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America's Debate > Archive > Political Debate Archive > [A] Republican Debate
Just how bad has the media treated George W. Bush on the issue of his intelligence? Bush has been treated unfairly in my opinion – and intentionally so. And this isn’t the medias unique reaction to Bush – this was also done with Ronald Reagan. The plan seems to be to keep the labels easy – for example, the media’s early efforts to discredit Bush as a bumbling speaker and shallow during his campaign and presidency. I suppose the media subscribes to the idea that if enough people can be convinced to believe it true – it is so. Looking for ‘misspeaks’ becomes a habit and any sign of such becomes a sign of ‘stupidity.’ In fact, Bush probably is quite intelligent. At least according to objective measures –

Before the present SAT there was a correlation between SAT scores and IQ scores. (The present SAT has been changed and this correlation no longer exists) If George W. Bush’s pre-1974 SAT score was a combined 1206 as reported in numerous sites on the internet --- than this SAT score converts to an IQ of 129 on the Otis-Gamma IQ test. The Otis test is reported to have a standard deviation of between 15 and 16 which makes the converted score almost two standard deviations above the norm.

Those of you who accept the numbers above –– should also note that the indicated IQ would be in the top 3% of the population. As stated in the linked material, these correlations were developed using a little more than 400 SAT and Otis IQ test takers.

In addition – the actual correlation for the pre-1994 test to the WAIS is +.80. This is higher than some IQ tests have with each other as shown in the quote below. This quote is concerning the pre-1994 SAT. Note the correlations given --

In fact, the test was developed by Princeton professor Carl Brigham, who had been one of the Army I.Q. testing team during the first world war. One of its first applications was by Harvard president James Bryant Conant in his establishment of the Harvard national scholarship program. He was looking for a way to find and admit capable students from parts of the U.S. where the university would not otherwise have looked. Newsweek reports: "There was one point about it on which Conant repeatedly demanded reassurance: was it a pure test of intelligence, rather than of the quality of the taker's education? Otherwise he was concerned that bright boys who had been born into modest circumstances and gone to poor schools would be penalized." Only after being convinced that the SAT was a pure intelligence test did Conant implement its use.

Consider the correlations between various standard tests and the WAIS:

WAIS to Stanford Binet = 0.77

WAIS to Raven's = 0.72

WAIS to Otis = 0.78

WAIS to SAT = 0.80

The designers of the SAT benchmarked it against the Otis; the similarity of correlations between the SAT and the WAIS was no accident. It is no wonder that high IQ societies (including Mensa, Intertel, ISPE, and TNS) have accepted the pre-1994 SAT as proof of membership qualification. TNS is presumably going to continue to accept it, with an adjusted score (to compensate for recent tinkering).

Note also that the quote above states that the SAT was actually benchmarked using the Otis IQ test. The Otis test was used in the SAT to IQ conversion cited above.
Here’s the link -

So the question becomes – never mind whether you agree with his politics – has a politically motivated media intentionally given George W. Bush a bad rap where native intelligence is concerned? Is this ethical given that the airwaves belong to the public and are a major source of information?
This is fantastic information and just serves to prove the point that those unlovable liberals won't admit; George W. Bush is a smart guy. Fortunately for us, the liberals will continue to underestimate Bush as they did Reagan and not GHW Bush, Then they'll be dealing with a second GW Bush term and more Republican Legislation!!!
johnlocke - please attempt to answer the questions posed for debate. rolleyes.gif
Desert Resident
Good morning! This subject. at one time, caused me great concern! As a Republican and a loyal fan of the Bush family (mistakes and triumphs), I must admit there were several times that I cringed during several of President Bush's speeches (especially at the grade schools) enough so that I almost wrote to his communications director to strongly recommend that a crash course in grammar may be helpful and even mandatory. rolleyes.gif

In my opinion, one of George W. Bush's greatest attributes is that he is well-aware of his strengths and weaknesses and throughout his life, has always surrounded himself with "people that are above him" and he "married well" (as he so often states during informal gatherings and speeches), and is comfortable with who he is. One of his assets in the political arena is that the media and his opponents continually underestimate him...and he doesn't mind that one bit-in fact, he counts on it. He works smart instead of hard, he is almost always on time (he values others' time as well as his own), he is focused, he knows how to delegate work, he is comfortable in surrounding himself with some of the best and the brightest (and they like him and respect him), and he gives people credit when credit is due.

The media has learned to roll with his speech pattern and "down home" sayings, and I think, overall, has not been too unfair in their reporting of his speeches-good and not so good. People in the speaking arena have more opportunities to put "their foot into their mouths" than the rest of us.

Critics were always poking fun at and trying to insult Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Harry Truman, and Thomas Edison about their "down-to-earth" vocabulary (or lack of it) and all of those gentlemen made a profound difference in the course of our history and were in command of hundreds and thousands of people who were seemingly more intelligent and knowledgeable than themselves. biggrin.gif
Lovenstein Institute

The London Guardian first broke the story of President Bushs I.Q. being at the bottom of the list of all presidents of the last 50 years, at 91. Then the Dunesbury comic strip perpetuated the myth by getting their digs in.
This story started with a phoney think tank called The Lovenstein Institute, who supposedly conducted a 4 month study of presidential I.Q.s. Turns out, the Guardian was taken in by a hoax. The Lovenstein Institute is a guy in a mobile home in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His publication had a circulation of 5 readers, but once the story circulated in E-mail from one Bush-hating nerd to the next, it took on a life of its own.
Fact is, the last president to reveal his I.Q. was Jimmy Carter. The complete text of the phoney research can be viewed on the above link. us.gif
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