A reader recently asked where one could learn the facts about Bush’s I.Q. So it was a real serendipity for the New York Times to report that George W. Bush probably had a higher I.Q. than John Kerry:
That, at least, is the conclusion of Steve Sailer, a conservative columnist at the Web magazine Vdare.com and a veteran student of presidential I.Q.’s. During the last presidential campaign Mr. Sailer estimated from Mr. Bush’s SAT score (1206) that his I.Q. was in the mid-120’s, about 10 points lower than Al Gore’s.
Mr. Kerry’s SAT score is not known, but now Mr. Sailer has done a comparison of the intelligence tests in the candidates’ military records. They are not formal I.Q. tests, but Mr. Sailer says they are similar enough to make reasonable extrapolations.
Mr. Bush’s score on the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test at age 22 again suggests that his I.Q. was the mid-120’s, putting Mr. Bush in about the 95th percentile of the population, according to Mr. Sailer. Mr. Kerry’s I.Q. was about 120, in the 91st percentile, according to Mr. Sailer’s extrapolation of his score at age 22 on the Navy Officer Qualification Test.
Linda Gottfredson, an I.Q. expert at the University of Delaware, called it a creditable analysis said she was not surprised at the results or that so many people had assumed that Mr. Kerry was smarter. “People will often be misled into thinking someone is brighter if he says something complicated they can’t understand,” Professor Gottfredson said.
Sailer notes this difference in the way the two candidates’ intelligence is portrayed:
Kerry has generally tried to portray himself as an intellectual, which has been a successful strategy for him in college-crowded Massachusetts.
In contrast, the only election Bush ever lost was a 1978 Congressional race in the Texas Panhandle, where his opponent made fun of Bush for having degrees from Yale and Harvard.
Bush resolved never to get out-dumbed again.
Soon we shall see whether Kerry can beat him by trying to outsmart him.
You can read Sailor’s analysis here.
Thanks to Betsy Newmark at Betsy’s Page for the tip.
UPDATE: At Secure Liberty, Steve posts that President Bush must be smarter than Kerry, because “Kerry’s proposals on healthcare, outsourcing, energy policy, Canadian drug importation and taxes, demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of our entire economic system, the larger global economy and basic common sense.” Well Said.
At INDC Journal Bill sums it up by posting that Both men are reasonably bright.
At WizBang, Kevin reminds us that in August former New York Times editor Harold Raines said:
Does anyone in America doubt that Kerry has a higher IQ than Bush?
At Incite, Beck posts the only evidence supporting the assumption that the Prez is a moron is that he’s a sub-par extemporaneous speaker.