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May 26 buzz: Obama's so smart, he sounds dumb?

Most viewed, commented and shared: Obama's fast brain vs. slow mouth

In her weekly column, Meghan Daum defends President Obama's dialect and the manner in which he addresses an audience.

But consider this: It's not that Obama can't speak clearly. It's that he employs the intellectual stammer. Not to be confused with a stutter, which the president decidedly does not have, the intellectual stammer signals a brain that is moving so fast that the mouth can't keep up. The stammer is commonly found among university professors, characters in Woody Allen movies and public thinkers of the sort that might appear on C-SPAN but not CNN. If you're a member or a fan of that subset, chances are the president's stammer doesn't bother you; in fact, you might even love him for it (he sounds just like your grad school roommate, especially when he drank too much Scotch and attempted to expound on the Hegelian dialectic!).

Hear, hear, say some of our readers, who find it refreshing to have a president who thinks before speaking.

I guess I belong to the group of folks that not only do not mind his pauses, but certainly appreciate them.  Appreciate them because I know what he is doing... He is THINKING before he speaks. 

My goodness what a refreshing change from all the normal blather.


But not all of our readers are buying Daum's argument. From our discussion board:

So I guess when Obama referred to the "57 states in the US" his mind was projecting a time, in the future, when this might be true.


nice try, Meghan...if he stammers like a moron when he's not reading from a script it's our fault for not recognizing his genius!.... he's smart because he sounds stupid?...what the heck are you talking about?...comparing him to Buckley?....no way is he in that intellectual league


Wow...what a spin.  When Bush stumbled he was a dolt.  When Obama stumbles he's an intellectual thinking so quickly he can't verbalize.

The truth....they are both human beings.  No one is perfect.  We've gotten too used to President Obama's articulation due to his preparation use of the teleprompter, which make him seem so perfect in speech.   Not knocking its use, just a fact.  Neither the President nor any of us could do as well without it.  Also, it is not his style to think on his feet...


*Spelling errors were corrected for clarity.


The best solution for the Mississippi River

Drilling for oil on our turf

S.F.'s anti-circumcision proposition

America's changing morality

Environmentalists and Obama

--Alexandra Le Tellier


Comments () | Archives (28)

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Obama signed the Buckingham visitor's book a few days ago and placed the year as '2008'.

Yeah, he's an Einstein all right.


He is a human just like the rest of the humans. There are more productive things to deal with.


The implications of this article's premise are mind boggling.



He sounds dumb but is actually much dumber.
The dumbest president in history.


The dumbest president in history and Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Brilliant, your logic is.

marge samuelson

President Obama is not dumb, does not sound dumb, if this is the Republican strategy they must be planning on running Sarah Palin, compared to any of the Republicans possible for the next election Obama looks like a genius. I guess ya all got use to dumbing down from Mr. Bush.

jay vasquez

I'm so sick of the media covering his A*s I hope he loses so big that he will cry like the little girl he is. I'm sick of Obaman and his state run media.


The readers' comments (but pointedly, not Megahn Daum) make the obvious point that if Bush said some of the same things Obama did, David Letterman would put them on his top ten lists and the New York Times would run them on the front page. "57 states", "Cinco de Cuattro", signing 2008, numerous others -none of those were picked on by the press, who are, if not quite as dim-witted as Meghan, part of the way there. Bush and Obama are both just humans, it just offends a rational person's sense of fairness to see the different treatment they got from the press.


In the third line of his Inaugural Address, Clueless Comrade Barry stated,

“Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.”

Actually, 43 Americans have taken the presidential oath. The reason why Comrade Barry is considered president number 44 is because Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms and is thus counted as presidents numbered 22 and 24.

You can maybe, sort of, make the excuse that Comrade Barry was tired and misspoke with his "we’ve now campaigned in all 57 states" remark but his statement: “Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath" is still posted at Whitehouse.gov.

We're now 28 months into the first administration headed up by a President who doesn't know who Grover Cleveland is!

There can be no doubt. Clueless Comrade Barry has less than a schoolboy’s understanding of American history.

And the Useful Idiots think Governor Palin is stupid?

Addressing the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, The Clueless One said, "Long before America was even an idea, this land of plenty was home to many peoples. The British and French, the Dutch and Spanish, to Mexicans, to countless Indian tribes. We all shared the same land."

Actually, the United States of America declared its independence on 4 July 1776.

Mexico didn’t exist until 34 years later (16 September 1810).

Now how is it that Mexicans shared the same land before there was even such a country as Mexico?

Don’t you have to exist before you can share?

What we have in the White House today is nothing more or less than an ignorant, incompetent, narcissistic Marxist miscreant - the living embodiment of The Peter Principal in (Affirmative) Action – who the media refuse to hold accountable for anything.

By the way, they speak German in Austria (not “Austrian”), the automobile was invented in Germany (not the U.S.) and Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

The Ruling Class must perpetuate the myth that they are the “best and brightest” in order to give them license to organize and legislate against the interest of those whom they are supposed to serve.

They are neither and their Beloved Dear Leader Clueless Comrade Barry is, in fact, nothing more - or less – than a complete dullard.

Only those whose personal experience has left them somewhat amazed to encounter a black American male who can pronounce the words “ask” and “bath” would be able to conclude that Clueless Comrade Barry is anything like or approaching “the best and brightest in the room.”

“The white liberal vision holds one set of standards to which white people are obliged and another that's lower for blacks. I don't believe that white liberals are racists in the sense that Klansmen and neo-Nazis are; however, their paternalistic and demeaning attitudes toward blacks are far more debilitating.”

– Walter Williams (professor of economics, George Mason University)



The guy's so smart, he won't let us see any of his college records. It would crush our self-esteem to see how inferior we are.

Intellectual, my eye. The man's thinking froze in his sophomore year of college, and he hasn't had a reflective thought since. His thinking is paint-by-the-numbers faculty lounge, reinforced in its mediocrity by years of hearing nothing but how wonderful he is, no matter how little he does.

The last genuinely intellectual President was Theodore Roosevelt.


Solidspine- I guess you were asleep for George Bush Sr's presidency and that of his special needs son GWB.


Why no college transcripts ?
Why does he need a tele-prompter ?
Why does he make so many mistakes when speaking off the cuff ?
Why does he get his questions in writing before a press conference ?

This guy is simply not so sharp. The dems perceive him as smart because they consider themselves intellectually superior to everyone else and as their leader he must be super smart. Such arrogance. Such intellectual dishonesty.


Examples of Obama's lack of education and intelligence are too numerous to mention. He is our first affirmative action president and his efforts to hide both his past associations, beliefs and record of accomplishments gives evidence to this fact. I am sick and tired of different standards being applied with this president simply due to his race. It is un-American and he is as well based on so many of his comments all available on UTube.


Note: Obama was NOT the "Editor of the Harvard Law Review." He was PRESIDENT of the Harvard Law Review, which is an enormous distinction. The Editor position requires high intellect and honed writing skills; the President position is a popularity contest.


Was Daum's article ghost-written by the White House? Hard to believe but the article contains more hyperbole than an Obama speech.


His stammer is because he is used to reading a teleprompter......he's not used to using his own brain. He sounds parochial which is what he is displaying when sans teleprompter. He is limited and it shows. And he was not vetted, questioned or put through the wringer like Palin because the media knows he couldn't even take the ear jokes....he is not strong and would not be able to stand up to scrutiny and the media knows it, the media elected a wimp, a girlyman and now they have to live with him and the need to explain him as a genius, because they are the smartest people in the room at any given moment and they couldn't have elected an idiot. But, most people know he's limited, he has crutches, speechwriters, teleprompters and teleprompters of speechwriters to make him sound good, look good, when in fact, he doesn't even know who he is himself and it shows, brother, it shows. He is out of his element sans teleprompter and looks and sounds very uncomfortable, so brilliant sounding that he sounds dumb...LOL.

A Concerned Citizen

This woman sounds about as dumb as Obama is. How stupid do these type of people think that the average American is? Apparently so stupid that we will by anything anybody says or writes. Again, Stupid!


One more time the admirers of My President Obama come out in full force. Right on. No one is required to like him. It isn't mandated by any laws or teachings that I am familiar with. I happen to be an admirer of My President Obama. This is not an apology. To those that disagree it's fine with me. He does this. He doesn't do that. Dang. I personally think that the Brotha is without peer. His carriage, his character, his charisma, shall I continue? The Brotha, in my opinion is simply The Man. I don't need anyone's permission to feel as I do. Neither does anyone need my permission to feel as they do. It is almost incomprehensible, no forget almost. It is incomprehensible to me why "anyone" would want this job. If there is a position that is more thankless I don't know what it is. You want to help, but your best is never good enough. You cannot be all things to all people. Then there are the "perfects". They have never made a mistake and know intuitively the right things to do. Not unlike the folk that have all the answers on Monday to the football games that were played over the weekend. For those that bash and berate and constantly ridicule him. I pity you. For whatever you say about My President Obama one fact remains. Get up off your "rust-dusty when you hear "Hail to the Chief" and you see My President Obama.


A teleprompter to address a Graham Road Elementary School classroom.

A teleprompter for a press conference.

This isn't an 'intellectual stammer' but rather a level of incoherence not often achieved by drunken grad students - and without the excuse of a surfeit of whisky.

A facility for reading aloud the words of others may be a primary qualification for the 10:00pm news, but it's insufficient for the office Obama holds. And on evidence, it's the only qualification he has.

Paco Mexicana

How anyone can acuse obama as too smart is beyond words.

He is a classic marxist democrat addicted to spendign what we don't have. He is an amateur o nthe international stage demonstrated when he said Israel should return to the pre '67 borders. He confirmed he lied when he failed to close Gitmo. He promised transparency then offered a health bill that no one even read.



What a joke - Obama is so smart that he is dumb - better stated - the MSM and democrats elected someone who is not qualified in any area except spending other peoples money - look at what the democrats and Obama have done - run up a bill of over 14 Trillion - still wanting to spend more - and MSM and democrats just keep telling him to spend more - California pays life guards $200k and mayors almost a million and the word DUMB comes to mind.


Meaningful, substantive extemporaneous speaking often requires one to briefly pause to collect one’s thoughts.

Of course, this is not a problem when simply reciting memorized banal talking points … or referring to crib notes written on the palm of your hand.

liber terran

Remember last year when the Republican House Caucus invited Barack Obama over for a Q and A session? Obama took questions and provided answers for over an hour and handed the Republicans their butts. Whatever Obama's verbal style, it has been more than sufficient to handle any political opponent so far.


Here's the truth:

The going-in assumption re GW Bush was that he was stupid (a Texan, a conservative, a Republican.) Has father's connections and money got him his Ivy-League MBA.

So his speech shortcomings were proof of stupidity.

The going-in assumption re Barack Obama was that he's brilliant (Harvard Law, a single DNC speech in '04, a liberal, a Democrat.) Yet how he got from Occidental to Columbia to Harvard is a mystery -- we know to a certainty that grades were not a factor.And his accomplishments before the presidency are self-evidently...nothing. That's a problem, empirically speaking.

So his speech shortcomings are proof of brilliance, i.e. "his mind is sooo fast." This must be, or... what are we left with?

GW was genuine -- Obama is a fraud. But neither of them is stupid, neither of them is brilliant.

It's the voters we should worry about -- not the candidates.


Hey , just make the pie higher and let those Obstetricians practice their love. You can fool me once. I won't get fooled again.



Ronald Reagan was told that the desk he chose to install in the Oval Office had belonged to Grover Cleveland. Reagan said: ""Oh, I played him in a movie." Of course, Raygun played the alky pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander, not the ex-president.


Just vote the dumb ass out the next time. Obama's bloom is off his rose and finally people have come down to reality and see him on equal Presidential level of GW Bush, well DUH to both of these two!

Harry Hoopes

Well, Meghan Daum, tell ya what I'll do. I'll pay the $40 for Obama's MENSA testing. If he doesn't get an invitation to join then you can repay me. Sound fair to you?



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