Exactly how smart is Obama? He is represented, by self and media lickers-and-kissers as "the smartest guy in the room." Yet as far as I can see, there's absolutely no documentation for this claim.Virtually everything he's been given has been donated willingly on the basis of what he is--pan racial, seemingly articulate and forthright exotic who wears clothes brilliantly and is highly charismatic--than what he's done. No grades, no scores, no actual accomplishments. So how smart is he? Is he really smart? He's articulate but he uses his charm in any circumstance where he's out-IQed, and if his charm fails, so does his confidence, and he lurches in gibberish, well documented.
Has he ever thought anything through in a conscientious way? Does he look under, through or behind the bromides that he so glibly produces on cue? There's no evidence of any of this. He takes his time on making decisions, but to me that's more a sign of fear, even panic, as he knows he must commit and defend, as opposed to simply being Obama, and that scares him silly. He's not stupid; he's certainly well above average, but at the same time far below distinguished. He's smart enough to see nuances but he's not disciplined enough to discriminate between them, ignore the inappropriate ones, and lead on, as Bush (also no genius) was willing to do, and take the heat, as the heat quite clearly bothers him. (As well it should; he's never felt it before; he's always been beloved.)
Anyway, for me, this calculates out to about a 115. What do you think/ Love to see your ruminations on this one, and your reader's responses.
They don't testify much, however, to Obama's ability to solve complex problems, which remains opaque. As I pointed out years ago, much of his appeal comes from his ability to project back to interlocutors: "I have understood you."
The ability to summarize your opponent's side of an argument at least as well as its partisans could do for themselves is, in terms of brainpower, nothing to be sneezed at. On the other hand, there isn't all that much evidence from Obama's writings of Obama coming to his own conclusions, other than, say, that Farrakhanism is an economic losing strategy and that he should thus stick to the left side of the mainstream (pp. 199-202 in Dreams). You don't have to be Richard Feynman to figure that out!
Alternatively, he may have figured out a lot of big things, but he's not telling anybody because he doesn't want them to know what conclusions he has reached.