July 30, 2009

Obama's IQ: A Clue from a 1966 Joan Didion Essay

I'm reading Joan Didion's 1968 collection of articles, Slouching towards Bethlehem, one of the influential minor masterpieces of early New Journalism, along with Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, Norman Mailer's Armies of the Night, Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and the works of Tom Wolfe.

Didion's characteristic tone is that of an un-self-medicating Hunter S. Thompson. On a hot night in Death Valley, she writes:
There is some sinister hysteria in the air out here tonight, some hint of the monstrous perversion to which any human idea can come.

That kind of thing is a lot funnier coming from Thompson than Didion. But I shouldn't make fun of her since Slouching Towards Bethlehem is, as she would say in her Hemingwayesque prose style, a good book. There is good writing in it, and good reporting. (For example, her depressing 1967 title story about Haight-Ashbury hippies was written three months before the Summer of Love).

I stumbled upon a classic iSteve nugget in Didion's 1966 Saturday Evening Post article about how WWII changed Hawaii socially, which would have made an amusing addition to America's Half-Blood Prince: Barack Obama's "Story of Race and Inheritance."
It's not that Punahou is not still the school of the Island power elite; it is. "There will always be room at Punahou for those children who belong here," Dr. John Fox, headmaster since 1944, assured alumni in a recent bulletin. But where in 1944 there were 1,100 students and they had a median IQ of 108, now there are 3,400 with a median IQ of 125. Where once the enrollment was ten percent Oriental, now it is a fraction under thirty percent. And so it is that outside Punahou's new Cooke Library, where the archives are kept by a great-great-granddaughter of the Reverend Hiram Bingham, there sit, among the plumeria blossoms drifted on the steps, small Chinese boys with their books in Pan American flight bags.

Obama entered Punahou as a fifth grader a half-decade later. By all accounts, he was seen by everybody during his eight years there as a normal, average Punahou student. I recall one girl talking about the speed and facility of his writing, but that's about it for anybody noticing much distinction.

So, since we lack test data on Obama himself, that 125 Punahou average sounds like a good starting point for thinking about Obama's IQ. He fit in at Punahou, but didn't stand out.

If reasonable, that would would place the average Puhahou student above John F. Kennedy (119) and John F. Kerry (115-120), a little above George W. Bush (120-125), and below Al Gore (134, 133), John McCain (133 and ?), and Richard Nixon (143).

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

100 comments:

Anonymous said...

125? Aw, c'mon. My response is "Where's the beef?"

A Harvard Law grad with that IQ should have been able to produce a paper or brief or something notable throughout his academic career or later.

You've lauded his writing abilities, but that praise might be better directed at that Ayers fellow or other ghost writers.

The best argument I see for that high of an IQ is the one you've made about there being some brainpower on the maternal side of the family (his grandmother, especially), and his dad was, all things considered, pretty bright.

I still say 112. Guys with 125 IQs don't say things like "I'm a pretty good poker player", among other things.

Speaking of which, I love how Nixon financed his first run for public office with money he made playing poker during the war, what a story. Thompson said that Nixon was the kind of guy you could at least enjoy a beer with, and he did, in fact, but not Bush Jr. Truman played Omaha 18 hours a day during the last days of the war, I'm told.

"as she would say in her neo-Hemingway prose style, a good book."

My kind of writer; sold.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

As you know, IQ and memory are not the same thing. I'll bet that Obama (like most politicians) has an exceptional memory. (You have to remember that that's Joe X and he wants a job for his daughter, Jessica. Last year I saw an interview with Pelosi --not a hi-IQ type--and in answer to a question on some obscure bill, she reeled off the FIVE reasons for it --without hesitation.)

An exceptional memory would help get good grades in school (especially law school) and would give most people the impression that he is smart, because he can recall important facts at the drop of a hat.

Let's say he has a 1-2 sigma IQ, but a 3-sigma memory. That would give him a leg up on most people in most games.

Anonymous said...

Ehh...critics of IQ have solid points, it tests weird cognitive crap reflective of weird cognitive crap. Unfortunately if you look at enough data, you see it's reflecting something very definite in the world, that matches up with history, personal experience and the fundamental engine of natural selection in humans, over the last few hundred thousand years.

And as John Derbyshire points out, we should dream of an incompetent president who does nothing, like we should hope finance people stop taking risk, and we should have hoped doctors did nothing at all to us in the 1700s.

But Obama's stupidity could be disastrous as he wades into water way over his head. I don't understand the financial system entirely, so I'd listen to these jackasses too. I believe we're still in Iraq? Also?

I sort of forget Obama's in there. I guess you could have seen it coming: Obama aversion. Everybody just stops thinking about him, and frames political debates without him, since he's just an empty suit Democrats elected to enact their policies, which are virtually nonexistent.

PrestoPundit said...

Those numbers on Gore stand as a direct refutation of IQ theory.

Don't ya think?

Anonymous said...

OK, what does this 125 IQ number mean? Whose number is it; what was the test?
Is this a number that Mensa or Intertel would accept at face value or would they have to "recalibrate" it to fit their membership criteria? Yes, I know, 125 isn't high enough to get anyone into the groups, unless they instigate an affirmative action program.
All any of us have to do, to see how "IQ" varies from test to test, is to look at the list of tests (and minimum scores) either of the above mentioned organizations accept. The numbers are all over the board. Maybe the simplest question is "What percentile is this 125 number, using the most respected authorities as the source?"
The truth is that a large portion of what I know about IQ comes from reading Steve Sailer, and I'm damn grateful that he's available. I'll make the plea; please give some detail as to where this 125 IQ number came from and what it really means.
A 125, as Mensa scores it, is about seven points short of an invitation to become a member.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't his tendency towards abstraction, his high honors at Harvard and his LAW PROFESSORSHIP AT U CHICAGO(!) imply something considerably higher. (or have moldbugian doubts about the bona fidis of his credentials gotten to you too?)

Besides, he really does know how to 'play the game' very well- creating perfect pitch messages to please everyone.

Anonymous said...

and his half brother is a physicist...

Melykin said...

It seems reasonable that his IQ is at least 125. He probably wasn't working very hard in high school, but rather socializing and smoking, etc. Likely a lot of the Asian students at his school would have been more disciplined.

Obama's father got into Harvard (to get an MA in economics) in the early sixties, presumably before AA. His mom had a Ph.D.

Anonymous said...

"There is some sinister hysteria in the air out here tonight".

Didion gets bad vibes from the air all the time, that's her schtick. Thompson had the excuse of being on drugs, and he was less precious, though admittedly wacko.

Anonymous said...

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way

Maybe we need a new Anna Karenina Principle:

All dumb people are alike; every smart person is smart in his own way.

Anonymous said...

and his half brother is a physicist...

His half brother only got an MS, which is usually a sign that the PhD program a) wouldn't admit him, or b) he felt the work beyond him. This same brother is now a loafer somewhere in the boonies.

7/30/2009
Anonymous Melykin said...

It seems reasonable that his IQ is at least 125. He probably wasn't working very hard in high school, but rather socializing and smoking, etc. Likely a lot of the Asian students at his school would have been more disciplined.

Obama's father got into Harvard (to get an MA in economics) in the early sixties, presumably before AA. His mom had a Ph.D.

7/30/2009

Dude, affirmative action has been around since at least the '40s, but it wasn't until the 60s that it became de rigeur.

Steve, here's the bottom line: How can we judge the accomplishments of any NAM knowing that there is a 2-tier gateway into elite schools and professions? A better way to judge Obama's IQ is to closely examine his writing while at Columbia and Harvard--it's ABSOLUTELY DREADFUL.

Therefore, his IQ is more like 110-115.

Polanski

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

and his half brother is a physicist..."

Obama's half brother studied physics (I don't know what his highest degree was) - that doesn't mean he is a physicist.

Anonymous said...

An earlier poster said:
"Obama's father got into Harvard (to get an MA in economics) in the early sixties, presumably before AA. His mom had a Ph.D."

I think that Mr. Sailer will verify that,statistically,the offspring of an intelligent, mixed race, couple will have an IQ substantially lower than the parents.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how Obama could be only in the range of Bush or McCain. McCain didn't seem to be in the same intellectual realm as Obama at all in the debates.

Richard said...

Paraphrasing Flowers for Algernon, the size of the measuring cup doesn't matter overmuch; you still have to fill it up.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"Guys with 125 IQs don't say things like "I'm a pretty good poker player", among other things."

And Harvard professors don't say things like "I'll talk to yo momma outside."....yea right!
Where do I locate the book on what people with various IQ's say, and don't say!

Anonymous said...

An IQ of 115 would put Obama in the African American equivalent of Mensa. Another 10 points would have made him a shoe-in for a National Achievement Scholarship, basically the African American version of a National Merit Scholarship (IQ > 136). He won neither a National Merit nor a National Achievement Scholarship so I'm guessing his IQ is below 120.

Lover of Wisdom said...

i still think his IQ is around the low to mid 130's. I have many friends in the 3+ SD range who failed classes in high-school, and seemed absolutely mediocre at best. They were distracted by other more important things.

not anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but this is absolutely absurd coming from someone who claims to understand IQ. Obama stood out at Harvard Law School.

Yes, politics has something to do with his election to the presidency of law review. But he was Magna with blind grading and top professor after top professor extolled the power of his thinking.

"Not so long ago, the phone rang in my office. It was Barack Obama. For more than a decade, Obama was my colleague at the University of Chicago Law School.

He is also a friend. But since his election to the Senate, he does not exactly call every day.

On this occasion, he had an important topic to discuss: the controversy over President George W. Bush's warrantless surveillance of international telephone calls between Americans and suspected terrorists. I had written a short essay suggesting that the surveillance might be lawful. Before taking a public position, Obama wanted to talk the problem through.

In the space of about 20 minutes, he and I investigated the legal details. He asked me to explore all sorts of issues: the President's power as commander-in-chief, the Constitution's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Authorization for Use of Military Force and more.

Obama wanted to consider the best possible defence of what Bush had done. To every argument I made, he listened and offered a counter-argument. After the issue had been exhausted, Obama said that he thought the programme was illegal, but now had a better understanding of both sides. He thanked me for my time.

This was a pretty amazing conversation, not only because of Obama's mastery of the legal details, but also because many prominent Democratic leaders had already blasted the Bush initiative as blatantly illegal. He did not want to take a public position until he had listened to, and explored, what might be said on the other side."

--Cass Sunstein

"As the decade progressed, the most impressive student I had ever taught was quietly pursuing his own political trajectory. In 1989, I had met Barack Obama and hired him as my research assistant while he was still just a first-year Harvard law student. His stunning combination of analytical brilliance and personal charisma, openness and maturity, vision and pragmatism, was unmistakable from my very first encounter with the future president."

--Laurence Tribe


Sunstein and Tribe--leading lights in a profession that sorts strongly by IQ think he's brilliant. That should be good enough for anyone.

not anonymous said...

However, if that's not enough:

Republican who served in the Bush White House:

"You don't become president of the Harvard Law Review, no matter how political, or how liberal the place is, by virtue of affirmative action, or by virtue of not being at the very top of your class in terms of legal ability. Barack was at the very top of his class in terms of legal ability. He had a first-class legal mind and, in my view, was selected to be president of the Review entirely on his merits.

... I never regarded him as kind of a racial special pleader, or a person looking for race-based benefits, either for himself or others. I think as a policy matter, he supported affirmative action and believed in the arguments for it. But unlike many people on the left, he was also willing to acknowledge that it had costs, and he could at least appreciate the arguments on the other side. ...

Just in a political sense, what kind of a person were you looking for [to serve as president]? ...

The block of conservatives on the Law Review my year I think was eager to avoid having any of the most political people on the left govern the Review. I mean, the first bedrock criterion, I think for almost all of the editors, was to have somebody with an absolutely first-rate legal mind who would be able to engage competently with the nation's top legal scholars on their scholarship and on these articles, and who would provide the intellectual leadership for the Review that it always needed. That was non-negotiable for almost everybody right or left.


How he got hired at Chicago: "Apparently, while he was an editor of the Law Review, he was involved in the editing of a piece by Michael McConnell, who was a conservative constitutional law scholar who later was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Federal Court and was considered as a Supreme Court nominee, or was one of the people listed around the time of [Justice Samuel] Alito and [Chief Justice John] Roberts' appointments.

According to a professor at the University of Chicago, Douglas Baird, he got a call, or got a note, from Michael McConnell, who ... was definitely an alumnus of the University of Chicago Law School, saying, "I encountered this really remarkable, brilliant guy at Harvard Law Review when they were working on my piece, and you should have this guy on your radar." And so it was this very conservative legal scholar who brought Obama to the attention of the University of Chicago.

So Douglas Baird called Obama up at Harvard Law School -- I guess it must have been in his last year -- and said, "Do you have any interest in teaching?" Because, Baird said to me, "We rarely get that kind of unqualified endorsement, particularly from someone as well-known and respected as McConnell."

not anonymous said...

Finally,

You can argue against affirmative action but taking shots at Obama won't help your cause. It's not just wrong but literally insane to consider W. Bush his intellectual peer. There's simply no rational way to think that.

I've seen the conspiracies elsewhere on this site about why Obama didn't publish any scholarly articles (he couldn't, he's not that smart, etc.). Clearly it's because he didn't want to. Obama is one of the only law students I've ever heard of who turned down a nearly guaranteed SCOTUS clerkship. He had other goals. If he had wanted to be an academic, he would have done that and he would have published. If he were scared of being exposed he wouldn't have worked as a research assistant or been active in law review.


Obama is brilliant. It doesn't matter what his LSAT is at this point. You should know why--it makes sense for Harvard to screen applicants by LSAT but it doesn't make sense for, say, law firms to do so. I'll leave the answer why as a relatively simple exercise for the reader.

Posec said...

"I don't see how Obama could be only in the range of Bush or McCain. McCain didn't seem to be in the same intellectual realm as Obama at all in the debates."

McCain needlessly hobbled himself throughout the entirety of his electoral campaign and all but prostrated himself before the inevitability of Obama's accession. His unwillingness to delve into Obama's adherence to black liberation theology is proof positive of that. Then again, no one else did either (there were no refutations of BLT's premises from Sailer in his book). Interesting to contemplate would be how an unfettered McCain would have done in the debates if his capacities were undiluted.

Anonymous said...

"Sunstein and Tribe--leading lights in a profession that sorts strongly by IQ think he's brilliant. That should be good enough for anyone."

The first line in Wikipedia says of Mr. Tribe, "..is a liberal professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School.."
Of Mr. Sunstein we read, "Sunstein taught at the University of Chicago Law School,[1] where he continues to teach as the Harry Kalven Visiting Professor. Sunstein is currently Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Sunstein will head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration."

Well hell!!!!
Why shouldn't Steve just shut down this comment group. Those two guys certainly appear to be completely unbiased!

not anonymous said...

Tribe and Sunstein are objectively two of the best legal scholars in the world. Ask any conservative legal scholar.


http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2007faculty_impact_areas.shtml#ConstitutionalLaw

Posec said...

"I'm sorry, but this is absolutely absurd coming from someone who claims to understand IQ. Obama stood out at Harvard Law School."

It is possible that he could have been average for Punahou since it certainly was not as verbally intensive as Harvard Law, which would account for the apparent disparity. A person who can write with speed and facility would be noted by those of like mind, who might have been absent at Punahou. As for his brilliance, unless the philosophies of socialism/cultural Marxism constitutes brilliance I must continue to harbor skepticism.

Anonymous said...

@ posec:

McCain may have hobbled himself in that way, but I meant more that my impression was generally of a man with little ability to handle any topic with any subtlety. I would need quite a lot of explaining before I would accept that Obama is not *much* smarter than either Bush or McCain.

Shawn said...

So what about the whole magna cum laude Harvard Law stuff that we keep hearing over and over again? It it is around 125, how could he have got that distinction? Half Blood Prince you speculate he was probably at the 99% on the LSAT. If that is the case and his IQ is only a little over 125, he must be terrible at math.

Anonymous said...

"Obama stood out at Harvard Law School."

He needed affirmative action to advance his academic career by his own admission. He started his academic career at Occidental College, not exactly the big leagues.

He stood out as the only editor who didn't actually publish anything, and for not clerking for a Supreme Court Justice as is typical. Where are the papers and briefs he's published?

Smart people don't need affirmative action, and Obama admits he needed it to advance his career. In his own words:


“I’d also like to add one personal note, in response to the letter from Mr. Jim Chen which was published in the October 26 issue of the RECORD, and which articulated broad objections to the Review’s general affirmative action policy. I respect Mr. Chen’s personal concern over the possible stigmatizing effects of affirmative action, and do not question the depth or sincerity of his feelings. I must say, however, that as someone who has undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action programs during my academic career, and as someone who may have benefited from the Law Review’s affirmative action policy when I was selected to join the Review last year, I have not personally felt stigmatized either within the broader law school community or as a staff member of the Review.”

-Barack Obama, Harvard Law Record, 1990.

http://media.www.hlrecord.org/media/storage/paper609/news/2008/10/30/Election2008/Record.Retrospective.Obama.On.Affirmative.Action-3515294.shtml


Guys with 130 IQs don't need AA.

There are plenty of blacks with law degrees from good schools, relatively few of them are actual lawyers today; Monica Conyers and Michelle Obama are two examples. If they were really good lawyers, if they were really smart, firms - private sector firms - would be throwing money at them, and that's not the case.

His academic accomplishments mean little. His writings are ghost written, his vaunted oratory is scripted, and when he goes off script it does not indicate high intelligence.

Monica Conyers, I have to return to her. She has a J.D., and a Masters in Public Administration, and a BA in Education and Poli Sci, an education which she used to become a...wait for it...teacher of mentally challenged teens, and school administrator. Like, why bother?

jody said...

i don't know what his IQ is and it seems almost impossible to guess about it, even by using the rough guidelines of his academic history.

but i'm one thousand percent certain that he is not brilliant. almost no president was brilliant, and obama sure isn't either. being personable and charismatic is much more important than having an intellect in the very smart to super smart range.

barack obama never says or does anything that a brilliant man would say or do. his grasp of any issue outside of identity politics or sports seems to be very limited at best and he does not quickly pick up this stuff. indeed, quite to the contrary, he says and does stuff all the time that a not very brilliant guy would say or do. get him away from his handlers and he begins to mumble and stammer and say not so smart things.

Anonymous said...

Truth, I like you new handle. It suits you better.

testing99 said...

Obama is not brilliant.

He got into Harvard Law because he was Black. He was selected for head of Law Review (as the first Black guy) because he was Black. He was Magna cum laude because he was Black (anyone thinking Obama would get less than a A in any Harvard Class doesn't understand the system).

He's coasted along on being Black. He has a certain cunning, and overly clever mindset (like Nixon, his flaw is pushing too much and searching for enemies, who no doubt exist and for that reason should be mollified, destroyed, or left alone). That's about it.

Sunnstein and Tribe are shilling for influence for their old pal. Pals of US Grant testified that he was the fricking Sun King, when he was President and could help em out. Grant was by all accounts a disaster. The Depression of 1873 lasted nearly seven years, this during Westward Expansion!

Obama's IQ is probably 110 at best. He's coasted nearly all his life on being Black, and not speaking like Bobby Rush. That's a low bar, even lower than GWB's impersonation of a Texas good old boy (when he was to the Kennebunkport manor bred, out of Choate and Yale).

Obama has little self-control, Gates-ville was a self-inflicted wound, as is Health Care and Cap and Trade. Obama is a guy who tends to gamble ALL THE TIME for a big play, and gets surprised when some of them come up horrible disasters. He's weak and simpering abroad, but only to American enemies. His groveling towards the Saudi King and Chavez were instinctual and earned him nothing -- he's not a man in control of his impulses. He's not quite as bad as drunkard father, but getting there. The same Big Man complex with entitled grievances are definitely present in Obama.

Most of the Obama is brilliant nonsense comes from SWPL viewing Obama as some sort of magical totem. He's a smoother Al Sharpton. But that's all he is.

Anonymous said...

Sunstein and Tribe--leading lights in a profession that sorts strongly by IQ think he's brilliant. That should be good enough for anyone.

7/30/2009

What would happen to the veracity of the above conclusion if Tribe and Sunstein were hooked up to a foolproof polygraph?

White liberals love exaggerating the accomplishments of blacks. Check out some of the black losers the MacArthur Foundation has deemed "geniuses."

Yep, Obama is brilliant...like Spike Lee.

Polanski

Anonymous said...

"Tribe and Sunstein are objectively two of the best legal scholars in the world. Ask any conservative legal scholar."

Fair enough. Give us a few ("any") names of "conservative legal scholars" who agree with Tribe and Sunstein that Mr. Obama is a brilliant man, in the legal field or otherwise.
The "best legal scholars in the world" should be able to agree as to who their intellectual peers are.

Billare said...

These comments illustrate why the HBD community is politically impotent, as far as I can see. You wanna talk about the handling the truth?

Anonymous said...

“Besides, he really does know how to 'play the game' very well- creating perfect pitch messages to please everyone.”

I thought it was David Axelrod that did that.

“Obama's father got into Harvard (to get an MA in economics) in the early sixties, presumably before AA.”

Melykin, are you sure that Harvard applied the same standards that it applied to white applicants to Africans (not African Americans) on special programs like the Mboya airlift where the US government wanted them to study at prestigious universities to help forge ties between the US and Africa’s future new post-colonial elite?

“I don't see how Obama could be only in the range of Bush or McCain. McCain didn't seem to be in the same intellectual realm as Obama at all in the debates.”

McCain is in his 70s. g starts to decline around age 40 at the latest and it goes down even quicker after 55. (Crystalized skills decline more slowly.) Bush may have blown his mind on booze and blow and not functioning at the level he did in his 20s.

“Yes, politics has something to do with his election to the presidency of law review. But he was Magna with blind grading and top professor after top professor extolled the power of his thinking.”

Grading is not blind in law school. Exams for first year courses and many of the larger lecture courses in 2nd and 3rd year are “blind graded,” but profs then have discretion to “bump” peoples grades up or down. Sometimes these “bumps” can be substantial. In upper level seminar courses grades are generally determined primarily by writing a paper which is not blind-graded. The more wishy-washy type courses lefty courses that would appeal to someone “dreaming of his father” and interested in “stories of race and inheritance” like ‘critical race theory’ are generally taught as seminar courses. Obama’s grades are basically meaningless unless you know what he took and, even for the “blind-graded” courses, you’d have to know his pre-adjusted scores. Also, do you really believe that Cass Sunstein’s and Laurence Tribe’s remembrances after the fact of Obama becoming a national figure whose agenda they agree with (and in the case of Sunstein, want to work for) just must be completely accurate? It’s funny how memories grow grander as someone becomes more important. I’ve noticed that an awful lot of liberals spend an awful lot of time telling everybody who will listen that they think fairly mediocre blacks are “just brilliant.”

“So what about the whole magna cum laude Harvard Law stuff that we keep hearing over and over again? It it is around 125, how could he have got that distinction? Half Blood Prince you speculate he was probably at the 99% on the LSAT. If that is the case and his IQ is only a little over 125, he must be terrible at math.”

Shawn, see above. Also, in Half Blood Prince Steve never speculated that Obama’s LSAT was in the 99 precentile. Here is what Steve wrote:

“I would guess that Obama did well on the SAT Verbal subtest. Today, with the easier scoring system adopted in 1995, I’d bet that he would score in the 700s on both Critical Reading (a.k.a. Verbal) and the new Writing subsection. I don’t have any evidence for guesstimating quantitative his skills since he doesn’t have a very numerical turn of mind… That doesn’t mean he’s bad with numbers, just that his mind follows paths that are more verbal than quantitative.”

Steve is saying that he thinks Obama got at least 700 on the new SAT Critical reading (I have some doubts about this.) 700 on the new scale SAT Critical Reading equates to 640 on the old SAT Verbal. This is not bad, but saying he probably would have gotten at least a 640 on the old style SAT Verbal is hardly the same as saying he would probably score in the 99th percentile on the LSAT (which is drawn from an even more select population (college graduates with records to make applying to law school plausible) than the SAT (people intending to go to college).

Anonymous said...

"These comments illustrate why the HBD community is politically impotent, as far as I can see. You wanna talk about the handling the truth?"

What the hell does this mean? I can see one word left out but, even after adding one, via a reasonable guess,..WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

ubuntu said...

110-115 is my call.

Anonymous said...

Melykin said...
"His mom had a Ph.D."


Yeah, about the rural ironsmiths in Indonesia or something. Hey, I have a Cum Laude PhD in Engineering. You cannot believe how much crap gets published as PhD, even in engineering. Unless you actually peruse the thesis, the title PhD is meaningless.

headache said...

testy's post is spot on!

Anonymous said...

"Blind grading" my ass. You write your name on an exam paper. If the prof likes you he can bump the result. If he hates you, you tank. Period.

jody said...

i note that when estimating his intellect, we are suddenly supposed to ignore the widely known, widely accepted phenomena of:

1) rampant, run away grade inflation at ivy league schools. a problem so big that dozens of professors have complained about it.

2) extreme political correctness, to the point of 1984 style thought control, at these same institutions, when it comes to africans. basically just giving africans a passing grade as long as they keep showing up, is probably literally the standard procedure in many (most?) classes that do not involve math or computer science. how else could michelle obama graduate from princeton?

3) hilarious, bordering on ludicrous, over-praise by white liberals of african participants in any field in which africans are not common.

i find it 100% believable that barack obama acquired all of his academic positions strictly because he is half kenyan. i'm not saying he did, but i find the idea fully within the realm of the possible.

remember that we are dealing with a president who has an actual army of people trying to hide his past. there has been nothing like this in the history of the united states. if barack obama were actually brilliant, is it not far more likely that the democratic party would be extolling his body of work with plenty of concrete examples, instead of trying to keep it all a secret?

dearieme said...

Vain speculation, all of it; you don't know.

Anonymous said...

I think that Mr. Sailer will verify that,statistically,the offspring of an intelligent, mixed race, couple will have an IQ substantially lower than the parents.

I don't think he will. The tendency is for offspring to regress to the mean. It's an average, not written in stone (and not limited to "mixed" people).

~Svigor

green mamba said...

He speaks quite well, so I'd say his verbal IQ is pretty high. I would also guess that his math and logic IQ is considerably lower. Maybe 120-125 overall.

KingM said...

Steve, here's the bottom line: How can we judge the accomplishments of any NAM knowing that there is a 2-tier gateway into elite schools and professions?

LOL. He's president of the fucking United States. How many standard deviations above your accomplishments does this make him?

There are plenty of ways to criticize Obama without resorting to silly stuff like claiming he's lazy or dumb or unaccomplished.

Tino said...

1. A lot of people anchor Obama’s IQ on him graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law. This does not prove anything conclusively. Obama could have gotten good grades at Harvard with the combination of decent verbal IQ and hard work. Crucially, it is incorrect to use only one information point. Obama’s magna result must be analyzed CONDITIONAL on the fact that it is the ONLY information that the Obama camp has released.

Obama’s image machine wants to give the best light possible. The president being smart is one of their main arguments. However they did not release his SAT scores, his LSAT scores, his Columbia grades. This makes me believe that they were not that great.
Other crucial information includes: African American kid with nice story from top prep school only got into Occidental. Why? If Obama had a good SAT score he could have gotten in anywhere.

2. This guy makes an important point that should be investigated:

“ Obama graduated from my mother's alma mater, where everyone takes the various college prep tests. He was not a National Merit Scholar, a National Merit Semifinalist or an Outstanding Participant. This indicates a ceiling on his SAT percentile at 96.9, which indicates a maximum possible SAT score of 1230 and maximum IQ of 129.”

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2008/09/barack-obamas-iq-is-116_18.html

3.
The LSAT percentile for African Americans in Harvard Law has been estimated at around 160-163, which gives an IQ of 130-132, again assuming Obama was around the median for blacks.

I use this conversion table.
http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,12022.0.html

Steve has referred to this conversion table which gives 119-123, but the figures seem too low.

http://carrefoursagesse.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/converting-lsat-scores-to-iqs/

Anonymous said...

"Yes, politics has something to do with his election to the presidency of law review. But he was Magna with blind grading and top professor after top professor extolled the power of his thinking."

There is no blind grading in Law School. AA students are graded on a curve shifted heavily leftward, and Obama's affable impersonation of a thoughtful white person would have put him at the top of that curve. Moreover, AA students do not try to master subtle points of contract or tort law: they invariably become naval gazing experts on civil rights litigation, which can be expounded by pretty much any fourth grader.

Nobody, not even Obama's professors, can point to some concrete product of his intellect that proves his brilliance. His reputation for genius is more a hazy impression based on the form rather than the content of his speeches and writing.

I think Steve reads way too much into "Dreams from My Father." Smart people like Steve are often prone to detecting signal in white noise. He also fails to acknowledge the heavy influence of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book series on Obama's somewhat less than coherent writing. These books were all the rage at the time Obama initiated his awful biography, and I believe these -- along with "What Color is Your Parachute" -- was about the level of Obama's reading tastes.

Tino said...

“Guys with 130 IQs don't need AA.”

Yes they do!

Median LSAT at Harvard law is 173 (140 IQ), and the 25th percentile is 170 (138 IQ).
The IQ conversion table may overestimate IQ, but at any rate you need a very high score to get into Harvard without AA.

I think 125-132 is a reasonable range for Obama.

Regarding Mccain obviously 133 was his IQ when young, he is slower now.

"White liberals love exaggerating the accomplishments of blacks."

Almost all whites do. Heck I used to.

It is also impossible, simply impossible, that Uchicago would have considered giving tenure to a white person with NO publications.

not anonymous said...

I did post the opinions of conservative legal scholars who think Obama's brilliant.

Michael McConnell:

http://www.law.stanford.edu/news/pr/116/


And blind grading is blind. Here's an example of typical law school policy: "The law school uses a blind grading system for most final examinations. Each semester students are assigned a random number by the Director of Registration and Records for each of their final examinations and must use that number for identification on the appropriate final examination that semester. Except in special cases which normally involve clincal classes and small seminars, professors are not allowed to learn the identity of any student’s examination prior to turning in their final grades to the Registrar."

can't believe my eyes said...

People way overestimate IQs of smartish people. 112 is well above average, would allow a well-protected AA claimant to get through just about any course of study that did not include hard sciences, and is about what Obama shows himself, in as much as he shows us anything not first given to him on the teleprompter.
125 would put him in the top 5% of the total (white) population. Sorry. Don't see it. But I do understand you've invested a lot of time in trying to justify deep analysis of this person, who is a mile wide and an inch deep.
As for the JFK IQ. I tested 119 when I was about 17. I tested 138 fives years later in a controlled environment. I wanted to see if I would get into Mensa and I was surprised I got as high as I did.
So that's a 19 point gain in 5 years. JFK had a lot of health problems. Maybe his IQ was that, but I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't higher to judged from his quickness of repartee, quick assimilation of information (speed reader), and reading activity in his adolescence. These are signs of high intelligence.
As for Obama's "writings"--well, he writes so much about himself and so little from any other perspective or objectivity, that to me, it's worthless except to tell us how he wants to be perceived. Narcisistic, would be tyrants are always full of sound and fury and empty of character.
Anyway, Obama didn't write most of that stuff; has Ayres handprints (and others) all over it.
(btw, JFK probably didn't write all of Profiles in Courage--I think Sorensen had a big hand in it; still JFK could absorbe information and talk smartly without a teleprompter.)

Anonymous said...

John McCain supposedly has a high IQ but graduated 894 out of 899 from the US Naval Academy and struggled with math courses. What gives here?

Truth said...

"He's a smoother Al Sharpton. But that's all he is."

He's also ostensibly the most powerful man in the world...and you're a professional whiner who tutors Mexican gangbangers.

Damn, black skin is a huge advantage!

Patung said...

I guess it's kind of interesting to look at presidential IQ but...Al Gore is a crackpot and a bore yet he seems to be a clever fellow, technically, so what? I'll leave others to make jokes about Nixon. And where is Reagan?

OneSTDV said...

Evidence for Obama's high IQ:

His parents: both very intelligent, can't argue this, though there is regression to the mean

Harvard Law Rewview Prez: affirmative action and a popularity contest

Harvard Law honors: Obama was a very well known person and an "articulate black man" during his time in law school. Are we sure they didn't flub his grades?

UCHI Law prof: Didn't write a single journal article during his 10 years there.

Book: Dreams of my Father is a brilliantly written book. On this alone, we can assume he has an extremely high IQ. But with Cashill's Ayers theory, it casts doubt on who the real author was.

As of now, I'd say 125 is a pretty good estimate. I would have estimated significantly higher if he had written the entire Dreams book.

Posting Anonymously said...

There's an old thread at Free Republic which details some of the inanities in the non-Ayers corpus - for instance, the letter Obama published in the HLR, the very first sentence of which contains a [clausal] verb which fails to agree with its noun ["...merits... has..."].

I don't have time to go into any further detail right now, but the most amazing thing to me in all of this is that Obama's mysterious Caucasian girlfriend [discussed in e.g. this old iSteve thread] was in fact an ex-girlfriend of William Ayers who perished in the Greenwich Village townhouse explosion - I mean, that's some, uh, what do the Uber-Morlocks call it? Some serious Chutzpah?

EVERYTHING about Obama - the entire myth - has been carefully crafted over the years by the likes of Ayers & Axelrod & Minow & Sunstein [and probably Soros lurking in the background the whole time].

PS: The other Minow daughter [her sister was the one who undoubtedly got Obama accepted at Harvard] was sent out to smear Matt Taibbi after his Goldman Sachs expose - if any of you think there isn't a star chamber in the background which coordinates all of this stuff, then you're nuts.

Anonymous said...

I love how T99 knows so much about Harvard Law. Like he'd get in. You sound pissed a black guy actually is more accomplished than you.

Seriously, worrying about Obama's IQ? After 8 years of Bush? Is you people learning?

josh said...

How come all of the "evidence" for Obama'sgreat intellect is second-hand inferences,as opposed to first hand verifiable fact? As stated above,Cass and Tribe's brainpower are obvious,but does that make them reliable? How about the rabbi caught trafficking in human organs? Dont rabbis---even hasidics,I suppose--have high IQ's? Is high IQ now a sign of morality?? The point is the Jewish establishment wanted O'b in,and they wanted him bad. Do you think Cass & Tribe are gonna be the Jews who upset the apple cart?? I also have to disagree with Steve about Bill Ayers helping him write. Sorry--but Ayers should be getting a bunch of those fat royalty checks!! But,really,who cares? He is a nitemare as prez,thats what matters. And as for Barry's father getting into Harvard--wow,I have rarely seen such naivete on this blog!Like a big shot African is gonna be denied entry into the Ivy league???? PS: Could someone comment on the Ivy league grading protocol?? I read the book "One L" by Scott Turow many years ago and he stated that the tests were as blind as Ray Charles. In the wake of the Obamas,Gates,and The Wise Latina I find this very suspect. Cant a prof figure out who is who by the style of writing?(The test done in crayon?Michelle Obama!) DO they put their names on the tests--or some predetermined number,and is it at all possible,that some numbers could be known to the teaching staff? I mean this IS the Ivy League,and sure those Harvard guys did go to Russia and steal a few billion dollars,but they gave it back,didnt they??

Anonymous said...

Group IQ tests were given rather
routinely in most tax supported
("public") schools at the elementary and middle school levels
up through about 1975-80. The President's mother got a PhD and many classmates in El Dorado, Kansas, reported her as very bright. But I've yet to see a record (surely published in the town's leading daily newspaper at the time ) of her name on an honor
roll, etc. It is unclear she got on the honor roll much, if at all,
in graduating from the school in Washington state where she got her
high school diploma. Likewise, I've yet to see a reference to her makign honor roll much, if at all,
in her college work, etc. She would seem likely a IQ 120+ with
a verbal facade--a bit of a
Starbuck's pseudo. The President's
maternal grandmother is the one that was stellar smart in Augusta, Kansas, high school circa 1940 and eventually, sans "higher education",ended up a VP in a Hawaii bank. IF the President would release his middle school and high school cumulative records--the folder that each student has--it would likely contain group test scores. He won't, it appears. In most American school systems I know anything about, local papers list the honor roll students (any student may, as per the 1970's Buckley Amendment, opt to have his/her name deleted). There ought to be a lot of information that can be dug out of "the archives" to buttress an IQ estimate.

Mansizedtarget.com said...

I think people that are verbally facile often give the impression of being smarter than they in fact are. Conversely, people that are verbally challenged may appear dumber than they in fact are. I think this explains the huge gap in perception of Obama and Bush.

It's hard to tell how smart he is or isn't without having seen him unscripted dealing with complicated things. I think he's reasonably bright, and this is probably how he got to transfer to Columbia and get into Harvard. Further, he was not considered dumb at Chicago Law School (whereas at least one other black professor was during my time there in the mid-90s). Oh how I kick myself for not having taken one of his classes!

I would like to see him do a few dozen math problems though. I doubt he'd do well. He never talks about numbers inteligently. And, unlike Bush, never has done anything that has real ,atj standards like learn to fly a plane. Then again, he did, so far as I know, pass the bar exam quite readily the first time around, unlike his wife.

The bar really lives up to billing, unlike most other supposedly difficult things in life. I'm not saying there are no dumb lawyers, but I think it takes about a 115 IQ minimum to pass, and probably 120 IQ to pass the first time through. It's full of tricks and twists and turns. This is why black fail rates on the bar as so damn high; they can get into law school, especially with affirmative action, but you can't bullshit your way through a blind-graded exam with right and wrong answer and lots of tricks and traps for the unwary.

Anonymous said...

Because the median IQ at Punahou is 125 and because Obama didn't inordinately stand out at Punahou, (to the best of our imperfect knowledge) therefore his IQ is around 125? This is the weakest logic I've heard in a long time. You're taking a *lack* of information on elementary school performance as more predictive than the wealth of information about his adult achievement, which would indicate an IQ well above 125. I smell ideological bias. And btw, I am a huge fan of this blog, so no bias here.

Anonymous said...

The responses to Steve's post go a long way toward explaining Steve's problems gaining broader acceptance for his views.

Many of the commenters simply assume that it is impossible for Barack Obama to be very bright, based on Steve's research. That's not what Steve's research says. But that's what many of his readers get from reading him.

And so we see many commenters reflexively dismissing praise for Obama's intellect from other high-powered people with "consider the source" rhetoric, even if those involved are conservative, like the judge who helped Obama get a job at the University of Chicago law school.

It is this mind-set of his followers, not just Steve's edgy and fearless comments, that helps get him shunned. He deserves better readers.

Melykin said...

Why are so many of you keen to prove that Obama isn't very smart? Is it because you don't like his politics? His race? Both?

He certainly seems to be an intelligent person when he answers questions at town halls, etc.

Keep in mind, if you believe that bell curve stuff, there has to be SOME blacks at the extreme upper part of the black curve.

albertosaurus said...

A few questions and observations.

Is Obama smarter than Jill St. John? In the seventies her publicist claimed she had sn IQ of 140. The only reliable way I know of to get a higher IQ score is to hire a publicist.

The last untainted and public record of Obama's school work is as an undergraduate at Occidental. He got Cs in Political Science. I knew students like that. Most of my friends held such people in contempt.

Why are there never any such articles asking about the IQ of Dick Cheney? Maybe it's because Cheny seems to be plenty smart. With Obama this is much less clear.

The subtests of the Stanford Binet intercorrelate. This means you can estimate IQ with only a few or even one subtest. That's why you can get a pretty good IQ estimate from vocabulary alone. In fact since the subtest is ordered from easy to difficult you can get by with just a few words from the end of the list. Obama doesn't seem to have a particularly impressive vocabulary. Does he?

Just because you're bright doesn't mean you're right. Pat Buchanan on the right and Pat Moynihan on the left were both very bright and appeared to be very bright. I don't care for either one's ideas. But they both were full of ideas - new ideas presented with relevant evidence. Obama doesn't seem to ever have new ideas or arguments. He never surprises you with a new insight or angle.

In corporate circles the CEO is seldom the brightest guy among the excutives. The guy with the highest verbal IQ might be the corporate counsel. The highest quantitative IQ might be held by the CTO. Sensible people accept this. Obama is smart enough to be President, as was Bush. The dangerous aspect of leadership intelligence is when the followers make exaggerated claims for the leader. Stalin for example was held to be a universal genius - unique in world history.

In my experience no one conceals personal scores if the results were good. Bush stumbled with his words so he didn't appeaar all that bright. The result of which was that most of Bush's scores were made public. Obama has good verbal fluency which seems to indicate some smarts. He conceals all the objective evidence that might suggest that he has less brains than that.

Lay people often confuse verbal reasoning ability with verbal fluency. Victor Davis Hanson for example has good verbl reasoning ability. The late Billy Mays had good verbal fluency. Obama is certainly fluent.

Truth said...

Bottom line:

Obama, without family connections, is smart enough to have gotten where he is in life.

Whereas

You are smart enough to have gotten where you are.

Nuff said.

Mansizedtarget.com said...

Some people are blaming Steve and racism and other causes for our mean attitudes about Obama. But we don't have any raw data to go on, like SATs, ASVABs, transcripts, or anything else because this dude who is our president is totally friggin secretive about everything in his past: his friends, his grades, his schooling, his activities as a community organizer, his life as a professor, etc.

Anonymous said...

Josh said:
“PS: Could someone comment on the Ivy league grading protocol?? I read the book "One L" by Scott Turow many years ago and he stated that the tests were as blind as Ray Charles. In the wake of the Obamas,Gates,and The Wise Latina I find this very suspect. Cant a prof figure out who is who by the style of writing?(The test done in crayon?Michelle Obama!) DO they put their names on the tests--or some predetermined number,and is it at all possible,that some numbers could be known to the teaching staff? I mean this IS the Ivy League,and sure those Harvard guys did go to Russia and steal a few billion dollars,but they gave it back,didnt they??”

As I explained above, students receive an exam ID number, which ostensibly the Prof. does not know (whether this is true, I don’t know). However, they can “bump” students up or down after the exam results are in for things like “class participation.” Also, in upper level seminar courses, grades are based on a paper and “class participation” and are certainly not blind. Most of the “Race and Gender” stuff is taught in this manner. Obama took several courses with critical race theorist Derek Bell and I wouldn’t be surprised if he took a lot of such courses instead of more rigorously graded bar and business courses.

Melykin said:

“Why are so many of you keen to prove that Obama isn't very smart? Is it because you don't like his politics? His race? Both?”

Personally, I do think he is fairly smart. I’d guess his IQ to be around 125, maybe 130 (within a range from 120 to 135 as high and low bounds). I think this because he was 1) a black at Harvard so his LSAT was probably in the low 160s and 2) he wasn’t a merit scholarship semi-finalist or commended (as well as Tino’s points above). So, I do think he’s fairly smart (around the top 5% of the general population, give or take a bit), just not stratospherically so like many people seem to think (i.e., not 3 to 4 sigma above average). With AA and such and his refusal to release his records, I don’t think we can glean anything with a great deal of confidence from his rather nebulous academic career.

Anonymous said...

From,

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2008/08/barack-obama-law-student-was-not-like.html

*************************
Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama, the law student, was not like you other law students.
From the same Jodi Kantor piece discussed in the previous post, I had to break out these law school nuggets.

“I thought of him much more as a colleague” than a student, said Laurence Tribe, a law professor at Harvard for whom Mr. Obama worked. “I didn’t think of him as someone to send out on mechanical tasks of digging out all the cases.” Other students could do that, Professor Tribe added.

Other students.

Long before the presidential race, some around him seemed to resent his ability to galvanize a following. “Bluebooking is not important for celebrities,” fellow students joked about him in the law review parody, referring to the tedious process of checking citations.

That's for you other students.

*************************

Posec said...

"Why are so many of you keen to prove that Obama isn't very smart? Is it because you don't like his politics? His race? Both?"

It has more to do with disproving the assertions that Obama is an unparalleled genius, the smartest of all presidents as Michael Beschloss insists. This is patently ridiculous. Verbally facile as he undoubtedly is, I do not consider his compositions comparing in style or profundity to those of America's first presidents (i.e Adams, Jefferson, Madison). Now those were veritable thinkers.

Anonymous said...

Some people are blaming Steve and racism and other causes for our mean attitudes about Obama. But we don't have any raw data to go on, like SATs, ASVABs, transcripts, or anything else because this dude who is our president is totally friggin secretive about everything in his past: his friends, his grades, his schooling, his activities as a community organizer, his life as a professor, etc.

Hey, good point, putting it just like that, I'm moving off the fence.

Obama's IQ is 115, +/- 5 pts.

If sissy boy doesn't like that, let him release his records.

~Svigor

Anonymous said...

Seriously, worrying about Obama's IQ? After 8 years of Bush? Is you people learning?

Sigh. Don't you people ever think before you spew? How many times do we have to s-p-e-l-l this out for you?

Bush spent 8 years being pummeled by the media, much of said pummeling taking the form of aspersions cast on his intelligence.

Now it's B'lack O'Rama's turn, bitch.

~Svigor

Anonymous said...

Cant a prof figure out who is who by the style of writing?(The test done in crayon?Michelle Obama!)

All that's necessary is, for example, a few idiosyncratic words, or a bit of "narrative" (larding text with references to "driving while black" or whatever).

~Svigor

P.S., not definitive obviously, but another bit working against the O-man is the tendency of people to mate within their IQ range.

Anonymous said...

And so we see many commenters reflexively dismissing praise for Obama's intellect from other high-powered people with "consider the source" rhetoric, even if those involved are conservative, like the judge who helped Obama get a job at the University of Chicago law school.

Yeah, yeah. Whatever.

Let's just determine his IQ via survey, yes?

Affirmative Action grading doesn’t have to be official policy or even conscious. Ken Harber wrote an essay filled with grammatical and content errors and gave it to 92 white college students to grade. They were given different biographies of the author and some indirectly revealed that he was black. On a scale of 7, papers that the white students thought were written by a black person got a grade of 3.5 and papers they thought were written by a white person got 2.7. On the essays supposedly written by a white some students wrote things like “when I read college work this bad I want to lay my head down on the table and cry.” The comments written on the essays supposedly written by a black were overwhelmingly positive. The mystery of how Michelle Obama could graduate from Princeton while not mastering basic English is solved.

Of course, wuss boy won't release his records...why would he? He's getting a SD or so boost via AA in the court of public opinion, so reality could only be a letdown.

Anonymous said...

Obama, without family connections, is smart enough to have gotten where he is in life.

Nonsense. His blackness is the ultimate family connection.

Reality's a bitch, innit? Bottom line is that no one who's eligible for AA is immune to these aspersions, and rightly so.

Price of doing business, nancy boy. Can't take the heat? Stay out of the kitchen.

P.S., he got where he is because millions of honkies voted for him. Galaxy-shaking accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

I see wintermute is at it again. What a crazy dude.

And troof is flinging feces.

Anonymous said...

"I did post the opinions of conservative legal scholars who think Obama's brilliant.

Michael McConnell:
http://www.law.stanford.edu/news/pr/116/"

OK, I read the link. Somehow I overlooked the quote on Mr. Obama's brilliance. In fact I overlooked the word "Obama".
I did manage to find an article from May of 2008 that had a reference to Mr. Obama and Judge Michael McConnell, circa 1990:

"Federal Judge Michael W. McConnell, who was nominated by President Bush and has frequently been mentioned as one of Bush’s potential Supreme Court nominees, recalls receiving one such letter and call in early 1990 for his article “The Origins and Historical Understanding of Free Exercise of Religion.

McConnell told Politico, “A frequent problem with student editors is that they try to turn an article into something they want it to be. It was striking that Obama didn’t do that. He tried to make it better from my point of view.” McConnell was impressed enough to urge the University of Chicago Law School to seek Obama out as an academic prospect."
http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=B1993498-3048-5C12-00FA3C486359EF70

Apologies to those following these comments.
The list of conservative scholars who think Mr. Obama is brilliant is below:

Michael W. McConnell

The proof is in the above Politico article. To "seek someone out as an academic prospect" is code for "BRILLIANT".
I was wrong.
Thankfully I remain anonymous.

Anonymous said...

"I think that Mr. Sailer will verify that,statistically,the offspring of an intelligent, mixed race, couple will have an IQ substantially lower than the parents.

I don't think he will. The tendency is for offspring to regress to the mean. It's an average, not written in stone (and not limited to "mixed" people).

~Svigor

7/31/2009"

Going for brevity I didn't phrase it as well as I should have.
How about this:
I've read that, statistically, the offspring of an intelligent, mixed race couple (black and white) will have a lower IQ than if the exact same couple were both white, STATISTICALLY.
Is that better, and accurate?

And I still think he will.

not anonymous said...

Sorry to stay on this topic, but you did miss something. The first time I posted about McConnell, I included this:

"According to a professor at the University of Chicago, Douglas Baird, he got a call, or got a note, from Michael McConnell, who ... was definitely an alumnus of the University of Chicago Law School, saying, "I encountered this really remarkable, brilliant guy at Harvard Law Review when they were working on my piece, and you should have this guy on your radar." And so it was this very conservative legal scholar who brought Obama to the attention of the University of Chicago."

I later posted a different link about McConnell to point out who he is.

Mr. Freer said...

This discussion is all based on conjecture. What purpose does this serve?

It reminds me of the fools who argue about whether Arnold Schwarzenegger is 6'0 or 6'2":

http://www.celebheights.com/s/Arnold-Schwarzenegger-177.html

Anonymous said...

1) Punahou school was HUGE (3500 kids!) at the time Obama attended. They undoubtedly had ability grouping with many classes for each grade level. The fact that he fit right in with his classmates means nothing.
2) His classmate remembers him as somewhat who could finish writing assignments very quickly. This could be a function of his arrogance (people who don't think that they are "good enough" at writing are more likely to suffer from writer's block) and his laziness ("get it done and turn it in"). He may also have benefitted from an informal sort of affirmative action, even at the elementary level.
3) I agree with the above posters who have noted that politicians tend to have very superior memory skills. This would have helped him a LOT on both law school exams AND on the bar exam, where a moderate amount of knowledge NAILED DOWN gives you an advantage over the brilliant person who has studied harder and longer, but has tried to remember too many things and can't spit it out fast enough during a timed test. Obama may also have had enough Chicago connections to ensure that he passed the IL bar on the first try.

4) Obama has admitted that he was an underachiever at school, he turned down the chance to clerk for the Supreme Court (a position which requires BRAINS and an ability to endure TEDIUM and PRODUCE papers on somebody else's timetable.) IMO, Obama never wrote anything while teaching law because he knew that not producing anything wouldn't hurt his career, while producing something shallow, or with a mistake in it, would hurt his reputation for brilliance. Obama is a schmoozer who constantly showed up late for meetings when a legislator, producing little. He was a natural as a community organizer and political candidate. It is common knowledge that he doesn't write his own speeches, he just reads them. People who love to write and who know that they are good at it would usually insist on at least editing what the speechwriter wrote.

5) Despite having lived in a foreign country for several years at a young age, and despite having had every imaginable educational advantage growing up, Obama admits that he does NOT speak a foreign language. I don't think he reads anything beyond magazines and the internet, either. Not everybody with a high IQ loves to read books, but Obama is not a natural intellectual.

6) The ability to write a good paper or speech is NOT the same skill set needed for debating. The guy in my law school class who had the most natural talent for becoming a trial lawyer was not anywhere near the top of the class. Not only do people suffer from stage fright, but being interrupted, and having the debate take directions you had not anticipated, having new information thrown in your face DURING the debate, being under time constraints, etc., is entirely different from researching a topic and then writing a heavily footnoted paper. Being great at one definitely doesn't mean that you will be great at the other. Obama has a very pleasing manner, a very mellow voice, and a fantastic smile, etc., and all of these things can help you in a debate, as the judging is so subjective. Obama likes to be in front of a camera or a crowd because he knows that he is very good at that.

7) My guess is that his IQ is at least 115 since he had to beat a lot of other top blacks to get an AA slot at Harvard, and his grades weren't good. He probably strikes a lot of people as "brilliant" because he has been very expensively educated and he is verbally fluent.

Truth said...

"P.S., he got where he is because millions of honkies voted for him. Galaxy-shaking accomplishment."

Getting millions of people to do anything is an accomplishment, Sport. I don't think you could get your immediate family to go bowling with you.

Anonymous said...

Not anonymous said:
"The first time I posted about McConnell, I included this:

"According to a professor at the University of Chicago, Douglas Baird, he got a call, or got a note, from Michael McConnell, who ... was definitely an alumnus of the University of Chicago Law School, saying, "I encountered this really remarkable, brilliant guy at Harvard Law Review when they were working on my piece, and you should have this guy on your radar." And so it was this very conservative legal scholar who brought Obama to the attention of the University of Chicago.""

Hmm. This might be on par with Biden's "clean and articulate remark." McConnell may have been bowled over to meet a fairly competent black law student.
The subtext may have been, "I encountered this really remarkable [thing, a black law student who isn't a complete incompetent] from Harvard Law Review when they were working on my piece, and you should have this guy on your radar [because reasonably competent blacks are so hard to find, so if you want to fill you faculty quota you should check this guy out]."

Maybe your accepting McConnell's words on their face is the correct reading, but with AA so pervasive, how can we know?

jody said...

it's hard to believe there are multiple people arguing in favor of the idea that barack obama is brilliant. it is so obvious, it is so screamingly evident that this is not the case, that this thread is more a testament to the power of the mainstream US media to brainwash people than it is to any kind of evidence that this average, underachieving lawyer is some kind of singular genius.

the instant, the very moment he is not reading from a teleprompter, he is no longer glib. his ability to deliver an extemporaneous and intelligent dialog on almost any topic is virtually nil. he cannot improvise any insight, develop any original thoughts on the spot.

any time he veers into numbers or math, something that the president must do at least a few times a week, he reveals just how not smart he really is. he must be, easily, the least mathematically facile president in history. barack obama literally said there were 57 states. the few major policy initiatives he has devised so far are sheer lunacy, devoid of any sense and fully detached from any reality that an economist or a physicist could describe.

again, this guy just has no idea about anything beyond the narrow range of his professional and recreational interests, and that he cannot rapidly pick up on new topics shows how very, very not true it is that he is brilliant. quickly picking up a decent grasp of new topics is one of the first signs of very high intelligence, and he doesn't show it.

i'm sure i'm smarter than him, and i'm not brilliant. it's no major feat. millions of people have science degrees and are professionals in technical fields, and they're all smarter than most presidents were too. being elected president is about charisma, not brainpower.

Anonymous said...

SUMMARY:

<136 not National Merit Scholar

>115 beat other black AA candidates out for Columbia (2SD above black mean, his Harvard candidacy was probably due more to his Chicago pol activity and connections than his LSAT)

115-120 passed IL Bar (1st try)

------------------------------
Non-IQ factors:

+ Great memory (great with teleprompter and staying on script)

+ Interpersonal skills (great smile and camera presence)

+ Great verbal fluency (although small vocabulary and very predictable, simplistic and trite folksy sytle)

- Poor logic (argues by feeling and authority rather than tight logic well developed themes except when reading his teleprompter or taking scripted questions)

- Incurious (does not have access to wealth of knowledge like history, econ, geography and has made Bush2-like flubs when off-teleprompter, Cs in PolySci at Occidental)

- Lazy (no pubs as Harvard Law Editor or UC Law Prof which is incredible, many lost keys years of education at Punahoe, Occidental and Columbia - wasted great opportunities to become well-educated, unimpressive work schedule in the Whitehouse so far trying to unseat Bush2's legacy).

- Indulged by AA and unaware of his limits (offered full UC Law Professorship WITHOUT a single book or academic paper establishing new hights to AA, very rarely goes off script in speech or press conferences and when does stammering worse than Bush2)

-----------------------

At 115-120 Obama is on the low end, but would be OK for the POTUS if he was hard working and eager to learn like Bill Clinton and wasn't such a narrow ideologue with many of Bush2's personal failings (incurious, lazy, arrogant - Bush3).

Obama's got little experience, curiosity or interest outside the prep school, ivy and his passion for the race hustling racket in Chicago that made up his short unaccomplished life. Obama's main accomplishment seems to be jumping to ever greater titles without ever producing anything of value (unless negative) while in those positions:

- not cleaning up asbestos in the projects as organizer

- $200M? Annenburg challenge grant to improve Chicago pub schools with 0 effect, not even infrastructure

- exactly ZERO academic papers or books published as Harvard Law Editor or UC Law Prof

- multi-million dollar study to find cops don't infact race profiling while in IL senate

- impressive "present" 2yr Senate legislative record

I could see voting for Obama or not voting for McCain's given what the neocons did under Bush2, but I am baffled by people who buy Obama as Chauncy Gardner without irony.

DAJ said...

It is this mind-set of his followers, not just Steve's edgy and fearless comments, that helps get him shunned. He deserves better readers..

Bravo! Bravo!

DAJ said...

Now it's B'lack O'Rama's turn, bitch.

Such devolution to puerility will keep HBD permanently on the fringes of society. Shame.

Anonymous said...

I really, really, really, really agree with the commenter who wrote Sailer "deserves better readers". So many people here seem unable to believe Obama may be very smart. Why? Duh.

Even if you hate his policy views, look at all he has accomplished. To say "it's all affirmative action" goes far beyond what Sailer says.

I read Sailer's book. I read Obama's books. I agree with Sailer. Obama is a far more gifted writer than the great majority of pols. (Especially the first book).

What will the people say who think it's impossible that Obama could be very smart? That he had a ghost writer, probably his pastor.

This is just so childish and stupid. Rev. Jeremiah Wright was not the ghost writer of Obama's first book, a very graceful and interesting account of his life. He just wasn't.

Think about how stupid this claim is -- people are saying that Wright is smart enough to write so well. Really? Wright is smarter than Obama?

I don't think Sailer has ever made this argument. Because he has actually read the books.

I agree that Sailer deserves better readers, or at least commenters. Many of you people are closed-minded fools with an ugly agenda that goes beyond anything Sailer has ever written.

Posec said...

Out of curiosity, would any here contend that Obama, or any president within living memory, exceeds the verbal faculties of an Adams or Jefferson?

Peter A said...

Obama's IQ is probably lower than Steve's, certainly lower than Sigma's but higher than 90% of the people who post here, that much is obvious.

Michael said...

135-140
Really he wasn't a terribly accomplished grade schooler? That's your clue?

Truth said...

A terribly accomplished...grade schooler?!?!?!

Did he color outside of the lines?

Anonymous said...

Who are all these shrieking bedwetters getting the vapors over the even the idea that Obama isn't the Einstein his leg tingling media image consultants make him out to be?

"Shame"? "Steve deserves better readers"? Is there no higher moral law that a human could violate than point to the few objective facts Obama left uncovered which give a good ballpark for Obama's IQ?

Who cares about his IQ unless it's insufficient for the task (it isn't).

Posec said...

Again, does anyone think that Obama's writings are in the same league as those of Adams, Jefferson, Madison et al?

Anonymous said...

A great idiot test is, "does this individual think that IQ is a good measure of intelligence? Do they invoke it as a vague air of authority when complaining about people they dislike?" Good to know where you fall on that one.

Anonymous said...

"He just wasn't. " coz i sez so!
Ha ha ha ha

MQ said...

Wow, a lot of jealous underachieving white people posting here.

His academic accomplishments mean little. His writings are ghost written, his vaunted oratory is scripted, and when he goes off script it does not indicate high intelligence.

in other words, all the plainly visible evidence for his intelligence is meaningless because it is too threatening to my self-image to believe it.

You know, someone can be smart and you can still totally disagree with them. Liberals hated Nixon, saw him pretty much as the Devil, but nobody questioned that he was sharp.

Part of this might be the weird racist equation of IQ with wisdom, morality, common sense, etc. that one sees at "race realist" sites. It's like, I don't like black people, there's a black/white IQ difference, therefore high IQ signifies everything I like and lower IQ signifies everything I don't like.

MQ said...

Again, does anyone think that Obama's writings are in the same league as those of Adams, Jefferson, Madison et al?

Of course not. Name the 20th century President who was as important a writer and thinker as they were. It had to do with their times, their era, more than their IQ.

The 20th century President with the highest abstract IQ was probably Woodrow Wilson, who was a major academic who was seen as a seminal thinker in his field (public administration). But I don't think anyone would put him among the top five 20th century Presidents.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Let's look at some other speculations:
It is entirely likely that Obama's SATV was higher than his SATM.

If Obama had an pre-renorming SAT much above 1200, it would have been leaked, unless the SATM was very low. (the negative impression of that would outweigh any shine from the verbal). Maybe 1250, max.

OTOH, it would not be possible to get through Oxxi while drugging and Columbia and HLS even as an AA acceptance, if he were much below 1000. Over valued doesn't mean no value.

The absence of evidence is admittedly a slender thing. But the past record of what gets leaked suggests it's likely.

So 700/550 max, 600/400 min. Every positive about Obama which can be nailed down shades us toward the upper number. The books? Probable but not nailed down. Speaking off the cuff? Negative. Repeated public bungling of numbers shades the SATM down, but some of that would be recaptured in SATV inching up to compensate in our overall estimate.

Just for fun, 640 - 680V, 500 - 540M. IQ 122. Not bad.

Anonymous said...

WND publishes now a portion of a
university undergad transcript for
Stanley Ann Dunham. It appears in
high school she was a B+ student
and got B's in two of her university courses upon enrollment.
Adequate eventual PhD material--but
nothing outstanding. Her reach
seemed far to exceed her grasp.

jk said...

NO Black ever scored 800 on GRE
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) represents the highest scoring students in the nation, or at least it should, since it's the test taken by college graduates seeking admission to graduate school. Over the last four decades, 3,961,122 students have taken this test, including 354,228 black students. Blacks are the only students who take this test where females have occasionally scored higher than males. In all that time, NO black student has ever scored 800 on ANY portion of this test, while 2.3% of White students scored higher than 800 in GRE Analytical, 10% of Asian men scored higher than 800 in GRE Quantitative, and 0.1% of White women scored higher than 800 in GRE Verbal.

The following analysis of the GRE makes the optimistic presumption that test scores for blacks follow a regular Gaussian Distribution, whereas reality is that very few blacks score much higher or much lower than the median Verbal score of 388 for black women. It accepts carte blanche, without question, the relatively large standard deviation for blacks reported by the College Board. It ignores that some state laws require a person to be counted as black if 1/64th of their genealogy is black. It doesn't compensate for the number of blacks admitted through the now illegal affirmative action programs which permitted Whites to be admitted because they posed as blacks, which is bound to happen under such a fraudulent program, and which this author knows to have happened on at least two occasions. It doesn't consider the academic theory that the reason American blacks have higher IQs than African blacks is their higher proportion of Caucasian genes, perhaps as much as 25%. If this theory is correct, then the 25 who scored higher than 654 in GRE Verbal, the 23 who scored higher than 716 in GRE Quantitative, and the 27 who scored higher than 746 on GRE Analytical, would not be black at all according to other blacks themselves because they would be mostly Caucasian.

SAT scores for Blacks lower than noise level
The SAT consists of one essay question which can be scored only by subjective means, opening it up to controversy about whether or not it's valid or accurate. The most objective part of the test are the 225 five part multiple choice questions which attempt to measure the probability of a student succeeding in college or graduate school. About 1/4th of these questions can be answered strictly from rote memorization. For simplicity we include the results of the essay question in this part of the test. The other 3/4ths require some form of reasoning or calculation which can be measured objectively.

The base score of 200 is assigned when a student signs their name. Of the 600 points between 200 and 800, another 150 points can be gained by knowing the subjects but not exhibiting any reasoning or critical thinking skills, for a total score thus far of 350. If a person were to just guess on the balance of the five part multiple choice questions, he would on average get 20% of them correct just by chance, for another 90 points and a total score of 440.

This score of 440 is conservative. For example, in TIMSS physics, which is scored similarly and which has questions of equal validity and depth, the score of 474 for American girls represents a score for students who would have performed better if they'd just guessed on this part of the test.

israeliteknight said...

Is the forum still open? None of my posts have appeared.