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"My Message is Simple": Obama's SOTU Written at 8th Grade Level for Third Straight Year
Smart Politics (umn.edu) ^ | January 25, 2012 | Eric Ostermeier

Posted on 01/25/2012 7:43:07 AM PST by Qbert

Obama's SOTU addresses have the lowest average Flesch-Kincaid score of any modern president; Obama owns three of the six lowest-scoring addresses since FDR

For the third consecutive State of the Union Address, Barack Obama spoke in clear, plain terms.

And for the third straight Address, the President's speech was written at an eighth-grade level.

In Obama's own words: "My message is simple."

But was it too simplistic?

A Smart Politics study of the 70 orally delivered State of the Union Addresses since 1934 finds the text of Obama's 2012 speech to have tallied the third lowest score on the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, at an 8.4 grade level.

Obama also delivered the second lowest scoring address in 2011 (at an 8.1 grade level) and the sixth lowest in 2010 (at an 8.8 grade level)

The Flesch-Kincaid test is designed to assess the readability level of written text, with a formula that translates the score to a U.S. grade level. Longer sentences and sentences utilizing words with more syllables produce higher scores. Shorter sentences and sentences incorporating more monosyllabic words yield lower scores.

[Snip]

Each of Obama's three addresses are among only seven of 70 in the modern era that were written shy of a 9th grade level, and among the six that have averaged less than 17 words per sentence.

[Snip]

With three addresses under his belt, President Obama has the lowest average Flesch-Kincaid score for State of the Union addresses of any modern president. Obama's average grade-level score of 8.4 is more than two grades lower than the 10.7 grade average for the other 67 addresses written by his 12 predecessors.

(Excerpt) Read more at blog.lib.umn.edu ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: obama; stateofconfusion; stateoftheunion
The smartest president ever.
1 posted on 01/25/2012 7:43:20 AM PST by Qbert
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To: Qbert

I suffered though it last night. His delivery is terrible, very uninspiring, even if you ignore the content. Did he even practice the speech beforehand?


2 posted on 01/25/2012 7:48:12 AM PST by jaydubya2
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To: Qbert

Well, look at his voters.


3 posted on 01/25/2012 7:55:25 AM PST by bluerose (Newt Gingrich and Col. Allen West for VP!)
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To: Qbert

Most of his base would respond best to a speech at the 4th grade level. So, I guess he’s trying to pull them up?

The man does nothing but lie, I didn’t watch a second of it.


4 posted on 01/25/2012 7:56:16 AM PST by brownsfan (Aldous Huxley and Mike Judge were right.)
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To: Qbert

The message IS simple -

he’s going to use violence to confiscate wealth from those who oppose his agenda, and give a pittance of that wealth to those who support him.

The “earning class” is a bunch of cows. The communists milk those cows at gunpoint, take the cream for themselves, and give some of the milk to their supporters in order to keep themselves in power.


5 posted on 01/25/2012 7:56:55 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Qbert

Why would anyone be surprised - it was another political speech, which means it was addressed to his voters. I’d expect an 8th grade level was a bit high for that demographic.


6 posted on 01/25/2012 8:03:37 AM PST by Stosh
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To: bluerose

Precisely.

He is speaking to his base.


7 posted on 01/25/2012 8:05:35 AM PST by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans: Don't read their lips - watch their hands.)
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To: Qbert; jaydubya2

Smartest president with a ‘stash’ at least.

A good friend and golf partner posted this last night: ‘put politics aside and it was a fantastic speech.’ I nearly spilled my coffee when I read it. I’m going to step on his golf ball the next time we play.


8 posted on 01/25/2012 8:05:46 AM PST by relictele (Green energy is neither)
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To: Qbert; tubebender; SierraWasp; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Liz; BOBTHENAILER; ASA Vet; BIGLOOK; ...

“Obama’s SOTU Written at 8th Grade Level for Third Straight Year”

Even this lowered standard, probably only 2 to 3% of his legal and illegal voters understood what he was trying to tell them!


9 posted on 01/25/2012 8:07:52 AM PST by Grampa Dave (ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS DESTROYING AMERICA-LOOK AT WHAT IT DID TO THE WHITE HOUSE!)
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To: Qbert

I did not watch last night, but regrettably the establishment at which I had breakfast had the inescapable TVs on in the dining room, and they started to play some clips from the speech.

As I hurriedly made my way to the door (I can’t stomach the sight of that vile and wicked man) I heard him say something like “the thing that made America great is, we got each others’ backs.”

Ghetto talk. Can you imagine any other president using such street talk during what is supposed to be formal oratory?

Bush was inarticulate as hell, but I don’t ever remember his deliberately dumbing down his language in a formal speech.


10 posted on 01/25/2012 8:13:04 AM PST by jtal (Runnin' a World in Need with White Folks' Greed - since 1492)
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To: Qbert

To insure he can read every word. We don’t want an 8th grade level reading person to read material intended for 9th graders do we?


11 posted on 01/25/2012 8:14:00 AM PST by Tamatoa (Fight for our America, Fight for our Country I fought to defend!!!)
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To: Qbert

“My Message is Simple”: Obama’s SOTU Written at 8th Grade Level for Third Straight Year”

How else can he communicate with the majority of democrats?


12 posted on 01/25/2012 8:18:14 AM PST by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: Qbert
From Smart Politics analysis of last year's SOTU Address.

http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cspg/smartpolitics/2010/01/professor_obama_presidents_sta.php"

Average Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level for Orally Delivered State of the Union Addresses by President Since FDR

Rank
President
Words per sentence
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
1
Kennedy
23.8
12.0
2
Eisenhower
20.5
11.9
3
Nixon
23.5
11.5
4
Roosevelt
24.3
11.4
5
Ford
19.3
11.2
6
Carter
19.7
10.8
7
Truman
18.9
10.5
8
Johnson
20.3
10.4
8
Bush 43
19.0
10.4
10
Reagan
19.6
10.3
11
Clinton
19.0
9.5
12
Obama
16.6
8.8
13
Bush 41
17.4
8.6
Data compiled by Smart Politics.
13 posted on 01/25/2012 8:18:20 AM PST by The_Victor (If all I want is a warm feeling, I should just wet my pants.)
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To: jaydubya2

" Did he even practice the speech beforehand?"

I doubt it. He developed his shtick years ago with Axelrod- turn your head left, turn your head right, say things really LOUD with a cadence to supposedly show that you're serious about what you're saying (even though you're just reading these words off the TelePrompTer for the first time...), then wait for the applause from your sycophants. It never changes.

14 posted on 01/25/2012 8:22:30 AM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: Qbert

Most of the public are unable even to grasp the meaning of percentages, or to distinguish between a rate of taxation and the amount paid. So it is safe to have him say that a secretary pays less than a millionaire. It is literally untrue, but most listeners will not know the difference, “in the primitive simplicity of their minds.”

He is advertising. That is the level of speech he is using. Short sentences.


15 posted on 01/25/2012 8:24:08 AM PST by docbnj
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To: Qbert
"I done good. Send more money bucks.
16 posted on 01/25/2012 8:37:27 AM PST by Portcall24
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To: Qbert

Rev. James “Obama is a Mack Daddy” Manning’s Take on the State of the Union Address (He’s for Gingrich)

Hilarious! MUST SEE VIDEO: http://hillbuzz.org/must-see-rev-james-mannings-take-on-the-state-of-the-union-address-43724


17 posted on 01/25/2012 8:45:22 AM PST by Matchett-PI ("One party will generally represent the envied, the other the envious. Guess which ones." ~GagdadBob)
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To: The_Victor

So...the...a-ver-age...O-ba-ma...vot-er...can...un-der-stand...


18 posted on 01/25/2012 8:55:02 AM PST by mkboyce
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To: The_Victor

>>Average Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level for Orally Delivered State of the Union Addresses by President Since FDR

I guess they haven’t updated it yet. According to the article he scored 8.8 in 2010, 8.1 in 2011, and 8.4 in 2012, which averages out to an 8.4. That places him below Bush41.


19 posted on 01/25/2012 9:24:17 AM PST by vikingd00d (chown -R us ./base)
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To: vikingd00d
I guess they haven’t updated it yet. According to the article he scored 8.8 in 2010, 8.1 in 2011, and 8.4 in 2012, which averages out to an 8.4. That places him below Bush41.

I pulled this table from last years analysis, intending to show that he's getting worse. In the cutting and pasting of the table, some of my own text got lost.

There is a table in the thread's linked article that is this years. 0bama has dropped to the bottom of the table.

20 posted on 01/25/2012 10:47:10 AM PST by The_Victor (If all I want is a warm feeling, I should just wet my pants.)
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To: freeangel

Military training manuals are typically written at an 8th grade level,too.

But the teleprompter isn’t running a dual core processor.


21 posted on 01/25/2012 2:25:26 PM PST by WOBBLY BOB (Congress: Looting the future to bribe the present.)
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