Jack Kelly, the well-known columnist who writes for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio, has taken on the claim that Barack Obama is the smartest president ever. Those of us at the Bookworm Room have always derided this contention, which is built on fairy dust and unicorn horns.
I was reading through Kelly’s column, nodding my head in approval at every point he scored:
Barack Obama is the smartest man with the highest IQ ever to be elected to the presidency, historian Michael Beschloss told radio talk show host Don Imus in November of 2008.
“So what is his IQ?” Mr. Imus asked. Mr. Beschloss didn’t know. He was just assuming.Many shared that assumption. Adjectives frequently applied to Mr. Obama are “smart” (278 million hits on Google), “intelligent” (62 million) and “brilliant” (24 million).
There is little evidence to support it. Mr. Obama went to Harvard, but so did George W. Bush, who some liberals consider dumber than dirt. The president won’t release his transcripts, so we can’t judge by his grades. Mr. Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review, but when he was selected, popularity mattered more than scholarship.
Mr. Obama joined an undistinguished law firm, where he tried no cases. So no help there.
Many cite the president’s oratorical skills, but he often rambles when he speaks without a teleprompter. That’s because his brain “is moving so fast that the mouth can’t keep up,” wrote Meghan Daum of the Los Angeles Times.
Kelly also cites to Obama’s ill-informed statements and his terrible public equity decisions.
I agree with everything Kelly says about Obama’s not-so-formidable intellect. But here’s the fun part (for me) — the part about Obama’s book:
“The book’s language, oddly specific references, literary devices and themes would bear a jarring similarity to Ayers’ own writing,” Mr. Andersen wrote.
Biographer David Maraniss published this month his interview with Genevieve Cook, who dated Mr. Obama in New York, but bears little resemblance to the “New York girlfriend” described in “Dreams.” That’s because she is a composite, Mr. Obama said.
Yet Mr. Obama’s description closely resembles radical Diana Oughton, who was Mr. Ayers girlfriend and who blew herself to smithereens in 1970 while building a bomb intended to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, according to the blogger “Bookworm.” [Emphasis mine, of course.]
To which I say, “Woo hoo!!!”