How smart is Øbama anyhow?

Maureen Dowd (MoDo) recently wrote an article titled “The few, the dumb, the proud” designed primarily to disparage current Republican front runner Rick Perry.  She also manages to take a few partisan swipes at the intelligence, or at least school records, of George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.

Much of this may be accurate and that is not the point of this commentary.  The point is that we can see how these presidential aspirants performed in their respective K-12 and college(s).

Can we do that with Barack Obama?  In a word, no.

As most of you know, his academic records have been sealed by Harvard, Columbia and Occidental, and all his elementary schools, no doubt at the request of Øbama, and prevention of this release is well defended by his lawyers.  We have a picture of him in kindergarten, and a few scraps of his attendance as indicated by graduation records at the different institutions he attended, but no grades.  No writings, no scholarly articles or legal opinions from his years at Harvard.  Even his time in the Illinois State Senate and the U.S. Senate were unremarkable and mostly unreported.

MoDo make take great relish in attacking the Republican candidates on the basis of their school grades, but she cannot compare any of them to Øbama until comparable school records are released.  “Dumb” is relative, but we have no way to compare.  Is that fair, or even journalistically competent?  All we hear about from talking heads and Øbama spokespeople is how intellectually superior he is, but they offer nothing to back it up, no IQ, no grades, no records.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  It is very reminiscent of then presidential candidate John Kerry and his never released military records.

Why the mystery?  I would be very happy to find out that he is intelligent, and one would think that he would be proud of his accomplishments.  Even if he was as average (benefit of the doubt time here) as most politicians, at least the question of his intelligence would be put to rest.  “Pleading the Fifth Amendment” in terms of his scholarly performance does nothing to make us think he is particularly intelligent, despite all claims that he is “the smartest guy in the room” by his supporters.

MoDo concludes with this:

“So we’re choosing between the overintellectualized professor and blockheads boasting about their vacuity?”

How about providing some definitive evidence of “the professor’s” overintellectualization before we start pointing the finger at so called “blockheads”?

20 replies
  1. NH-Jim
    NH-Jim says:

    Isn’t this the nation where any child born here can aspire to become president?? I guess Ms. Dowd does not believe so.? She has a litmus test for the presidency yet only republicans must line up.? She (along with all her fellow media goons) is partisan, biased, incompetent in her journalistic duties and, therefore, has forfeited her respect from me.
    She beholds a president that hides “behind his own building”, too insecure to release any transcripts of his past, votes present instead of yea or nay, speaks eloquently only in front of a teleprompter.? She believes only those among us that got no less than an “A” in every subject deserves the oval office.? In her article, she has proven she is nothing but an elitist snob not worthy of our time to read her trash.
    As she points out in the story “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”…on the verge of becoming a vice presidential candidate, Stewart confesses the truth to a Shinbone newspaperman, who refuses to print it. ?When the legend becomes fact,? the editor says, ?print the legend.?
    The legend in this case being Barack H Obama.

  2. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:


    Any insight as to how Barry did in school? Just so we can be sure he’s the smart one. Is he not proud of his grades???

  3. Eric
    Eric says:

    For a woman who’s generally considered a good writer, Maureen Dowd has a way of sticking her foot in her mouth more often then not. ?To make such callous remarks about ones intelligence simply by suggesting that ‘school records tell the whole story’ is simple minded and ignorant. ?It’s also an obvious partisan hit job, which brings into question the “intelligence quotient” of the writer. ?And placing our dumb-ass president on a pedestal doesn’t say much for Ms. Dowd’s ability to discern the character of anyone, let alone the Oval Office’s latest clown. ?Shame on anyone for publishing such a piece of clap-trap!

  4. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    And she decries hate speech and bullying ?!?!
    This is editorial assault.
    I wouldn’t be worried if there were more folks out there who saw this for what it is.
    She risks her writing career for what ??- to be thrown under the bus by the ONE like the rest of us.

  5. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    It’s ironic the academic records are sealed tight as a bull’s ass on a frosty morning, but we do know that he’s related to Robert Duvall, Georgia O’Keeffe, Elvis Presley, John McCain, Wild Bill Hickok, LBJ,? James Madison, Gerald Ford, Dick Cheney, Robt. E Lee,? Brad Pitt and several illegal alien scofflaws.? His Kenyan kin hale from a place of great diverstity- 50 tribes of black people? who practice ethnic cleansing with machetes.? His Kenyan visits show him in Muslim garb- Muslims are a 10% militant minority with an axe to grind in Kenya.? Assuming his mother carried for 9 mos full term, she was probably under 18 at conception…? Scandalous in the day- Barack Sr. would be a sex offender today…

  6. SeeingRed
    SeeingRed says:

    It seems evident – or at least plausible – that a release of Barry’s time in school would show something negative (or erase something that is currently perceived as being a positive for the POTUS).? It’s also possible that a records release?would lead back to his birth record?via claims of nationality on applications, etc.??
    Democrats don’t want to know any of this?because the release of his records can only affirm a positon they’ve already taken and run with?(that he’s the smartest guy in the room).? ?The most transparent Administration in history?

    • NH-Jim
      NH-Jim says:

      Not sure why you’re linking to this article but this NYT article says little about his academic achievements alone and more about affirmative action qualifying Obama to one of this nation’s most prestigious law schools.
      “Until the 1970’s the editors were picked on the basis of grades, and the president of the Law Review was the student with the highest academic rank…That system came under attack in the 1970’s and was replaced by a program in which about half the editors are chosen for their grades and the other half are chosen by fellow students after a special writing competition. The new system, disputed when it began, was meant to help insure that minority students became editors of The Law Review…Harvard, like a number of other top law schools, no longer ranks its law students for any purpose.”

      As the article states,…

      • NH-Jim
        NH-Jim says:

        As the article states, enrollment of black students has risen, and at the time of printing (1990) it was at its highest.? [That is great.]
        But to choose a president of the review partly based on grades and partly based on prestige, or whatever, does not say anything about his grades which remain sealed.
        Funny, BHO also stated that he wished to make the review a “forum for debate” yet as POTUS, he discourages debate.? He is offended if one questions his “superiority”.

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      Thanks for the link!?? I just don’t see anything in there that indicates his relative intelligence or his performance in school/college/law school.? In fact, as I pointed out above, there are no real publications you can point at.? If you have links to those, feel free to produce them.
      I just want to see if he lives up to the legend that the media and his support staff have built around him.?? I want to know if he was elected the the HLR because of what he knew or what he was, i.e. affirmative action and ongoing diversity issues at Harvard at time (

      • Murphy
        Murphy says:

        In the very beginning I wondered if BHO was as evil as he seemed or just figure head stuck on the Beast. I’ve gone back and forth this issue. Now after reading that article I’m leaning back to just a stupid figure head, Specifically this one part; “But he was not actively involved in the protest movement. Nor did he need to be. As I said, his presence alone made the case”

  7. Anybody but Obama
    Anybody but Obama says:

    We all know that? Crystal4 (August 25th) will post anything? to deflect the post from its original intent.

  8. crystal4
    crystal4 says:

    Well, I’ll try again. Finally found the clip from when Obama was invited to the Reps retreat to debate them. This was when i realized how smart the guy was.
    Note: The Reps here came with scripted talking points, he debated them off the cuff.
    (When the Prez wanted to attend the next rep meeting to debate them,. they declined! Fox had this playing live. When it became clear that Obama was making them look like dopes, they cut the live feed.)
    nOTE f

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      Well, I just watched all 67 minutes of that and came away with this:
      1) he started out blaming Bush;
      2) he claimed he knew what he was doing and took input from the Republicans (best line: “It can’t be all or nothing one way or another”, which made me laugh out loud relative to the way ?bamacare was rammed through).? Utter falderol.
      3) all the Republican predictions which he did not agree with that later proved to come true;
      4) he wrapped up with blaming Bush and the Republicans;
      5) lastly, despite your assertions (assumptions?) in your first sentence, the Republicans and Fox did not “cut the live feed”: ?bama ended it himself after the hour he allotted to it.? Watch the very end and see for yourself.? He said he would answer any questions later “offline”.? Also note at the beginning of the second to last question when HE said, “this will wrap it up, right?” (from memory, not verbatim; don’t have the time to watch it again).
      Now where in that 67 minutes did he display “how smart he was”?? Seriously.? He was just repeating his talking points.? And has since been proved dead wrong.

      • crystal4
        crystal4 says:

        Dimsdale, this was online, they cut the TV broadcast.
        I give up, can’t debate people who think that Bachmann and Palin are intellectuals and Obama is “dumb” (as you said).

      • Dimsdale
        Dimsdale says:

        Hmmm.? How much would you like to wager that the “cut” was done at about the 60 minute mark and not because ?bama was displaying any intellectualism?? The video did run for nearly 67 minutes, and it is television, after all.?
        Now feel free to show me where I said Bachmann, Palin or any Republican (or Democrat) was an “intellectual”.? Similarly, show me where I said ?bama is “dumb”.
        To get back on track, I am looking for concrete evidence that ?bama is “smart”, or as you say, and “intellectual”.? You’ve offered nothing as yet.? Don’t give up though!?? I really would like to see some if you can find it (also the point of this post).

  9. kateinmaine
    kateinmaine says:

    sniping aside, o never wrote anything for the harvard law review–though the politico came up with something they tagged as ‘obama’s lost law review article’ in 2008, but that was never substantiated or authenticated (the stuff turned up after the fact stinks–even with carefully choreographed ‘proof’ produced).? yes os, you can’t debate–and neither can o.?? i suspect neither of you know what real debates are or how they function. ? people who fancy themselves intellectuals rarely are.? people who rely upon their reflected images are also that–mirror opposites.? but a good publicist can make a celeb out of–well, anyone really.? perry flies jets.? o flies teleprompters.? palin shoots moose.? o shoots baskets.?? bachmann and o are tied in what they do best–milking the media/photo opps–but bachmann may have an edge there, as she’s not potus. ? all of these things require a particular level of brain power, balanced with some physical attributes.? is it enough?? time and history get to judge that.??? but ‘proof’ hasn’t mattered up to now–why should it going forward?? what of this ‘level playing field’ we’ve heard so much about from fearless leader?? or is that only for the chosen??

  10. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Fascinating post and love the give and take. Simple logic, it will be impossible for “anyone” to find out proof of grades because if there were, they would be trumpeted from on high. The fact that no one from any media liberal or conservative has printed any grades and no one from his classes? has written any “tell alls” either way. I think we must conclude he was a weak student at best.

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      Precisely!? And we have to factor in “affirmative action” or something analogous (white guilt?) in the explanation for his apparent meteoric rise through school and politics.

Comments are closed.