdom shattering clarity and truth-telling were overwhelmed by the egotism, self-promotion, and the sexism and vulgarity of his toadying side-kicks. Thus I missed this exchange with historian Michael Beschlost, which in retrospect explains so much that has taken place since:
Historian Michael Beschloss: Yeah. Even aside from the fact of electing the first African American President and whatever one’s partisan views this is a guy whose IQ is off the charts — I mean you cannot say that he is anything but a very serious and capable leader and — you know — you and I have talked about this for years…
Imus: Well. What is his IQ?
Historian Michael Beschloss: …our system doesn’t allow those people to become President, those people meaning people THAT smart and THAT capable
Imus: What is his IQ?
Historian Michael Beschloss: Pardon?
Imus: What is his IQ?
Historian Michael Beschloss: Uh. I would say it’s probably — he’s probably the smartest guy ever to become President.
Imus: That’s not what I asked you. I asked you what his IQ was.
Historian Michael Beschloss: You know that I don’t know and I’d have to find someone with more expertise…
Imus: You don’t know.
Of course he didn’t know. Here was a historian, an American history specialist, misusing his authority to convince people ignorantly impressed by the credentials of a historian they never read as he made the ridiculous statement that Obama was the smartest man who ever became President. The assertion was either a lie, which I suspect strongly, for while Beschlost is a partisan hack, he’s not stupid, or the product of brain-crippling bias.
What had Obama done at that point in time to indicate an IQ “off the charts?” We had no evidence of his academic record, and still don’t. His career path didn’t show particular scholarship achievements or remarkable career success typical of genius. Obama’s two books were not intellectual workouts (read Teddy Roosevelt’s biography of Oliver Cromwell, or Wilson’s political science books for contrast; heck, read Nixon’s books.). He showed no signs of being outstanding in multiple fields, like TR or Jefferson. Obama said affirmatively dumb things during the debates with John McCain; if he’s been dazzling, he’s been dazzling with a script. Is he as quick-witted at banter as JFK was, or even Reagan? No. Obama has never had an extended speaking performance in his life that was as impressive as Ronald Reagan’s election eve speech supporting Barry Goldwater. Had he given posterity a memorable quote expressing an idea in a uniquely trenchant way? No—and he still hasn’t.
It goes without saying that Beschloss was wrong. There’s no shame in that, except that he was wrong for the worst possible reason: pure, irrational, partisan bias, and he broadcast his bias to mislead others. What does this say about his profession, historians, who are obligated to explain the past without distorting it? What does this tell us about the New York Times, which prints this hack’s columns as the deep thinking of an expert, and the mainstream news media, like CNN, which routinely goes to a man who without evidence pronounced Barack Obama the intellectual superior of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison…hell, run the list: it’s quicker to name the handful of Presidents who might have had IQ’s lower than Obama’s, based on the evidence we have. How many would have proclaimed a complex new program the signature accomplishment of their administration, and allow it to be launched with a dysfunctional website? How many would announce that ISIS had been contained? How many would let their National Security Advisor proclaim the heroism of a deserter whose freedom had been obtained in an illegal and controversial exchange for dangerous terrorists? How many would make promises about what a new law would do when they hadn’t read the law?
Blogger Don Surber, who found this forgotten exchange, comments,
Surprised because we didn’t vet a terrorist? Hell, we did not vet a president.
Yup, but that’s the least of it. Partisans in the news media and other professions pledged to convey objective truth intentionally or negligently misled the public, and allowed their outrageous bias to create an unaccountable, irresponsible, incompetent administration bolstered by a total, inexcusable, harmful myth.
Source: Don Suber
105 thoughts on “A Smoking Gun For So Many Things…”
Trump says things like this about himself. It’s called creative hyperbole.
Lying in other words. But if we apply the standards of pundits we can say this kind of benign exaggeration is justified because it serves to open the discussion. And that’s a good thing! (Sarcasm, the tool of inferior minds I’m told.)
I do love the Don Imus’s of the world though, they are equal opportunity BS callers. (As long as they don’t believe their own BS.)
Why would anyone with an MBA at Harvard know anything about the measurement of Intelligence? This guy for one, does not possess a doctorate in either History or Psychology and writes popular books on the presidency. I’m glad that Imus nailed him on this question.
Donald Trump is relying on people like Mr. Beschloss to win the election.
Are you absolutely sure that Trump want’s to win the election?
I think Trump’s Republican caricature campaign is pushing more support towards Hillary than Hillary could possibly drum up herself – she’s simply a bore! With Trump’s Republican caricature portrayal of Conservatives, it sometimes looks like Trump is campaigning against the Republicans which will allow the Democrats to win by default; is that the goal?
In my humble opinion; what the Obama Presidency and the ignorant leftist sheeple have done is to set a new extreme low for the “standards” of acceptability for the Presidency and the media has played a crucial part in setting this new low standard, it’s now all about being a blind sheeple and promoting BS propaganda.
If the only thing we as citizens are looking for in the next President is “better than Obama”, then our goals are set WAY too low!
I actually think we can grope towards an answer to Obama’s iq. The 75/25 percentages for LSAT scores for entrance into Harvard is 175/170 (average LSAT score =173). Lets say that Obama was an historically low applicant for Harvard, at 165. Mensa takes the top 5% of the LSAT, which is 167, or an IQ score of about 130-133. At 165, Obama would have an IQ of about 128-130, or highly gifted. If Obama was admitted with the average Harvard LSAT score, he would be in the genius range. Just to give a rough estimate.
I’ve noticed that I get relegated to purgatory when posting multiple links, so I will try to limit them. The Harvard LSAT score is easily googable, as is Mensa info. Here is the link to a LSAT to IQ conversion chart: https://web.archive.org/web/20141104073749/http://carrefoursagesse.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/converting-lsat-scores-to-iqs/
Or maybe he was admitted under affirmative action guidelines. What are those at Harvard Law School? No grades, no transcripts, no theses. Nothing. Zero, zip, zilch. Nada. And the election for law review editor is evidently a popularity contest. Plus, there are affirmative action people on the LAW REVIEW.
But of course Democratic presidents are always “the smartest guys in the room.” I think that phrase was coined in the Bill Clinton era. Remember? He was always the smartest guy in the room. Not to mention the most bipolar, son of an alcoholic explosive guy in the room. Republicans are always legacies and definitely not the smartest guys in the room. Just frat boys and jocks. Of course Al Gore and John Kerry were legacies, but they were Democrats, so it was okay. And of course all the Kennedys got into Harvard not because of their rum running securities fraudster father but because of their outstanding intellects.
Give me a break.
You may think Clinton was a jerk, but he won a Rhodes Scholarship — and that was before he was “Bill Clinton.” They only give out 32 a year.
In any event, for what it’s worth, I found this — no idea if it is accurate.
Wouldn’t guarantee the inaccuracy, of course, but since the first IQ standardized test to address IQ was not published (by Alfred Binet et. al.) until 1905, it is doubtful that precise IQ’s for anyone earlier than that are available. A fellow named Francis Galton attempted to measure intelligence by correlating several physical factors (like head size) but gave up the research when he couldn’t get a correlation between those and much of anything else. This was in 1883.
You’d let your daughter near Bill Clinton?
My daughters are under 12. Sure I would. Once they hit puberty though? Not a chance.
I question the presumption. I forget exactly what my LSAT score was, but it was over 160 and above the 90th percentile. And I’m not anywhere close to being a genius – I’m a reasonably intelligent person, a good test taker (I believe I scored better on the GMAT than I did on the LSAT), and I took some practice exams.
I’ve run into some of Bill Clinton’s classmates and from all accounts he was smart as hell.
I got a 165 without studying. Never really considered myself a genius, but I recently discovered a chart which tells me I am, and I am going to set up a gofundme for my presidential campaign. Be looking for the link y’all.
In all honesty, I can’t believe the LSAT is that accurate a predictor of intelligence. Although it’s a difficult test, I don’t think logic games and reading comp under time constraints can demonstrate how you perform under most conditions.
I agree. I nailed the LSAT — you just have to practice a little. I think I’m smart, but I’m not a Wiley-E-Coyote-Super-Genius. I admit that I had to practice at the logic games in order to complete them within the time allotted.
One note — my current job required an IQ test. (Very annoying) My daughters’ primary school required IQ tests. (Very annoying and also very expensive) What is the freakin’ world coming too?????
Well said. The inventor of the IQ test denounced its being used to measure above baseline intelligence. It was designed to measure sub normal intelligence. It It’s a weak predictor of anything, until you get below 100…and that was its purpose.
That’s above average, but not particularly genius. That was the bar at my brother’s elementary school, but you can’t coast on that for a lifetime. I know experimenting with the cannibis can mess with the memory of a teen boy. There’s a list of presidents I’d love to talk to because of their smarts and experiences. The President has failed in his obligation to be a stellar exemplar instead of negative.
Assuming affirmative action wasn’t involved, and it almost certainly was…I know something about Harvard’s admission methods at the time. Separate pools compete with each other, not everyone, Obama was probably at the top of the back pool, and also got a break by being from Hawaii. There are too many unknown variables to even make the assumptions you do.
At 130, though, Obama would be well below educated guesses I’ve seen for the IQs of Washington through Madison, JQ Adams, Jackson, Polk, Buchanan, Lincoln, Grant, Garfield, TR, Taft, Wilson, FDR, Ike, Nixon, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, and Clinton. Making Obama about average, which would also be my guess. It’s a smart bunch of guys, nothing to be ashamed of.
Someone with more time on their hands than me apparently crunched the numbers on the cross tabs:
Ironically, data leading to Obama’s likely LSAT scores have been publicly available “for over two decades from, among other places, the Library of Congress,” Lockwood says.
According to Lockwood, LSAC data reveal that during the 1987-88 academic year, ten African-American students from Columbia University applied to law school. Only two earned LSAT scores above the 63rd percentile, and those each had scores in the 94-98th percentile–i.e. scores between 42 and 45 on the 48-point scale then in use (166 to 171 on today’s 180-point scale). The other students earned scores that would have been extremely unlikely to qualify for admission, even considering factors such as affirmative action./b>
Other demographic data from LSAC–including the fact that there were only two 27-year-old African-American students five years out of college that year who achieved scores in that range–further suggest that Obama’s LSAT scores were among the two from Columbia in the 94-98th percentile.
Therefore it is likely, Lockwood concludes, that Obama was admitted to Harvard with LSAT scores near the median of his class (Lockwood suggests a score of 43). http://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/05/obamas-lsat-score.html
So yes, it looks like Obama had about 171-174 LSAT score, putting him at about a 134-139 IQ range, enough to qualify for Mensa.
Well… Ok. But by your logic, George W Bush must also be a genius. He graduated from Harvard, right? I’d love for you to recognize George W Bush as the genius be must be, because we all know that admissions are 100% based on merit, and they aren’t… y’know…. for sale, or subject to affirmative action.
The statistical extrapolations deery is quoting sounds like a whole lot of backwards engineering to build up more myth around the Cult of the Leader. It would be infinitely more honest to say “I don’t know what his IQ is, but he seems like a fairly intelligent guy” than to go through the gymnastics necessary to build up someone like this.
Follow the steps. It isn’t hard to do.
Though in the end, someone short-circuited all the guesswork by basically showing some public information that Obama had to be 1 of 2 black people from Columbia who applied to Harvard who had LSAT scores of around 171. From there you can get a handy LSAT to iq conversion chart, and voila, you can have the answer, which ends up being around the same as what was estimated originally.
Going in, I had no idea what the answer would be, just that it was a knowable thing. Sorry the results were not what you were looking for.
“Going in, I had no idea what the answer would be, just that it was a knowable thing. Sorry the results were not what you were looking for.”
Foul. Straw man or well poisoning. Either way: attributing negative assumptions about my arguments with no basis. Then again that should be expected, you are defending a guy who made a assertion with no documented basis of support.
I acknowledged the guy seems more intelligent than the average person. The problem here is the assertion made by the historian. He was called on it and had no ability to back up the assertion, meaning he made the assertion based on his own bias.
You’ve done a good job making correlations of estimates of other correlations, but that’s hardly a factual basis either.
You’ve done a good job making correlations of estimates of other correlations, but that’s hardly a factual basis either.
I just used publically available information, logic, and deductive reasoning. Other than having him sit down and take an IQ test, this is about as accurate as we are going to get. Almost certainly better than the available estimates we have on most of our Presidents.
acknowledged the guy seems more intelligent than the average person. The problem here is the assertion made by the historian. He was called on it and had no ability to back up the assertion, meaning he made the assertion based on his own bias.
I don’t disagree with this. I think the historian didn’t want to say, “so they tell me.” or, “I heard it from some other people.” Having no citations handy, he was flummoxed.
I however, was immediately intrigued by the thought of whether the question of his iq is something that could be answered without having direct access to his iq, SAT, or LSAT scores. So I crunched some numbers, and tried to show my work. Do you have a substantive critique on the methodology?
“Do you have a substantive critique on the methodology?”
Are you kidding?
There’s not one link to an exhaustive methodology. There are 5 references to appeals to authority, which are shaky anyway…so several “genius societies” make the assumption that high scores on LSATs correlate to high IQs. Do they?
That smacks of the very flaws generating criticisms toward IQ tests to begin with…that they are culturally biased…only in this case, we just assume a cluster of “geniuses” can arbitrarily decide that unrelated, though rigorous, tests are “good enough” to qualify for a certain level of IQ?
You consider that scientific?
As Jack mentions, expertise in one field doesn’t guarantee expertise in another.
That is all APPEAL TO AUTHORITY. And ultimately looks like an “intelligentsia” version of a “good ole boys” club keeping its membership exclusive.
I have no doubt that the average person doing well enough in an LSAT is probably more intelligent than the average Joe Public…but sorry, the methodology cited above isn’t enough for an authoritative comment like the historian in question, nor for you.
You just summed up a substantive critique on the idea of iq in general. In that sense, the whole post is moot. It’s all circular reasoning after a while.
To get a general idea of what Obama’s iq is, you have to grant certain underlying premises, even if you don’t believe in them.It’s basically just a math problem. “If you have 5 widgets that are blue, and ten green cars… ” You are stuck on the fact that there are no such thing as widgets. *shrugs*
The SAT is derived from an army IQ test. They now say that it isn’t an IQ test (the administration of which would be illegal in several different settings), but the correlation between IQ and SAT is very high (as high as retaking the SAT or an IQ again). Which is to say, basically the SAT/LSAT is an iq test, and you can basically translate the results the scores into scores for other iq tests, much as one can with the results of the various other versions of iq tests around.
You seem to be spending a tremendous amount of time and effort trying to “prove” that Obama is a genius based on assumptions and statistical analysis. Your goal is simply not achievable using assumptions and statistics, PERIOD!
You really need to stop this ridiculous quest and let it go.
To paraphrase the immortal words of Gefilter, calling out Slobovich on his Way Back Machine,
“Genius? Ah . . . Genius. Listen. To me he’s a genius. To O’Malley he’s a genius, but to a genius, he’s no genius.”
Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7XH3hgmCKU
I have no idea what GW Bush’s LSAT scores are, nor any guess on what they might have been. If you have that info, I would to see it.
His SAT scores, a reported 1206, put him at about 123-128 on the IQ chart, respectable (though a little low for Yale), but not genius.
And who ever said W was a genius? Did he ever apply to law school? Why do we have W’s SATs and not President Obama’s? Why is his entire academic record a blank? Why is this fine with the left? You’re missing the clear as a bell point of Jack’s post.
And who ever said W was a genius?
Certainly not me.
Did he ever apply to law school?
I have no idea.
Why do we have W’s SATs and not President Obama’s? Why is his entire academic record a blank? Why is this fine with the left? You’re missing the clear as a bell point of Jack’s post.
Bush did not release his own SAT scores and academic records. They were leaked, as were Gore’s. I assume that security has tightened up in this regard since then.
The point of my previous post was not to prove that Obama was a genius. It was to show that one could, in fact, do a fair estimate of Obama’s iq with available public evidence. It turns out someone already did just that.
1. Likely LSAT scores are not LSAT scores.
2. Anyone joining Mensa immediately disproved the assumption that IQ points equal intelligence, since the act itself is idiotic, narcissistic, and desperate. I have spent my life among a lot of very smart people, and not one of them was willing to admit joining Mensa, because they knew what it meant: someone so insecure about their intelligence that they needed validation, or someone so socially inept that they had to join a group of people similarly afflicted.
Donald Trump would join Mensa.
1. Likely LSAT scores are not LSAT scores.
Well yes. Though at this point we are talking about some very narrow score ranges as possibilities. I would wager it is a better gauge than the estimates that we are using with our earlier Presidents, which must, by necessity, also have a large amount of uncertainty built-in.
2. Anyone joining Mensa immediately disproved the assumption that IQ points equal intelligence, since the act itself is idiotic, narcissistic, and desperate.
I doubt that Obama is a member of Mensa. Just that he could join if he wished. Mensa was just used as a handy benchmark for what is considered “high iq” around these parts. That’s all.
Yes, he would join Mensa, and then he would quit (before they kicked him out), saying something like:
“It’s not really my thing; besides, I didn’t find them to be that smart; sure, they liked me; they thought I was smart, but they did not seem that smart. Maybe they are book-smart, but they never read The Art of the Deal. So, book-smart? Whatever. Anyway, I don’t care about those things; I don’t need their approval. I don’t care if they think I am smart, but obviously they thought I was smart enough for their group. And, they were boring! You can’t imagine how boring these people are. They make Ben Carson look like some coke fiend on a bender. It’s crazy. These people are lower energy than Jeb Bush, but, somehow, they are still alive. I don’t know how they do it. I practically fell asleep just being near them they were so boring. I don’t understand it; as smart as they think I am, I don’t understand it, what can I say?”
Or something like that.
Mirroring idiocy is hardly s laudable skill. But, I realized this weeks or months ago.
Trump’s speeches, are part stream of consciousness, part stand-up routine, part rhetorical question, and zero substance. It is unnerving to listen to someone say nothing for so long.
I disagree… There is just barely enough substance to keep enough shmoes falling for him that they ignore that he is intentionally caricaturing the worst conservative stereotypes.
Here is my opinion about Trump
I don’t know of any other way to explain this; it’s as if Trump is a caricature of what the Liberals think Conservative ideology is all about not what true Conservative ideology is all about. Trump is playing the only part in a well written and well directed Broadway stage show and the world is the audience. When the foot lights go down what we should know is that it’s all been a modern-day Shakespeare farce stripped of all humor.
I’m concerned that Trump might actually accomplish his goal, the problem is, I’m not sure what the hell that goal is.
That was amusing. You absolutely nailed the Trumpisms. Well done.
Thanks. Sadly, Jack is right. Trump is likely a clinical narcissist. I have thought all along that he is a poseur. He is no conservative. He is a crony capitalist and thinks money buys influence. He makes Bernie Sanders look like a man with a calling; he is Sanders raison detre. He is no conservative. He wants Clinton to be elected because he thinks he has bought her off.
I don’t belive that high IQ and narcissism are mutually exclusive.
Mutually exclusive? They frequently go hand in hand.
Would the fact that Obama was born in Kenya have helped him get in?
(I know he was not born in Kenya, but was something his literary agent said. I also thought it came up in his connection to the Law Review.) If so, it might a lot of pieces fall into place: he used Kenya to help him get into Harvard (even though it was not true), and now won’t release his academic records because: 1) the statement is in there; 2) his supporters will not believe his statement (i.e. his supporters would believe he was a liar (of course, this was before Hillary obliterated that qualification)); and 3) his detractors would believe him (i.e. he is not eligible for the Presidency).
Being from Kenya would have guaranteed that Obama would get into Harvard.
At the end of day it would be a rough analogy to Ike’s lie to play baseball and not get kicked from West Point. Loosely.
You can try to rationalize Beschloss’ comment all you want but his words “this is a guy whose IQ is off the charts” is not supported by fact and in reality there is no such thing as off the charts, these things are range quantifiable, period!
Beschloss comment was clearly “brain-crippling bias”, he’s a political hack, a blind left wing sheeple that seems to justify anything he says.
An aside deery:
When was the last time you were actually on the Harvard campus talking directly to those average genius students you spoke of, you know the ones I mean, the ones that have vast book knowledge, little practical experience implementing that vast knowledge and have next to nothing in common sense; you can find these average genius’ on absolutely every college campus in the United States.
Obama may in fact be an intelligent person, I don’t deny that, but if Obama is a genius, his words and actions do not reflect it. What Obama has proven is he is an cause driven ideological wing-nut that will say anything to support his cause.
I wasn’t going to mention that Harvard has graduated people that Deery probably thinks are utter idiots, like George W Bush, but I resisted because I haven’t heard that LSAT statistic before… Now I have homework tonight. Is George W Bush actually a genius? Let’s find out!
No, see you just didn’t use the statistics appropriately, studies have shown that people Texans favor generally have shown to do poorly at things like basic spatial reasoning assessments, scoring a rough 2.3 out of 6, and we know that people ranging in that percentile have correlated amongst low test takers in and around their sophomore year of high school. When you look at that section of the population, you’ll see generally those people are most thinking about partying and goofing off. Plus, when you take the segment of the population associated with the generational gap representing those born from the 1930s to the 1950s, you see those guys generally score extremely low, most having no scores at all on tests such as the SAT and PSAT. So extrapolating further, we can apply that generational assessment to George Bush, therefore you are able to determine that amongst the sample population we selected, there is a very low IQ. So George Bush is an Idiot.
And a Republican.
Didn’t you know that?
You can use statistics to “prove” just about anything, it just depends on the subjects chosen to participate in the survey, how the survey is conducted, and how the data is compiled; all you have to do is use your imagination.
Consider the following:
A statistical analysis was done to find out what cat turds taste like, and the results showed that cat turds tastes like chicken.
Just because a statistical analysis has been conducted and a conclusion reached does NOT mean that what “The Survey Says” actually represents reality.
This is the best comment thread I’ve ever seen. Near Mel Brooks quality.
Yale. The Bushes are a Yale family. Like the Tafts. The Harvard families were the Adamses, the Roosevelts, and the Kennedys.
Bush went to Harvard for business school. His undergrad was Yale.
Thank you Beth, you’re absolutely right… I had thought about using Yale, but I wanted to go as close to apples and apples as I could for deery.
Comparing Bush to Obama re the Harvard admission process is insane.
Bush is a Bush. His father already was famous by the time he applied. Of course he got in. Any school would have taken him.
Obama didn’t have a famous name. Of course, his children will be able to go wherever they want to because of their last name.
That is how the world works.
Not just W’s father, but his grandfather as well. Prescott Bush was the Senator for Connecticut, where he had attended Yale, as did his own grandfather and uncle. George W. Bush would have definitely been a known entity for the admissions people at Yale.
Whether he was a genius or had the brains of a Pet Rock, W could get into Yale by just showing up. It has ever been thus. He still had to stay there, though.
But if he’d been a Democrat rather than a Republican, he’d have been a smarty Ivy Leaguer, not a legacy.
I’m not sure how you can make that statement given that I conceded that the same privilege will attach to Obama’s children.
I believe Other Bill’s comment was a cynical observation of the spin that is placed on people per their ideology. If I would guess his response to you would be: “yeah, and when Obama’s daughters grow up, if they follow in daddy’s ideological footsteps they’ll be hailed as brilliant young women. Maybe even drum up some accusations that some racist professors had to be endured who only wanted them to fail. If his daughters didn’t follow in the ideology, they only made it through school because they were legacies. No other reason.”
And Chelsea Clinton strolled into Stanford, Beth. Maybe she got in on her grades and SATs, and maybe not. I’m guessing not. Again, as Tex says, my point is that Republicans are always assumed to be legacies while Democratic legacies are ALWAYS, always, always bright rather than legacies.
And of course the Obama daughters will go wherever they want. Oxford, the Sorbonne, London School of Economics, Stanford, Chicago. You name it. They’ve doubtless already received notices of admission from all those schools. So what.
I’m not aware of this liberal/conservative distinction when it comes to children of famous people. The Kardashians are liberal and liberals think those children are all idiots. One of the Bush twins is brilliant and works at a non-profit in Africa. My understanding is the other one is not as bright. Yes, liberals knock George W., but always acknowledged Jeb as the “smarter” Bush. (Although his recent debates are calling that into question.)
My point was supposed to be that there might be more to an admissions process than LSAT scores. I have no idea what W’s intelligence level actually is, I’m not so sure it’s as low as the public thinks it is, but I sure as heck don’t think he’s a genius.
George W. got C’s at Yale, and earned million in his own right in business. He is not an idiot by any means. He probably has about a 130 IQ, and President Obama likely has a similar number.
IQ, however, is a very limited measure. Studies have shown it only explains about 10-30% of a person’s job performance, on average. Character, work ethic, etc, account for much more. Even if Obama had one of the highest IQ’s of all president’s, there is still plenty of room for error.
The liberal left has long employed this mostly false narrative: Liberals are smart, progressive, fair and likable; conservatives are stupid, backwards thinking, unfair and unlikable. This goes way, way back even before the ridicule of “B movie actor Ronald Reagan” and is effective enough through repetition to do practical damage. Remember back during the Bill Clinton years, the media depicted Hillary Clinton as one of the top lawyers in America… for what substantive reason I never quite figured out. But still, it was repeated over and over as if it was true. And so it goes even today.
Hillary was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal in the late 80s and early 90s. This was, inevitably, corrupted to “top”, “best” or whatever lawyers.
Of course. She was a partner at the (wait, it’s coming, my favorite adjective in the legal profession and its press and PR, here it comes…) PRESTIGIOUS Rose Law Firm!
“Had he given posterity a memorable quote expressing an idea in a uniquely trenchant way? No—and he still hasn’t.”
“If you like your healthcare, you can keep your healthcare. Period.”
“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
“I am not a crook.”
Truman did “The buck stops here.” and he was no genius. Unless being able to take over and lead the nation well in the middle of the Second World War would be considered a kind of genius. I think it would.
Of course we all recognize that our guy is a genius and your guy is a bum. Statistics, especially extrapolated statistics, exist to be used to crush the enemy.
The measure of greatness in a leader is in the results of the leaders influence. So far Obama doesn’t impress me as being a great leader or a great thinker, and frankly, the caliber of the thinking of his defenders doesn’t raise his score.
It isn’t a memorable quote except for its meaninglessness, but Obama’s most often stated nothingness seems to be, “That’s not who we are.”
And the worst thing is, he often says that about things that should be who we are and have been who we are and should still be who we are.
It’s more of his speaking of the world as he would like to see it (despite how it will never be), instead of how it is. It’s such a subtle, close approach to exerting leadership, he can get away with it over and over because so many are going to agree with him, no matter what he says. It’s a verbal tic he has adapted to his style of “leading” from behind. Brilliant (I say, sarcastically, laughing).
That and “Let me be perfectly clear…” (insert muddying of waters, strawmen, and – hey, look! Is that a blimp!?)
Along with “Let me be clear…” was “Unprecedented…” though that one only lasted about 2 years at the start of his presidency, it was an annoying idiom of his.
Historian Michael Beschloss’ comments perfectly demonstrate Obama’s cult of personality/house of cards status. During 2007 and 2008 the media had a slobbering love affair with then-candidate Obama (to paraphrase Bernie Goldberg – yeah, I know; don’t cyber-yell at me!). Chris Matthews got a thrill up his leg. People swooned at rallies. CNN gushed over him. But the mainstream media never asked any questions. Simple questions asked by Imus would have gone along way to figuring out what the candidate stood for. The responses would have been something akin to, “What? I mean look at him. Of course he is brilliant. Just look at him.” No one asked what Obama meant when he said the Warren Court wasn’t activist enough because it didn’t legislate on redistributive or reparative rights. No one asked what Obama meant when he said that that US Constitution was a set of negative rights but was not an exclusive limitation on federal power.
For what it is worth, one of my dear friends attended Harvard Law with Obama (my friend graduated cum laude there — no small feat). He used to tell me Obama stories before anyone knew Obama even existed. He used to tell me Obama would be President one day. I would say, “You are telling me that somebody I’ve never heard of whose name is Barack Obama, lives in Illinois, and who is black is going to be President? Are you insane?” And then my friend would regale me with let-me-tell-you-how-smart-Barack-Obama-was-at-Harvard stories. And these stories are from one of the smartest people I have ever met. It gave me pause then and it still does now.
It gives me pause as well. But, probably not for the same reasons.
Jeez! What happened to him between law school and the White House??????
For what it’s worth I must’ve known over a dozen people growing up that someone said “that guy’s gonna be president someday”.
All false positives of course. So one of Beth’s false positives ended up not being a false positive.
Oh, hell, there were people who said I would be President some day. That tells you something.
I’m still bitter that nobody drafted me to be high school class president. (That IS sarcasm.)
I’d vote for you. It’s not too late to throw your name in.
There’s still time! Run for office.
I’ve never met Obama. But I do know my friend extremely well and he truly is one of smartest people I have ever met. And I trust him.
Obama might not be a great or even good President, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is smart.
Clearly, he is, by some measures, smart. We are also about to court martial a deserter who was obtained, in intentional violation of law as pointed out by Senate Democrats, in a secret exchange for 5 terrorists, followed by a White House fete for his parents and the National Security advisor telling the nation that the deserter was a hero. (A smart President would have fired her, by the way.)
And this is one of many, many, MANY examples of incredibly stupid conduct that has been less challenged than it should be because he’s assumed to be smart. He’s the anti-Dan Quayle, who was picked on for minor gaffes because the press narrative was that he was a dufus.
The guy who truly impressed me as smart is not Barack, but his brother (or half-brother?), in Africa. I saw him interviewed…I believe it was in Dinesh D’Souza’s movie, but it might have been elsewhere. I wish I could remember the specific questions and the man’s replies – anything specific that persuaded me convincingly. I only remember, after that “scene” (again, fairly sure I saw him in a documentary), thinking “That guy is smarter than his relative in the White House.” I vaguely recall thinking “cagey” and “clever,” in reaction to what he said and how he said it.
This has a glimpse of the interview I refer to above:
I’ve only known one person about whom it was said at high school that he’d be the Prime Minister one day.
Malcolm Turnbull – who, coincidentally, is our current PM.
I doubt Obama’s IQ is on any chart. It is therefore in a literal sense “off the charts”.
However, anyone seriously proposing that that was the intended meaning doesn’t know what the definition of “is” is, if you get my drift.
The last 2 times I took a Stanford-Binet IQ test was at Uni. Scored 145 on one, then had viral encephalo-meningitis causing significant brain damage and cognitive deficits, and scored 148 on the next.
Now I know IQ tests only measure what IQ tests measure, they’re an unreliable metric of intelligence… and +/- 5 pts anyway to 2 SDs.. but emotionally I was glad I was +3 and not -3 afterwards, so stopped worrying about the issue. Illogical, but very human.
As these tests are culturally dependant, and get re-scaled periodically, that 145 figure might be anywhere between 120 and 170 on a current US scale, I don’t know enough to restrict the bounds more than that, and have no idea what my results would be now, 35 years later, anyway.
I work with people most of whom are considerably more intelligent than I am. But I’m still a valuable team member, having both creativity and intuition many lack, as well as being a polymath.
That was also what was so stupid about Beschloss’s statement. Who, with any brains and experience, thinks that IQ is an indicator of competence, stability, tact, creativity, ethics…and so much more? I Met and had a long talk with Herman Kahn, whose IQ was reportedly in the 200’s. He was brilliant all right—he was also morbidly obese, knew it would kill him, knew he had to do something about it, didn’t, and dropped dead before his time. How smart is that?
“Who, with any brains and experience, thinks that IQ is an indicator of competence, stability, tact, creativity, ethics…and so much more?”
Democrats and the media. Most of whom either went to Ivy League schools or have always wished they had.
Agree with Beth. See the furor over the The Bell Curve as an example.
Do they even still give IQ tests?
I remember taking them in grade school, 6th grade I think. Some of us broke into the teachers file cabinet to look at the scores. I don’t remember my score, but I remember while I was taking the test thinking “this is easy.” Of course any 6th grader who thought breaking into the teacher’s file cabinet was a smart idea couldn’t have a great IQ.
I posted this above. My job required an IQ test. Many government jobs (CIA and I think NSA too off the top of my head) require IQ tests. My daughters’ PRIMARY school (as do most of the private schools around DC) require IQ tests by licensed and expensive psychotherapists. I think giving IQ tests are pretty stupid — and giving them to a 5 year-old? Please don’t get me started…..
Off-topic – but a question you might find amusing to answer.
The Finnish word for soap is “saipua”.
The Dutch word for bargain is “goedkoop”
Some teutonic-sounding words are found in Finnish, even though its Finno-Ugaritic
The Finnish word for “soapseller” is palindromic…
What do you think is the Finnish word for “soapseller”? Explain your reasoning.
I tried for awhile and failed at figuring this out. Started with a whole bunch of pronunciation keys for finnish and dutch, looked through the Wikipedia pages for the languages (which had the various verb and noun forms). Couldn’t figure it out. Now I’m trying to decide if I want to look up the answer or if I should wait and try again.
I think his name is Surber.
Oh, you KNOW it is, you clicked on the link.
And you now know I can’t type, spell or proofread…