I was watching Charlie Rose tonight and he was interviewing Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic who won widespread praise for his article The Obama Doctrine. It’s amazing how much access Obama gave to this reporter and I suspect it’s because Obama was nervous that his tumultuous relationship with Bibi Netanyahu was alienating the Jewish community, so he bends over backwards to be nice to Jewish journalists.
During the interview Goldberg said that Obama has very little patience for people who are not as smart as him, and while Goldberg concedes that Obama’s very, very smart, he thinks Obama considers himself to be very, very, very smart.
Since an IQ of 100 is average intelligence, I think an IQ of 110 makes you smart, and an IQ of 120 makes you very smart. Thus it follows that an IQ of 130 makes you very, very smart, while an IQ of 140 makes you very, very, very smart. So if both men were familiar with the IQ scale, Goldberg might rate Obama 130, while Obama would rate Obama 140.
Yesterday Rose had on Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin who talked about her relationship with Obama. Even before Obama was president, he wanted to meet Goodwin to talk about her book Team of Rivals, to understand how Lincoln could have staffed his cabinet with former adversaries. The book is credited with causing Obama to choose his former rival Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State.
While Goodwin could see Obama becoming a full-time writer and intellectual, she was more analytical about his intelligence than others. She said writers often write huge books because they can’t say things simply and for all of Obama’s skills as a communicator, she felt he couldn’t master the most important one of all: How to talk in sound bites in our fast paced media age. That takes a different kind of thinking, Goodwin explained.
I’ve sometimes thought verbal IQ could be divided into two sub-categories: writing IQ vs talking IQ. Obama delivered brilliantly written speeches but his real time debate performances against rivals as diverse Alan Keyes, Hillary Clinton, and Mitt Romney, were often panned.