Sunday, January 31, 2010

Smart Politics: SotU 4th Dumbest in History

Well, my title is a little misleading, but not much:

'Professor' Obama? President's State of the Union Address Notches 4th Lowest Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Score Since FDR

Unlike the criticisms hurled at his predecessor, however, few have ever charged that the President, a former senior lecturer in Constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School, has written or spoken too simplistically or catered his words to the lowest common denominator.

However, a Smart Politics analysis of nearly 70 oral State of the Union Addresses since the mid-1930s finds the text of Obama's speech on Wednesday evening to have one of the lowest scores on the Flesch-Kincaid readability test ever recorded by a U.S. President.

. . .

Bush averaged a Flesch-Kincaid score of 10.4 across his seven State of the Union Addresses - or nearly two full grades higher than Obama's speech. Bush's speeches also averaged 2.4 more words per sentence than Obama, at 19.0.

In other words, the text of George W. Bush's speeches are expected to be understandable (in written form) by an average sophomore in high school, whereas Obama's speech should be understandable by a junior high school student.

(bold/italics theirs, not mine, for a change)

So, the point you're making is... Barack Obama is talking too stupid for the American people?

The author of this article must not be aware that, for some time now, there's been a game show called Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?... and nine contestants out of ten, the answer is No.

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