While there are plenty of legitimate avenues for criticizing Obama,
I don’t think this is a very productive for Jennifer Rubin to raise questions about Obama’s intellegence. Whatever you may say about Obama, rising from a comfortable but not wealthy Hawaii upbringing to become the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, and quite possibly the first black President of the United States, is not something that can be accomplished by a dumb man. Read his books and listen to his more thoughtful interviews, and there shouldn’t be any doubt that you’re dealing with an intellegent person. Most of the examples Rubin cites of mistakes made by Obama are either errors that you might expect from anybody over the course of the campaign or atrributable to his inexperience, or poor management skills.
It’s important to draw a distinction among different types of intellegence. Not everybody who is academically smart, as Obama clearly is, will make a good manager. Obama’s blunders, most recently with his VP selection team, raise questions about his ability to serve in an executive capacity and about his judgment. They don’t mean he’s dumb.
This question gets back to something I noted yesterday. In academia, a student gets ahead by being able to concisely summarize competing views, and that is a skill that Obama has brought to his political speeches to create an image of himself as a moderate. But once you’re put into an executive position, you can no longer equivocate, you have to actually start making decisions. That requires a different skill set, and a different type of intellegence.
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