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  • Obama Fails the “Quayle Test”, Pretty Much Daily

    Posted by Lexington Green on July 21st, 2008 (All posts by )

    Now, Obama is supposedly some kind of genius, as well as being a messiah-figure who transcends politics, and maybe can even fly and turn sand into rice, like Kim Il-sung used to do. He inspires heart-felt music videos, unlike John McCain. Also, he May Not Be Mocked, much like Louis XIV, Hirohito (in his prime) or Ramses II.

    Yet, this super-being just said he will be dealing with foreign leaders, presumably as president, for the next eight to ten years.

    Knowing that Presidents are limited to two, four-year terms, is mandatory, basic knowledge that should be, and usually is, second nature to every single reasonably educated American. Everybody knows this. Children know this.

    This guy was some kind of Constitutional Law professor at the University of Chicago. He went to Harvard. Now say “ooooh!”

    Yet, this kind of thing happens a lot with him, oddly enough.

    This is my proposed Quayle Test. Ask yourself: How each time Obama says something stoopid, would the press would have crucified Dan Quayle for it?

    Each day, each new gaffe from Obama, imagine Dear Old (supposedly) Dumbsh*t Dan saying it. Then compare what would have happened to him compared to the response Sen. Obama gets from his cheering gallery in the Press.

    Obama, and the MSM, are failing this test almost daily.

    If I had time to monitor it, I would put a Quayle-O-Meter on the blog.

    But I trust we will all be keeping track informally of errors of “J. Danforth Obama”.

     

    55 Responses to “Obama Fails the “Quayle Test”, Pretty Much Daily”

    1. Ginny Says:

      Of course there was his allusion to the 57 states after a pensive pause in which he seemed to be searching in his head for the right number. Oh, well – I think Lex is aiming not at us going through the past but moving on into the future. I suspect that will be an equally fertile ground.

      What does bother me, though, is the nature of these bloopers. This one ignores rather important limitations. Does that indicate something we want in a president? A modest person would say if I were elected I will be talking to these people, a person who has bought into the theory candidates should continue as if they were certainly to win might say after I am elected. Counting on a second term seems to have rather audacious arrogance. Confusing two terms with ten years (or three terms?) is, well, creepy.

    2. fred lapides Says:

      He does seem to knowk, unlike McCain (today on TV) that Iraq does not share a border with Afghanistan…and McCain is our foreign policy expert?

      all the spetty sniping hardly detract ts from the fact that whereas McCain finished nearly at the very bottom of his class in the Naval Academy, Obama finished at or very close to the top of Harvard Law School. ?See: snipin g this way is very very easy though juvenile.

    3. LotharBot Says:

      Fred,

      your typing has really deteriorated. Maybe you shouldn’t write when you’re upset and/or drunk.

      As for that Iraq/Afghanistan border, perhaps he was referencing Blackfive’s plan for the troops to meet in the middle: http://www.blackfive.net/main/2004/11/exit_strategy_f.html

    4. Shannon Love Says:

      Fred Lapides,

      You comment on McCain is a textbook example of the phenomenon under discussion. McCain makes one slip in a days worth of conversation and it is note only news but indicative of the man’s lack of mental powers

    5. fred lapides Says:

      McCain makes “one slip” just about every day. He tells us we must stay in Iraq till
      condition on the ground imporve. Then we learn that the surge has made condition on the ground muchb improved. Then the elected p;rime minister of Iraq says we ought to withdraw along the guidlines suggested byh Obama. then then Bush says we need to think about withdrawing–all leaving cCain sounding out of it. Next he wants a surge in iraqa but we don’t have the troops for this. Obama says we need to pull troops out of Iraq and send thousands more to Afghanistan. McCAin then says things are not so good in Afghanistan-perhaps–whereas Obama says they are very very bad.
      ps: I do not drink. My fingers are not functioning as they once did years ago and my puter, alas, does not have a spell checker/correction button, so find some charity in your heart and forgive.

    6. Jim Miller Says:

      Fred’s comments reminded me of a post I wrote two years ago on ignoratio elenchi. In brief, when someone tries to change the subject in an argument, they are conceding that they have lost the argument.

      Specifically, Fred is tacitly admitting that Obama is indeed making gaffes for that would have made people roar with laughter at Dan Quayle.

    7. loki on the run Says:

      You people simply don’t understand.

      This is the first (half) black man who is even remotely qualified … of course the press is throwing him some bones.

    8. Mike Says:

      A president will interact with world leaders after his term ends — and before it begins. Pres Carter is STILL interacting with world leaders — 30 years after his presidency. If anything, he has understated the term of interaction.

    9. BeeJo Says:

      Lex,
      Get a grip. Obama made a statement that perhaps was wrong or perhaps was imprecise or vague as Mike suggests. But the “slip” was inconsequential and uninteresting. By contrast, mispelling a simple word at while trying to teach children to spell, that’s embarassing — and hilarious — regardless of your politics. That’s like the ball that bounced off Canceco’s head for a home run; even the Rangers fans laughed. So honestly, get a grip on reality.

      For the first time in recent memory we have two decent intelligent candidates, and a number of important issues over which to evaluate them, and you have to descend to sniping over inconsequential nonesense and making a mountain of a molehill?

      You are normally a lot better than this post.

    10. TMLutas Says:

      Loki On the Run – *cough* Colin Powell *cough*

      Mrs Powell put the kibosh on his running and, in a way I’m glad as he’d likely have irritated the heck out of me with his more centrist policies. I’d certainly concede that he would have (heck still is) qualified and he might have even convinced me to vote for him.

    11. Bill45 Says:

      Fred lapides Says:
      July 21st, 2008 at 9:18 pm He does seem to knowk, unlike McCain (today on TV) that Iraq does not share a border with Afghanistan…and McCain is our foreign policy expert?
      all the spetty sniping hardly detract ts from the fact that whereas McCain finished nearly at the very bottom of his class in the Naval Academy, Obama finished at or very close to the top of Harvard Law School. ?See: snipin g this way is very very easy though juvenile.

      what is your source for Obama graduating at the top of Harvard Law School? And don’t say that just because he graduated magna cum laude he must have been. The standard by which Harvard awarded latin honors when Obama graduated in 1991 is impossible to find.

    12. Bill45 Says:

      Mike Says:
      July 22nd, 2008 at 11:24 am A president will interact with world leaders after his term ends — and before it begins. Pres Carter is STILL interacting with world leaders — 30 years after his presidency. If anything, he has understated the term of interaction…

      Well, then, that only makes Obama wrong about that time frame too. The man really has no clue what he is talking about.

    13. Porkov Says:

      I still remember the time after Quayle got nayled for his potatoe gaffe, one of my very brilliant lefty friends mocked me loudly, publicly, and to his eventual chagrin for putting an “e” in the plural of potato. Seems to me that a whole bunch of you are not as intellectually elevated as you think you are. Perhaps you generalize from a dearth of data.

    14. Jayemay Says:

      McCain stating that Iraq shares a border with Afganistan isn’t nearly as bad as Obama not knowing that Illinois is closer to Kentucky than Arkansas is.

    15. PlainBill Says:

      Never mind the Quayle test, Obama doesn’t even pass the Bush test: if President Bush had made ANY of Obama’s bloopers during his campaign in 2004, we’d have seen posters, cartoons, jokes, and snide smirking reminders about it through the 2006 midterms at least.

      Well, you know how it goes:
      If Standards are good, then Double Standards must be TWICE as good!!

    16. LotharBot Says:

      BeeJo,

      This particular gaffe may be “inconsequential and uninteresting”, as were many of Quayle’s. But Obama makes similarly silly statements almost daily, and they’re rarely reported. Take, for example, “the bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor” or “57 states”. There may be explanations for those, as there may have been for Quayle’s misspelling, but the fact remains that the media seems uninterested in attacking Obama for his silly mistakes in the same way as they attacked Quayle for his (beyond just the “potatoe” incident.)

      The question is, why? Primarily, I suspect it’s because Quayle is a Republican and Obama is a Democrat; they don’t want to skewer a guy they want to win. But I think there’s a secondary motivation — making fun of a goofy white guy for his mistakes is PC, but making fun of a black guy will get you branded a racist, even if both make equally silly mistakes.

    17. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      “Near the top of his class at Harvard Law School…”
      Obama has released neither his SAT’s nor his LSAT’s, and as Bill45 notes, we have no clear idea what his magna actually means, especially as an affirmative action student. I don’t see evidence that he is particularly bright, just that he has that reputation. His command of vocabulary (versus phrasing and tone) suggests he is well below Bush’s 126 IQ. McCain is also likely not as smart as our current president, though he may become a better president. I am not trying to claim that IQ is the most, or even one of the most, important qualifications for a president. But if Obama wants to use it as a selling point, he should back it up with more than schoolyard rumors.

      BeeJo notes that Quayle’s slip was funny – yes, it was – but it was also inconsequential, the kind of “D’oh!” moment all of us have at times. Obama’s slips seem to be almost eerily connected to what the country is and how the government works: the number of states, the length of terms, elementary checks and balances – including such “slips” that are policy suggestions, such as required national service. Wingnuts may worry that he’s secretly evil; I worry he’s secretly ot-nay oo-tay ight-bray.

    18. Jay Manifold Says:

      I’m taking up a collection to either 1) buy Fred Lapides a working keyboard or 2) provide relief to the survivors of the 10,000 Kansans killed in the Greensburg tornado. Donors, please specify your intended beneficiary.

    19. anonymous Says:

      “He does seem to knowk, unlike McCain (today on TV) that Iraq does not share a border with Afghanistan”

      At least McCain knows the difference between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    20. cjm Says:

      the really funny thing with fred “get them while their young and hairless” lapides is that if the party affiliations were switched, so would “his” opinion. in short, he is an unthinking stooge. law school is just one big memory test, it’s not an intelectually challenging field so don’t use that as a measure of cognitive ability. obama is clearly a fraud and a huckster in addition to being monumentally unfit for any executive position. if he had executive ability he would have already had at least one job at that level; but he hasn’t.

      i have just one question for fred and his ilk: does it taste like choclate?

    21. Lexington Green Says:

      For a guy who can’t spell, Fred gets a lot of attention. Too much. Repeat after me: Don’t feed the troll. When I am able to tear myself away from my incredibly well-paying job, ha, I am always happy to delete his blatherings, with rare exceptions, except when so many people engage with him … . It makes things unnecessarily hard. It is like collateral damage or something.

      BTW, Quayle was handed a card with the word spelled “potatoe”. Sad but true.

      Obama says way too many stupid things for someone who wants to be president. That would be true whether or not J. Danforth Quayle had ever stepped off the golf course and into public life.

      The Quayle Test holds. JDQ would have been CRUCIFIED for the exact same stoopid things Obama gets away with simply because Obama is the darling of the news media.

    22. AMF Says:

      Quayle got a lot of grief for encouraging the kid to spell potato the way it was written on the flash card he was handed. But no one mentions the (presumably) NEA teacher who created that card with the misspelled word. That wouldn’t fit the script.

    23. Fritz Says:

      I suppose all those people poking fun at Quayle’s spelling ability would confidently say they would do better, but I wonder if they know the whole story. Would they be willing to go against what was written on cards after being told the cards had been checked? In fact Mr. Quayle was handed cards with words on them and told to call out the words and check them against the card. The word was spelled incorrectly on the card, but the reporters deliberately left that part out. So if you think it funny, how much better would you have done under the same circumstances, that of having teachers hand you cards and being assured that they had been checked? In short, would you have had the guts to go against the teachers’ cards? I suspect that few people would have done so, and I know I would not have done so. I would have questioned the spelling mentally, but I would have done just what Mr. Quayle did thinking that although I thought the spelling was different, I must be in error because teachers say so. Given time to think about it I would have challenged the accuracy of the card, but Mr. Quayle did not have time to think about it. As the old saying goes, do not criticize a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.

    24. Fred Says:

      You people just don’t understand. The ten years comment refers to Barack’s role in the third Obama presidential term, Michelle’s.

    25. zenpundit Says:

      “I am not trying to claim that IQ is the most, or even one of the most, important qualifications for a president.”

      Our smartest presidents, in classic Stanford-Binet IQ wattage were most likely:

      Thomas Jefferson
      James Madison
      John Adams
      Abraham Lincoln
      Herbert Hoover
      Richard Nixon
      Jimmy Carter
      Bill Clinton

      Hoover and Carter were engineers ( Carter was a nuclear engineer), Clinton, Nixon, Jefferson, Lincoln and Adams were lawyers. Madison was a politician, gentleman farmer and a scholar who did a four year classical education in but two years. Hoover, Madison, Jefferson and Adams had their greatest accomplishments outside the office of the presidency while Carter, Nixon and Clinton had terms in office that historians judge fairly harshly. Hoover is considered one of the worst presidential failures while Lincoln is universally considered our greatest.

      Our second greatest president, again by acclamation, was FDR who was famously and accurately called a “second rate intellect but first rate temperment” by a politically friendly Supreme Court justice ( Frankfurter or Brandeis, I believe). FDR was easily the most able politician who ever held the office of the presidency, followed by LBJ and Ronald Reagan. All of whom had their strengths but none of whom would be confused with Thomas Jefferson intellectually, though all of them were as least as effective as presidents, if not moreso, than Jefferson was.

    26. John Moore Says:

      The left always considers IQ to be very important in a president, although they rail against the test’s use for anything else. It is important for them to believe that their presidents are smart and the right’s are dumb and dumber.

      So we have Jerry Ford, a star athlete, ridiculed as a bumbler. We have Reagan, who wrote many of his most brilliant essays, in long hand, without erasures or cross-outs. We have GWB, who is ridiculed as dumb just because he’s from the South (another standard lefty president) whose 126 IQ was significantly greater than Kerry’s 119, and who has two Ivy League degrees (just like Obama).

      It’s the standard narrative. McCain will be ridiculed as dumb, or this year, since they can get away with it, they’ll say he is slipping due to his age.

      For folks who are supposedly against discrimination and stereotyping, the left again shows its hypocrisy and insanity.

    27. Lexington Green Says:

      Zen, good comments. One small differing opinion: I think FDR was third — Washington first, Lincoln second, FDR third. I agree that FDR was our greatest politician, and I agree that
      Reagan and LBJ are near the top in that category as well. Nixon also belongs in that elite tier, as hard as that may be for us to appreciate from this vantage point. Only he and FDR were on FIVE national tickets, and each won four times.

      The point of this admittedly grumpy post isn’t that Obama is stupid. He isn’t, though he is scarily ignorant of a lot of things. Nor is the point that Quayle was less stupid. He wasn’t actually stupid, either.

      The point is that Obama is getting a 24/7 stroke job from the media. That is not their job, and more people should be complaining about it.

    28. malclave Says:

      I can’t believe you’re going after Obama like this.

      His gaffes, as has been pointed out, are comparable to McCain’s.

      McCain’s gaffes have been identified (by some on the left) as proof of senility.

      Therefore, [i]according to many of Obama’s own supporters[/i], the presumptive Democratic candidate is suffering from the early onset of senility. This could be a serious medical condition (has anyone seen his medical history? I know there was a big deal made about McCain’s), and should not be mocked.

    29. Jeremy Says:

      In a purely technical/theoretical sense, someone could be president for 10 years without amending the Constitution. It would involve that person being elected President for three terms (or rather, President twice and Vice-President once) and serving as President for one day less than half of one of those terms. More than that would qualify as a full term. If a Veep is sworn in as President just after the midpoint of a term, he or she is still eligible to be elected to 2 full terms, totaling 10 years (minus 1 day). I am totally certain that this far-fetched scenario is what exactly what the good Senator had in mind at the time… Ahem.

    30. Ginny Says:

      Zenpundit, The list is interesting, but I’m curious about John Quincy Adams. (Not that this has anything to do with current discussion.)
      I’d seen at least one place that argued he was the most intelligent president (though of course he missed being the greatest politician, etc. by pretty wide margins). That may not have been in terms of intelligence but preparation/education – I can’t remember where I saw it.

    31. Phil Fraering Says:

      Zenpundit, I’d like to ask where Eisenhower belongs on that list. I don’t necessarily agree with all of his decisions, but I’ve heard he was extremely smart; the anecdote I’ve heard (and I may not have the details right) had him writing things out in Greek with his left hand and Latin with his right, at the same time.

    32. JAL Says:

      No medical history. No academic records. No state legislative records. No records of his performance in the organizations he doled out money for. No nothing. Including “good judgment.”

      If I hear one more time about (from his own lips!) how confident he is that he has good judgment and is qualified and prepared to be president of the United States I may just lose my cookies. (That’s why I switch channels. Quickly.)

      This man has way too much dirty laundry in his basket. His judgment STINKS. (Wright, Ayers, Rezko and the revolving door at his campaign headquarters….) It’s not just the really stoopid gaffes (everyone is entitled to a couple ….) it’s the frequency and the content.

      The scarey thing is he thinks he’s saying smart presidential sounding things because he has such a confident soothing delivery.

      Me thinks he be delusional.

      And the press can’t admit what a terrible mistake they have made.

      If the Emporer isn’t naked, he’s wearing short pants.

    33. JorgXMcKie Says:

      Phil, it was Garfield who could write Greek with one hand and Latin with the other simultaneously (presumably translating to both from English). I believe it is claimed that he was also the world’s fastest at shorthand at the time. If true, I’m not sure those qualifications would make me vote for him for president. Let’s not confuse IQ with ‘smarts’. I know a lot of very high IQ individuals that couldn’t manage a three car funeral, let alone a whole country.

    34. Orion Says:

      Oh, Lord. His Worshipfulness could spell, “potato” as T-O-M-A-T-O-E and half would swoon, the other half would throw their panties, and Chris Matthews would get that trickle – er, tingle down his leg.

    35. ObamaTestDotCom Says:

      I wouldn’t worry about BHO’s gaffes so much as his outright lies. I haven’t heard back from his advisor and I probably won’t, but unless he provides me with a magical explanation this is a lie.

      If anyone wants to do anything, go to a BHO appearance, call him on one of his lies, and upload his response to Youtube.

    36. j.pickens Says:

      In Sen. Obama’s Jordan news conference yesterday, he spoke for some 40 minutes.
      If you take the “uhs”, “ums”, and general fumfkering time of his non-teleprompter-ed speaking and add it up,
      It is over 8 minutes. Over 20% of his spoken time was taken by an amazing array of stutters and non intelligible vocal utterances.
      If a Republican candidate did this, it would be on every news and comedy show for weeks.
      Watch it for yourself:

    37. j.pickens Says:

      Link didn’t work.
      Just go to CSPAN.org

    38. Sterling Says:

      If Obama misspelled the word “potato” in a public forum, he would be praised by the MSM for transcending the stultifying spelling conventions of backward, gun-clinging America.

      (The New York Times and Newsweek would begin spelling it the same way the very next day in brave solidarity.)

    39. Bill Kovacs Says:

      Look you are all missing something. Gaffes “stick” when they illustrate something people suspect about the cadidate. 57 states and 8 to 10 years don’t stick because people don’t think Obama is stupid. A lousy bowling score does stick because people suspect Obama is elitist. Can you imagine what would have happened if McCain had a bad game? “If I was that bad back while I was rolling in on the Paul Doumer Bridge, they would have thrown me out of the Navy!” Things that will stick to McCain is anything about his age. Questioning his patrotism or behavior in the Hanoi Hilton won’t stick at all. Czechoslovakia sticks to McCain not because people believe he doesn’t know that that country split up, but because it illustrates a senior moment by calling something by what it used to be called.

    40. David Gillies Says:

      [Comment deleted by Jonathan. Please keep this discussion civil.]

    41. Zainuddin Says:

      Fred Lapides said “all the spetty sniping hardly detract ts from the fact that whereas McCain finished nearly at the very bottom of his class in the Naval Academy, Obama finished at or very close to the top of Harvard Law School. ?See: snipin g this way is very very easy though juvenile.”
      My understanding is that finishing close to the top of your class is not hard at Harvard specially if you happen to be black. McCain graduated from a real school. I am not sure I will vote for him because of his shamnesty beliefs. I believe in Law and Order. Before you accuse me of racism I qualify on multiple counts as a minority including color.

    42. thomas Says:

      fred lapides Says:
      July 21st, 2008 at 9:18 pm

      “all the spetty sniping hardly detract ts from the fact that whereas McCain finished nearly at the very bottom of his class in the Naval Academy”

      For what it is worth, there is an old Academy tradition of trying to be last.. if you can not be first…

    43. Peg C. Says:

      The MSM is totally in the tank for the MessiUH, but this is also the soft bigotry of low expectations coming to fruition. Basically NOTHING is expected of him and nothing he is or says can be held up to examination. McCain and Bush are held to impossible standards; Obama spews clouds of inarticulate absurdities non-stop and is held to NO standards. If this isn’t racism I don’t know what is. And it’s all on the Left.

    44. Vince Says:

      This is good news and is reassuring to me that indeed, people are not falling for this scam of the Marxist Trojan Horse… From Rasmuesen [if this is too verbose, please edit]:

      The idea that reporters are trying to help Obama win in November has grown by five percentage points over the past month. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey, taken just before the new controversy involving the New York Times erupted, found that 49% of voters believe most reporters will try to help the Democrat with their coverage, up from 44% a month ago.

      . Just one voter in four (24%) believes that most reporters will try to offer unbiased coverage.

      In the latest survey, a plurality of Democrats—37%– say most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage of the campaign. Twenty-seven percent (27%) believe most reporters are trying to help Obama and 21% in Obama’s party think reporters are trying to help the Republican candidate.

      Among Republicans, 78% believe reporters are trying to help Obama and 10% see most offering unbiased coverage.

      As for unaffiliated voters, 50% see a pro-Obama bias and 21% see unbiased coverage. Just 12% of those not affiliated with either major party believe the reporters are trying to help McCain.

      In a more general sense, 45% say that most reporters would hide information if it hurt the candidate they wanted to win. Just 30% disagree and 25% are not sure. Democrats are evenly divided as to whether a reporter would release such information while Republicans and unaffiliated voters have less confidence in the reporters.

      Republicans and unaffiliated voters are more likely to trust campaign information from family and friends than from reporters. Democrats are evenly divided as to who they would trust more.

      A separate survey released this morning also found that 50% of voters believe most reporters want to make the economy seem worse than it is. A plurality believes that the media has also tried to make the war in Iraq appear worse that it really is.

      A survey conducted earlier this year found that 30% of voters believe having a friendly reporter is more valuable than raising a lot of campaign contributions.. Twenty-nine percent (29%) believe contributions are more important and 40% are not sure.

      These results are consistent with earlier surveys finding that large segments of the population believe the media is biased It is also clear that voters select their news sources in a partisan manner. During Election 2004, CNN viewers heavily favored John Kerry while Fox Fans preferred George W. Bush.

    45. mac Says:

      Obama won’t win. What is truly disappointing, however, is seeing the number of truly stupid people not only willing but eager to cast a vote for this inexperienced, corrupt gaffe machine. You lefties truly do hate this country and you make that more apparent with every passing day. What a despicable lot you are!

    46. Mike in Cincinnati Says:

      Bill Kovacs Said:
      “July 23rd, 2008 at 12:17 am Look you are all missing something. Gaffes “stick” when they illustrate something people suspect about the cadidate…. … Czechoslovakia sticks to McCain not because people believe he doesn’t know that that country split up, but because it illustrates a senior moment by calling something by what it used to be called.”

      That was Sam Nunn (dean of the Democratic foreign policy experts), not McCain.

      Don’t forget not knowing the difference between Memorial and Veteran’s Days.

      I get that sense that Obama would read anything on a teleprompter, and is gaffe-prone when he is unscripted.

    47. Jamie Says:

      I suspect this’ll be a mistake, but… Zeke, the “right-wing’s Obama obsession”? Which side was it that swept aside every other better-qualified candidate (and I’ve never liked Rodham-Clinton but I give her full credit for her fighting spirit – she absolutely should have fought just as hard as she did to save her party from this mistake) in order to make straight the path for this underqualified dude who made a good (if Republican-sounding) speech at a convention a few years back? Who’s swooning in the aisles at his speeches? Who, when substantive critique is offered, falls back on “You wingers just envy him his [rhetorical chops/blazing intellect/infallible judgment/athletic thinness]“? Or conversely, “Anyone who doesn’t see how superior Obama is must be a racist”?

    48. Raoul Ortega Says:

      I’d bet that The New Republic has no intention of doing “Obamaisms”, and we won’t see any day-a-page calendars full of Obamaisms either.

      So “Czechoslovakia” sticks to McCain because he’s “old” even though he didn’t say it. Imagine something sticking to The One (pbuh), even though he didn’t say it, just because he’s Black. The Left are the bigots they see in everyone else.

    49. peterike Says:

      Well Oblarney managed to head the Harvard Law Review without ever publishing an article. That’s surely a form of genius…. or something.

    50. The Den Mother Says:

      BTW, Quayle was handed a card with the word spelled “potatoe”. Sad but true.

      And he hesitated, thinking the card was incorrect. A teacher assured him, without the least bit of hesitation, that it was. Let the ridiculing of teachers begin!

    51. Jim,MtnViewCA,USA Says:

      and there’s the plan to send more Arabic translators to Afghanistan, right?

    52. Anonymous Says:

      I knew Dan Quayle. Dan Quayle was a friend of mine. Senator Obama, you’re another Dan Quayle.

    53. zenpundit Says:

      Both Ike and JQA are reasonable candidates to round off our top ten smartest presidents.

      John Quincy Adams, was certainly very bright – there didn’t seem to be any dim members of the Adams clan – how he compares to his father in terms of grey matter is a subject of debate. John Adams, and I’ve read his letters and some of his other marginalia, was unusually far seeing in his judgments about the nation and relatively poor on assessing matters regarding himself or his immediate interests. John Quincy Adams was better in the context of the moment and the details but I am not well enough read on JQA to be completely confident of that opinion.

      Eisenhower was also very bright and frequently underestimated in that regard ( usually to the cost of those doing so) and he was a masterful organize. Not an intellectual per se, he deliberately made use of ppl who had those strengths so as to add them to his own. I’d say though Ike was not quite on George C. Marshall’s level – there’s a reason Marshall made Ike and not the other way around and it wasn’t merely seniority in the Army.

    54. Gideon7 Says:

      “Let me be absolutely clear,” Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, said today at a press conference in Amman, Jordan. “Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s. It will be a strong friend of Israel’s under a McCain…administration. It will be a strong friend of Israel’s under an Obama administration. So that policy is not going to change.”

    55. Megaera Says:

      Just a clarification about Carter: the “nuclear engineer” stuff was madly overstated. He was an Annapolis grad, I believe, apparently intending to be a career naval officer and put in time on surface ships, though not in command positions. He was then proposed for a position on the first nuclear sub and sent for training as some level of reactor control officer — the “nuclear engineering” bit. While still in that training his father became ill and Carter resigned from the Navy and returned to Plains to run the family business; he also promptly took up politics, announcing that he was a “nucular (note the pronunciation) engineer turned peanut farmer”, a description he stuck with up through his campaign for governor.