• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Beata on The Welcome Escape of a M…
    William on The Welcome Escape of a M…
    Beata on The Welcome Escape of a M…
    jmac on The Welcome Escape of a M…
    Beata on The Welcome Escape of a M…
    jmac on The Welcome Escape of a M…
    William on The Welcome Escape of a M…
    Propertius on “Pet Peeves”
    MAG on “Pet Peeves”
    Propertius on “Pet Peeves”
    Propertius on “Pet Peeves”
    Beata on “Pet Peeves”
    jmac on “Pet Peeves”
    Beata on Once they’re in, you can’t vot…
    Beata on “Pet Peeves”
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    September 2022
    S M T W T F S
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    252627282930  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • No The Solution To Ending Mandatory Masking Isn’t "Well YOU can still mask”
      Few things make more more tired or contemptuous of someone than, when a masking mandate is removed, someone saying “well, you still have the choice to wear a mask, we’re not effecting you” or some variation. Masking is not primarily about protecting yourself. Only a respirator and a well-fitted N95 offer good protection from Covid if other people aren’t mask […]
  • Top Posts

How Brilliant is Obama?

leonardoHow brilliant is Obama? (H/T to dakinikat, for sharing this with me) Is he a genius or is he a beneficiary of affirmative action placement? Frankly, apart from hyperbole, there is not much information to go on. Furthermore, the ways he’s chosen to govern his life, outside of his academic endeavors, do not lend to easy associations with intelligence. For example, his sensible choice to be physically active says little about intellectual acuity. Accordingly, it is hard to judge what his high end might be. Notwithstanding, I think his low end is relatively easy to discern. It is a good place to start. (NOTE: This topic is necessarily subjective.  This post is nowhere close to being definitive. It is an attempt to come to a reasonable judgment.)  [IQ is not under consideration because its’ standards for the high end are too low.]

We do not need access to Obama’s grades at Harvard to know he has intellectual chops. It is true that he was not in the top tier of Harvard Law students as he did not graduate summa cum laude, but magna cum laude is the next highest standing, and it appears this places him in at least the top 30% of the class, if not the top 10%.

Maria_Gaetana_AgnesiIt is true that an affirmative action push, due to a heated political climate at the time, played a role in his selection as president of the Harvard Law Review, but the fact that he was not in the top tier does not alter the counterfact that many of his editorial peers also graduated magna cum laude.

Unfortunately, if Obama did write for the law review, his work was unsigned. His choice to avoid publication is odd because the purpose of the position is to “peacock” one’s chops. It is unfortunate, for the purpose of this exercise, that he left this void. If he had written, his peers would be able to tell us where he ranks. It is best to infer nothing about his intellect from this void.  Notwithstanding, academic selection committees would take the lack of publications to indicate some type of academic weakness.

What does his Harvard performance say about his base level intelligence? My sense is that a law degree is similar to a Masters Degree in one of the more rigorous social science disciplines. It certainly does not touch a Ph.D. It stands slightly lower than an M.A. in Philosophy, but it likely ranks higher than sociology, and it destroys an M.B.A., which is essentially a compilation of undergraduate courses. Continue reading