It's Official: President Obama's SOTU Speeches Are The 'Dumbest' In US History

Are you smarter than a 9th grader? Then you will be quite at home with President Obama's latest State of The Union speech. While the Flesch-Kincaid readability test shows SOTU 'smartness' has been plunging Woodrow Wilson, the collapse has accelerated post-Clinton with President Obama's average SOTO speech tailored to the intellect of a 14-year-old - the lowest on record.


As Vocativ reports,

Vocativ also calculated the average SOTU grade for every president dating back to Woodrow Wilson, when it first became the norm to deliver such speeches before a joint session of Congress. Before Wilson, it was typically presented as a written report. Over the last century, the State of the Union’s sophistication has trended steadily downwards.



Perhaps even more sad is the spin that a former speechwriter puts on this downtrend...

“It’s tempting to read this as a dumbing down of the bully pulpit,” Shesol said.


“But it’s actually a sign of democratization. In the early Republic, presidents could assume that they were speaking to audiences made up mostly of men like themselves: educated, civic-minded landowners. These, of course, were the only Americans with the right to vote. But over time, the franchise expanded and presidential appeals had to reach a broader audience.” That, and the advent of mass communication.


Now, when President Obama addresses the country, he is addressing everyone.

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Yep - that's it.