QotD: Celebrity Historian Dubs Obama a Genius, Without Evidence

 

Beschloss: “This is a guy [Obama] whose IQ is off the charts.”

Imus: “Well, what is his IQ?”

Beschloss: “Pardon?”

Imus: “What is his IQ?”

Beschloss: “Uh, I would say it’s probably — he’s probably the smartest guy ever to become president.”

The author of the article where I found this quote then comments, “On what actual evidence did “historian” Beschloss base his assertion? The SAT scores Obama refused to release? The college transcripts he also kept private? Any existing IQ scores he withheld?”

It’s revealing that Beschloss was unprepared for the most straightforward response to his statement. Imus’s “Well, what is his IQ?” is not a gotcha question. Beschloss viewed his comment as so obviously correct that he was nonplussed by Imus asking for details. Why does Bescholss view Obama as a genius? Is it because he repeated Leftist shibboleths that Beschloss thinks are the epitome of intelligence. Had Beschloss ever seen Obama struggle off Teleprompter? Beschloss is obviously a lazy expert.

In the age of Trump, many people are no longer willing to listen to such people, even if they claim to be conservative cognoscenti.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    95. It’s high for a Democrat.

    • #1
  2. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Richard Easton: Had Beschloss ever seen Obama struggle off Teleprompter?

    He’s not just super smart but a great speaker . . . and “um” is to a word.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Oh, but he could turn a phrase so well! Isn’t that a characteristic of geniuses?? <sarc off>

    • #3
  4. Misthiocracy secretly Member
    Misthiocracy secretly
    @Misthiocracy

    Richard Easton: “On what actual evidence did “historian” Beschloss base his assertion? The SAT scores Obama refused to release? The college transcripts he also kept private? Any existing IQ scores he withheld?”

    Beschloss might have based his statement on this page at PrepScholar.com. Please note that PrepScholar.com does not cite where they got the alleged number, and every other source I can find online links back to PrepScholar.com as the source.

    A disturbing number of media outlets have reported PrepScholar’s numbers as fact.

    Sigh…

    • #4
  5. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    Richard Easton: Why does Bescholss view Obama as a genius?

    Obviously because he agrees with Obama at least 99.99% of the time. Therefore…..

    • #5
  6. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Richard Easton: “On what actual evidence did “historian” Beschloss base his assertion? The SAT scores Obama refused to release? The college transcripts he also kept private? Any existing IQ scores he withheld?”

    Beschloss might have based his statement on this page at PrepScholar.com. Please note that PrepScholar.com does not cite where they got the alleged number, and every other source I can find online links back to PrepScholar.com as the source.

    Hmmm… I’m as smart as Obama. Am I a genius, too?

    Check out the balls brains on Rush, though!

    • #6
  7. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    I submit that the statement is the modern equivalent of ‘Some of my best friends are African American’. 

    He’s the smartest president ever! He is clean and articulate. He has no ‘negro’ dialect. Just look at the crease in his pants. All mean the same thing: “I’m not one of these racists who think he is inferior, ( Really! I’m not!) so to prove it I will declare him superior in every way to all that have come before.”

     

    • #7
  8. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Every Democrat president or even candidate is the smartest person to ever run. Remember Bill Clinton was the smartest ever, and then they said Al Gore was so damn smart nobody could understand what he was talking about. (Ignoring the possibility that the reason was he was an idiot.) Then Hillary was called the most qualified person to ever run in the history of the country, no matter how laughable that actually was.

    Expect Kamala Harris or whoever to be called the same.

    • #8
  9. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Stina (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Richard Easton: “On what actual evidence did “historian” Beschloss base his assertion? The SAT scores Obama refused to release? The college transcripts he also kept private? Any existing IQ scores he withheld?”

    Beschloss might have based his statement on this page at PrepScholar.com. Please note that PrepScholar.com does not cite where they got the alleged number, and every other source I can find online links back to PrepScholar.com as the source.

    Hmmm… I’m as smart as Obama. Am I a genius, too?

    Check out the balls brains on Rush, though!

    I’d like to see sourcing on that Bill O’Reilly score.

    • #9
  10. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Every Democrat president or even candidate is the smartest person to ever run. Remember Bill Clinton was the smartest ever, and then they said Al Gore was so damn smart nobody could understand what he was talking about. (Ignoring the possibility that the reason was he was an idiot.) Then Hillary was called the most qualified person to ever run in the history of the country, no matter how laughable that actually was.

    Expect Kamala Harris or whoever to be called the same.

    AP did a story back in April of 1994 where the writer quoted a Clinton staffer as telling the press corps that Bill was the smartest president since Thomas Jefferson (where the tone here was not reverential, but was slipped into the story to infer a certain level of jerkiness on the part of the Clinton staffer for chiding the press corps in that manner)

    • #10
  11. GLDIII Intermittently Non Esse… Reagan
    GLDIII Intermittently Non Esse…
    @GLDIII

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Richard Easton: “On what actual evidence did “historian” Beschloss base his assertion? The SAT scores Obama refused to release? The college transcripts he also kept private? Any existing IQ scores he withheld?”

    Beschloss might have based his statement on this page at PrepScholar.com. Please note that PrepScholar.com does not cite where they got the alleged number, and every other source I can find online links back to PrepScholar.com as the source.

    Well at least I beat Al “I invented the internet” Gore.

    • #11
  12. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Off the charts, huh? Which end?

    • #12
  13. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Arahant (View Comment):

    95. It’s high for a Democrat.

    Isn’t that room temperature for Barack? I understand he likes the temperature up there.

    • #13
  14. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Imus could have fouled Beschloss up even more by asking whether or not IQ tests themselves are racially biased, because that’s been a hot-button issue on the left for four decades now.

    The default position for the media, going back at least that long, is always the nominee for president on the Democratic side is a super-genius, and if the nominee does too many dumb things to push that narrative, he or she is anointed with other superhuman capabilities in compassion or courage. Republican nominees are always some combination of evil idiots, where the less their critics can make the idiot part stick, the more evil the nominee then becomes.

    (Trump’s managed to turn both the ‘evil’ and the ‘idiot’ attacks against him up to an 11 because of his own four-decade history of dealing with the media, which has given him the savvy to know how to punch their buttons. But it doesn’t say much for his attackers’ savvy if the guy is barely literate enough to type his cellphone password yet so devious that neither Robert Muller nor all the press investigators have been able to uncover his ties to Putin to fix the 2016 election. By making him uber-stupid and uber-evil, they bring into question their own smarts if they can’t uncover what this moron’s been doing.)

    • #14
  15. Misthiocracy secretly Member
    Misthiocracy secretly
    @Misthiocracy

    Here’s an academic paper that claims to estimate presidential IQ:

    http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~jcampbel/documents/SimontonPresIQ2006.pdf

    Sadly, it stops at GWB.

    • #15
  16. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Here’s an academic paper that claims to estimate presidential IQ:

    http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~jcampbel/documents/SimontonPresIQ2006.pdf

    Sadly, it stops at GWB.

    It’s BS anyway.

    • #16
  17. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    He seemed to me to be fairly intelligent. Maybe not as intelligent as Sarah Palin, but he is up there.

    • #17
  18. Misthiocracy secretly Member
    Misthiocracy secretly
    @Misthiocracy

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Here’s an academic paper that claims to estimate presidential IQ:

    http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~jcampbel/documents/SimontonPresIQ2006.pdf

    Sadly, it stops at GWB.

    It’s BS anyway.

    As with so much sociological statistical method, the methodology traces back to 19th century Eugenicists.

    (Too funny: You can trust Dean Keith Simonton’s paper because, according to Wikipedia, “historiometry was the first field studying genius by using scientific methods.” Citation? Dean Keith Simonton!)

    • #18
  19. Misthiocracy secretly Member
    Misthiocracy secretly
    @Misthiocracy

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Oh, but he could turn a phrase so well! Isn’t that a characteristic of geniuses?? <sarc off>

    I read an article once that claimed that there is one area of international educational rankings where American students are way, way, way ahead of the pack when compared to all other countries: Public Speaking.

    In other words, “fake it til you make it” is an official policy goal of American primary and secondary education.

    (Apologies that I don’t have a citation for that factoid. I’ve searched pretty extensively for the article but I’ve been unsuccessful relocating it.)

    • #19
  20. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    The linked article estimates Obama’s SAT score as 1340.

    I’m just a few months younger than Obama, so it’s fair to say that we can compare scores without having to worry about variations in means and scoring over time. I scored a 1330 on my SATs.

    I would (justifiably) be laughed out of any room where I claimed to be more intelligent than any President we ever had prior to Obama.

    • #20
  21. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    SAT scores have been re-normed and more recent scores are higher as a result. Don’t know when those on the list took the test, but this has likely happened before. Surely you’ve all seen some of the high school exams from the late 1800s-early 1900s that would be tough for college graduates to pass these days. 

    Not to mention…SAT scores tell nothing more than a person’s ability to do well on a multiple choice test and, if Kaplan and the other test prep services are to be believed, that ability can be artificially enhanced. It is not a stand-in for a properly administered IQ test.

    • #21
  22. Misthiocracy secretly Member
    Misthiocracy secretly
    @Misthiocracy

    Caryn (View Comment):

    SAT scores have been re-normed and more recent scores are higher as a result. Don’t know when those on the list took the test, but this has likely happened before. Surely you’ve all seen some of the high school exams from the late 1800s-early 1900s that would be tough for college graduates to pass these days.

    Not to mention…SAT scores tell nothing more than a person’s ability to do well on a multiple choice test and, if Kaplan and the other test prep services are to be believed, that ability can be artificially enhanced. It is not a stand-in for a properly administered IQ test.

    As with so many sociological* statistics, it doesn’t have to be a valid proxy. It only has to be the best proxy available at any given time.

    ;-)

    (* also: economic, ecological, climatological, etc. )

    • #22
  23. Thejokewasonme Member
    Thejokewasonme
    @

    You can be the brightest bulb there is, but if you can’t light the way out of darkness then of what good is your luminescence? (Can’t recall whether I read this or something along this line of thought.)

    • #23
  24. dnewlander Coolidge
    dnewlander
    @dnewlander

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Richard Easton: “On what actual evidence did “historian” Beschloss base his assertion? The SAT scores Obama refused to release? The college transcripts he also kept private? Any existing IQ scores he withheld?”

    Beschloss might have based his statement on this page at PrepScholar.com. Please note that PrepScholar.com does not cite where they got the alleged number, and every other source I can find online links back to PrepScholar.com as the source.

    A disturbing number of media outlets have reported PrepScholar’s numbers as fact.

    Sigh…

    If those numbers are correct, then there’s no way 0 could have gotten into Occidental at the time. They’re pretty mediocre.

    • #24
  25. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Thejokewasonme (View Comment):

    You can be the brightest bulb there is, but if you can’t light the way out of darkness then of what good is your luminescence? (Can’t recall whether I read this or something along this line of thought.)

    Welcome to Ricochet.

    • #25
  26. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Richard Easton: “On what actual evidence did “historian” Beschloss base his assertion? The SAT scores Obama refused to release? The college transcripts he also kept private? Any existing IQ scores he withheld?”

    Beschloss might have based his statement on this page at PrepScholar.com. Please note that PrepScholar.com does not cite where they got the alleged number, and every other source I can find online links back to PrepScholar.com as the source.

    A disturbing number of media outlets have reported PrepScholar’s numbers as fact.

    Sigh…

    If those numbers are correct, then there’s no way 0 could have gotten into Occidental at the time. They’re pretty mediocre.

    Not in 1979 they weren’t. They did the first re-vamp (dumb down) of the tests shortly after that.

    • #26
  27. Thejokewasonme Member
    Thejokewasonme
    @

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Thejokewasonme (View Comment):

    You can be the brightest bulb there is, but if you can’t light the way out of darkness then of what good is your luminescence? (Can’t recall whether I read this or something along this line of thought.)

    Welcome to Ricochet.

    Having tooled ’round the internet, I discovered RICOCHET. The articles are interesting, the comments informative, the lack of continual acrimony and vulgarness is appreciated, and, most importantly, ya’ll seem like some good and decent who have one another’s best interests to heart.

    Thanks for the welcome, Arahant.

    • #27
  28. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    Not in 1979 they weren’t. They did the first re-vamp (dumb down) of the tests shortly after that.

    1994.

    • #28
  29. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Thejokewasonme (View Comment):
    Thanks for the welcome, Arahant.

    Sure, and the backroom bar of Ricochet is called The PIT.

    • #29
  30. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Caryn (View Comment):

    SAT scores have been re-normed and more recent scores are higher as a result. Don’t know when those on the list took the test, but this has likely happened before. Surely you’ve all seen some of the high school exams from the late 1800s-early 1900s that would be tough for college graduates to pass these days.

    Not to mention…SAT scores tell nothing more than a person’s ability to do well on a multiple choice test and, if Kaplan and the other test prep services are to be believed, that ability can be artificially enhanced. It is not a stand-in for a properly administered IQ test.

    My grandfather never attended high school. The nearest one was twenty miles away. He helped with the farm after finishing eighth grade and studied in the evenings. After a year, he took a test that the state offered. If you scored well enough, you got credit for a high school education. If you did significantly better than that, you got a teaching certificate as well. That is how he ended up teaching when he was sixteen. (Some of his students were older than he was, but he was bigger than they were, so that worked out okay.)

    I saw an old copy of that test. Those questions were tough.

    • #30

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