03 January 2017

Obama:, smart or not?

Commenter Michael at this Althouse post hit on something I too have noticed before:  Like her husband, Mrs. Obama is not all that smart. (8:57 AM)

Some people are impressed by the Obamas in the same way that they are drawn to the Left in general: platitudes favored by intellectuals, with lots of "ten dollar" multi-syllabic words. Makes 'em feel smart and stuff.

I used to be one of those people. I know how they think, and what they read, and the sources of news they cultivate. I also know how far off base they can be when it comes to policy and fixing real-world problems.

The office of president is an executive position, requiring leadership, decisiveness, commitment and fortitude. Just sounding smart is not good enough. Using big words that impress intellectuals is great, but it needs leadership behind it, or it's more than useless, it's deceptive.

The contrast between what Obama sounds like off-teleprompter, vs. on-teleprompter, is instructive. He's a real trainwreck when he's off-teleprompter. It's embarrassing to even listen to it. I'm not sure what the problem is. Is he simply too dim-witted to think on his feet? Tongue-tied from thinking too much like a lawyer i.e., an obsession with parsing every word to death? Maybe both.

I remember very distinctly listening to a Fresh Air interview with actor James Woods back in the 1990s - he sounded like a borderline genius. Very impressive. One of those IQ 150+ people, able to think very quickly and express those thoughts concisely. No "ums" or "uhs". Pretty impressive, especially among the celebrity set.

Obama thinks he's one of those people. So do millions of others. He's not, and it isn't close.

He sounds nothing like those people. He sounds dull-witted, timid, lacking any confidence in his "ideas", whatever those might be, and a complete inability to express them coherently. Shouldn't we know by now what they are, after 8 years?

Soaring speeches are nice but worse than meaningless if not backed by the actions that implement the ideas. The number of people fooled by this in 2008, 2012, and into the current day is distressing.

It's pretty clear that we need more people who can distinguish between meaningless b.s. and actual evidence of leadership.