Is Obama Really Smart?

Warren Meyer at Coyote Blog asks something I’ve been wondering about lately:

By the way, can anyone tell me what the evidence has been for the contention Barack Obama is “really smart,” because I sure don’t see it. Yeah, he went to an Ivy League School, but so did I and there were plenty of people there I wouldn’t trust to run a lemonade stand. Sure, he gives a nice prepared speech and seems to have invested in that vocabulary building course Rush Limbaugh used to peddle on his  show, but what else? All I see is a typical Ivy League denizen of some NGO who thinks he/she can change the world if only someone will listen to them, who just comes off as puerile if you really spend any time with them.

I’m sure that Obama is really smart in some ways. He’s figured out how to be personally charming, how to inspire people, how to remember lots of details of policy issues and to be able to repeat summaries of different points of view. In short, he’s smart enough to be a great campaigner. But, is he smart enough to recognize a flaw in his policy prescriptions? I’m sure he thinks that his leftism is on the “smart” side of political philosophy, but is he smart enough to see a problem with surrounding himself with “smart” people who all think they can figure out what’s best for everyone, but who have never demonstrated the ability to successfully manage anything?

I think he’s smart enough to be really, really, dangerous. I’m with Penn Jillette, and I’d prefer a president who was a bit less smart and a lot more humble about what the state should be doing to help us.

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