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« Monte Hall Problem | Main | Time Management »


Mike Arndt

From TIME magazine, Dec 13, 1999:

"Included in the records is [John McCain's] 1984 IQ test. His score, 133, would rank him among the most intelligent Presidents in history.",9171,992860,00.html


Smart, please.

Nevin Adams

You make a key distinction in your question; "...generally characterized by the media." However, to extrapolate that that represents an accurate characterization of the person is, in many cases, also inaccurate.

The truth is that human beings seem to find people who agree with them to be more intelligent - and that predisposes the largely leftish-leaning media to find most democrats to be more intelligent. They also tend to look down their noses at people who don't agree with their assessment of reality. And they find judgements based on morality to be simplistic (at best) and indefensible.

As for "intelligence" versus character, it shouldn't have to be an either/or decision. And it isn't - certainly not as often as the media caricatures it as such.


I think the two traits go hand in hand.
t is easier for dim witted people to be moral because they are given a standard to work with and don't think about alternatives (that's why they're dim witted) but aren't tempted by not so good alternatives.

On the other hand smart people tent to be more amoral because they look at alternatives as not black and white, and have a tendency to slip up morally because of all that thinking takes away from the standard.

On this logic, you have to judge the dim witted person by how good his morals are (in this case GW may be moral, but not moral enough to spare the slaughter of thousands of iraqis)
and you have to judge the smart person by if they are smart enough to know that amoral things they may do have consequences.

but we're dealing with politicians who are selectively moral and only so smart.

Joshua Delcore

I would have to go with the one with the best character, b/c at least he would be doing what he really felt was right and would be more likely to think it through and do the right thing for everybody instead of just doing what would benefit himself the best in the long run.

Joshua Delcore


I would choose a Democrat. But, democrats are never actually smart, or they wouldn't propose socialist solutions and go against the Constitution. I miss Ron Paul.


I usually vote "None of the above." Hasn't failed me yet!


Thanks for the info


Are you asking me to choose between Dogbert and Ratbert? Sure sounds like it...


The laws are made and passed by the congress and senate. With enough of a consensus there, you could have a sock puppet as president and it wouldn't make any difference at all.

Which is a lucky thing since pretty much all of our presidents are indistinguishable from sock puppets.

Ok so I exaggerate, but still...

F Ho

I don't care who you Americans have elected finally.

But nude Twister does get my imagination run wild *drooling*

Kristina L.

Hard to say. Nixon was supposed to be very smart, and his slippery antics didn't do much good for the country, did it?

Carter was supposed to be smart and nice, but I've read that his reluctance to delegate was part of the reason he is not thought of as a good president.

And didn't Gore and Bush get similar grades in one of those fancy expensive highbrow colleges?


I dont know about the candidates; but there is an old saying in India: It is better to have an intelligent enemy than a foolish friend.

michael h

The Pope just made his call on this issue, excommunicating Giuliani as the first step in a new campaign in which the Pope will tell cafeteria Catholics to stuff it. For an exclusive on the Pope's "Dear Rudy" letter, see

Aditya Simha

My choice would be to vote for Senator Larry Craig, the esteemable senator from Idaho, as President. Imagine if Larry Craig managed to "neutralize" the Al Quaida and Iran threats by having secret dalliances with the leaders of the two groups in bathrooms. Wouldn't that be amazing?


Dumb with character. Not even Bush and Reagan screwed up the country as badly as FDR and LBJ did.

Kristal L. Rosebrook


Kristal L. Rosebrook


I remember Clinton sending off a few cruise missiles in the middle of the Lewinksy thing. For every minute of coverage on who we were targeting, why they were bad and what they might have done, there were ten on whether it was just a ploy to get something new on the front pages.

Possibility one: President Clinton was sincere in his efforts to send a forceful message to the terrorists, but no one could take him seriously because of his other entanglements.

Possibility two: President Clinton was too distracted by Monicagate to realize that his efforts to change the news conversation were telegraphing vulnerability and a lack of seriousness to our enemies.

There's a reason we have the expression about too clever by half. Even the cleverest can't really keep track of all the event chains they put in motion when they think themselves clever enough to fool everyone and line things up for everything to work itself out in the end.

By being sleazy and clever, President Clinton created a situation where he couldn't act firmly to protect our country, even if he wasn't too distracted by the other messes he got himself into to realize that he needed to do so. And he made enough of a hash of being a cagey and clever President that Bush seemed like the kind of guy we ought to have in his place. So, clever and morally slippery Bill Clinton paved the way for George W and 9/11. That's not an endorsement for the upright, stupid man, but it ought to be a pretty good argument that smart but smarmy isn't as benign as we'd like to think.

Ryan Boru

Some brilliant men of questionable character:

Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin...

Character means nothing?

Some leaders noted more for thier character than intelligence:

George Washington, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill...

Character means nothing?

Some notes about taxes in relation to the upcoming election:

Raise taxes anytime, particularly in a declining economy and you will further restrict that economy driving fewer proceeds towards tax revenue. Debt goes higher followed bya a call to raise taxes more. Where does it end?

In the '70s the maximum tax rate was huge and our economy was in ruins.

When urging people to THINK, know that it's important to UNDERSTAND a little about economics.

It seems to me those that are claiming the "Intelligent" side in this election are fooling themselves and the electorate.

Andy Coulter

u can always tell someone that hasn't been in the military. the average weapon is not your family car or the love boat or a 777. its loaded with high explosives. just getting into the damn thing is dangerous. assinine comments here seems to be the usual.

Andy Coulter

i think the analysis is between the slow (republicans)and the foolish (democrats).

Andy Coulter

what is money? my $150 blackberry would be worth $500 million or $1 billion if transported back to james bond's world in 1963.

Mene Tekel

The lesser of two evils is still evil.

I choose neither.

Scott Alan Miller

I think that I would probably want it to go back and forth between the two so that we have periods of correction for both problems and everyone knows that they can only screw up so badly before someone else gets elected.


Holy cow.
You're actually cheering for a Republican becasue he might lower your taxes a little!?!?! How in heaven's name do you propose ya'll are gonna crawl out from under America's enormous debt load(go George!) by paying less taxes, folks? I'm sorry, but that's as far as I can go on American politics without getting a migraine... Please, folks, do the rest of the world a favor and THINK!!!

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