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LA Times writer claims Obama may be too smart to be President

May 14, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
Here's an interesting tidbit that landed in my e-mail. A Los Angeles Times writer is claiming that President Obama may just be too smart to be President.

"To many who were feverishly devoted to Obama's candidacy four years ago, what was most exciting wasn't just the idea that American voters could elect a black man. It was the idea that we could elect — and be represented by — someone who was unapologetically intellectual," writes the Los Angeles Times' Meghan Daum. The article argues that to be successful in politics these days you have to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Personally, I'd say success in politics is probably more about temperament than it is about intelligence. I don't doubt that Obama is a smart guy, though I don't know if he's as brilliant as the article claims he is. I don't think President George W. Bush was as dumb as some of his critics liked to think, either. I would assume that most people who land in national politics are probably at least smarter than average, as well as having better connections than the rest of us.

What the article seems to be addressing more than intelligence is personality and that probably is a major factor in today's campaigns, though I don't think it should be.

One of Mitt Romney's apparent problems is that people keep saying he's kind of dull and lacking in charisma. Obama's personality problem appears to be a certain reserve and remove from the crowd. Neither of them seems to have the natural ability that someone like Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan, going further back, had to work a crowd and speak to the "common man." We Americans do seem to love charismatic candidates and people don't seem to consider Romney or Obama all that charismatic.

That could add up to some mighty boring television debates this fall but I don't know that lack of the common touch has any bearing on either's ability to do the job.

It's a pity that politics is so often a popularity contest.


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