All of the really smart people I know (and even the really smart people I don’t know) voted for Obama because they believed him to be just like them: a really smart person. His predecessor, as all smart people will attest, was and is as dumb as dog poop.
None of these smarties really know how smart Obama is since his academic records and work are ultra, ultra secret. Somehow his very smart wife’s Princeton senior thesis got online a while ago and it proved to be semi-literate and vapid at best.
An acquaintance says Obama’s two books prove his intellectual superiority. At the risk of being labelled a Book Truther, I am skeptical. Some reckless right wingers have noted the similarity between Barry’s putative writing style and that of domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. God forbid I should believe any of that, but it is interesting that no one seems to have the stomach to investigate further when you know they would be all over anything that George Bush or Ronald Reagan claimed to have written all by himself.
No, all smart people want Obama to be smart because he is our first black president and it just would not do for our first black president to be as dumb (or merely as average) as many of his predecessors were reputed to be.
It was all right for Reagan, Eisenhower, and both Bushes to be idiots or even of average intelligence though I know the smarties won’t even grant them that. Those guys are not of the persuasion that makes smart people feel morally superior (as well as smart) for supporting them. Smart people consider anyone who supported Reagan, Ike and the Bushes to be dumb and immoral.
And there is no use pointing out that nobody thought Lincoln was very smart until after he was assassinated on Good Friday (a great career move). I mean, how could somebody who got us into an “unnecessary” war that produced 620,000 dead “kids,” after which it took another hundred years to actually “free” the slaves, be considered smart? Yes, I know he wasn’t around to clean up the mess. Lincoln was perhaps dumb and lucky?
Harry Truman? I remember sitting through a lecture in an American History survey course in 1961 where (it goes without saying) the very smart professor devoted the entire hour to trashing Ole Give-‘Em-Hell Harry. How did Professor smarty know that Harry was a dummy? Harry never went to college!!!
And everybody who was around during the Eisenhower administration (well, intellectuals at least) can attest to Ike’s dimmness: His syntax was “tortured,” and all he did was play golf, although apparently not as much as the current White House inhabitant who is so smart he can be president and play golf at the same time.
As George Will says being a really smart guy is sometimes an impediment to presidential success:
Near the statehouse office of New Jersey’s 55th governor sits a sort of shrine to the 34th. Fortunately, Chris Christie is unlike Woodrow Wilson [my addition: arguably our smartest president; after all, he was a former professor].
Christie, who resembles Falstaff in girth and Jack Dempsey in pugnacity, is a visceral politician who thrives on conflict. Wilson — lean, intellectual and pious, particularly about himself [my addition: Remind you of anyone?] — regarded opposition as impious.
Wilson acquired the governorship, his first elective office, in January 1911, having learned about government mostly from books he wrote about it. (And he wrote “Congressional Government” without ever seeing Congress.) Eighteen months later he was the Democrats’ presidential nominee.
Christie’s only previous elective office was as county freeholder. But later, as the state’s only U.S. attorney, he became prominent while learning a lot about New Jersey’s gamy political culture by prosecuting some of the participants. This unsentimental political education prepared him so well for the governorship that today, in his 20th month, he is being importuned to seek the Republican presidential nomination…