• The State of the Union Is Mildly Illiterate

    Last year, a study confirmed what we've long suspected: if America's elected representatives seem like overgrown student government presidents, it's because they talk at roughly the level of high school sophomores

    Today's Congress speaks at like, you know, a 10.6 grade level, on average, down from 11.5 in 2005. So what's a president to do when addressing a joint session of Congress?

    A Smart Politics review of the 92 orally-delivered State of the Union Addresses since George Washington finds that each of President Obama's addresses rank in the bottom ten on the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, with his 2013 address written at a 9th grade level…

    With four addresses under his belt, President Obama is now tied with George H.W. Bush for the lowest average Flesch-Kincaid score for State of the Union addresses of any president with an 8.6 grade level.

    At this rate, the next State of the Union address will be delivered in uptalk: "And the state of the union is strong?" (points to a cat .gif).

    Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Barack Obama, Education, State of the Union


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