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vcczar

US Presidential Nominees by Intelligence

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This is my personal ranking based off readings and observations. I've measured 8-types of intelligence: 

  • Logical (Deals with rational, reasonable, and measured thought)
  • Abstract (theoretical, visionary, original, and creative thought)
  • Interpesonal (empathetic and ability to connect to a range of different kind of people of different backgrounds)
  • Intrapersonal (self-knowledge and the ability to know one's own limitations and worth)
  • Linguistic (ability to express one's self convingly and inspirationally through writing or speech or wit)
  • Primal (instinctual ability to survive, achieve power, hold on to it, and understand the power game of politics and life)
  • Learned (ability to soak up large volumes of varied information, process it, and apply it)
  • Natural (Innate curiosity, intellectual sparring ability, and obvious display of base-level intelligence)

I weight all of these intelligences equally. However, I can adjust my ratings to take into account that one is more important than others. Here is my ratings:

1st tied - Theodore Roosevelt

1st tied - Thomas Jefferson

3rd - Abraham Lincoln

4th - John Adams

5th - John F Kennedy

6th tied - Richard Nixon

6th tied - Bill Clinton

6th tied - Barack Obama

6th tied - Henry Clay

6th tied - John Quincy Adams (probably had the highest IQ, however)

6th tied - James Madison

12th tied - Ronald Reagan

12th tied - Franklin D Roosevelt

12th tied - Woodrow Wilson

15th tied - James A Garfield

15th tied - Rufus King

15th tied - DeWitt Clinton

18th tied - Al Gore

18th tied - Charles Evans Hughes

20th tied - John Kerry

20th tied - Dwight D Eisenhower

20th tied - Adlai E Stevenson

20th tied - Harry S Truman

20th tied - Wendell Wilkie

20th tied - William Jennings Bryan

26th tied - Thomas E Dewey

26th tied - William H Taft

26th tied - James G Blaine

26th tied - Stephen A Douglas

26th tied - John C Breckinridge

26th tied - James K Polk

26th tied - Martin Van Buren

26th tied - William H Crawford

26th tied - George Washington

35th tied - Hubert Humphrey

35th tied - Lyndon B Johnson

35th tied - Michael Dukakis

35th tied - George McGovern

35th tied - Jimmy Carter (huge surprise----a top intellect in some areas and completely, historically oblivious in other areas)

35th tied - Herbert Hoover

35th tied - Al Smith

35th tied - Andrew Jackson

43rd tied - Mitt Romney

43rd tied - Barry Goldwater

43rd tied - Walter Mondale

43rd tied - John McCain

43rd tied - Alf Landon

43rd tied - James Cox

43rd tied - Joe Biden

43rd tied - Horace Greeley

43rd tied - Rutherford B Hayes

43rd tied - Ulysses S Grant

43rd tied - Lewis Cass

54th tied - George HW Bush

54th tied - William McKinley

54th tied - Bob Dole

54th tied - Grover Cleveland

54th tied - Horatio Seymout

54th tied - Winfield Scott

60th tied - George W Bush

60th tied - John W Davis

60th tied - Alton B Parker

60th tied - Benjamin Harrison

60th tied - Chester A Arthur

60th tied - Winfield Scott Hancock

60th tied - Samuel J Tilden

60th tied - Zachary Taylor

60th tied - James Monroe

69th tied - Gerald Ford

69th tied - Hillary Clinton (similar to Jimmy Carter in having a very lopsided global intelligence)

69th tied - Millard Fillmore

72nd tied - Calvin Coolidge

72nd tied - George B McClellan

72nd tied - William Henry Harrison

75th tied - Donald Trump (Almost all primal intelligence)

75th tied - Warren G Harding

75th tied - James Buchanan

75th tied - John C Fremont

75th tied - Franklin Pierce 

75th tied - Charles Coatesworth Pinckney

81st - Andrew Johnson (Dead last - No president or nominee has been more oblivious and more incompetent at reacting to events, politics, and people around him. He is probably the only person on this list with a pedestrian intellect. The rest are probably all above average in intelligence.)

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32 minutes ago, Actinguy said:

John Adams would be outraged and Andrew Jackson would challenge you to a duel. ;c)

Actually, @vcczar, I have to agree with him here, but not for the reasons you (or @Actinguy) may suspect. Psychologists, neurologists, and sociologists (in a large majority of the consensus) now believe that the average person from the "High-Imperial," or "Victorian," age of world history (last two-thirds of the 19th Century) had, on average, several more points of IQ than a person in a roughly analogous situation in life today, and that people in Antiquity had, on average, several more points still than their rough counterparts in personal experience. While this may sound very counter-intuitive to the modern mind, the reason for such logic is simple - even though access to knowledge is much more limited, everything in life was so much more difficult to do and arrange than the "push button, multi-media," lives we have today, and even learning was such an extensive and drawn-out endeavour, often involving field research, traveling to other physical libraries or reliquaries, learning fluency in other languages, and courting and maintaining correspondence with other academics - in person, or by hand-written (did I mention everything was hand-written - the printing press was only for copies) snail-mail letters - there was no Internet research or connections at all.

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3 minutes ago, Patine said:

Actually, @vcczar, I have to agree with him here, but not for the reasons you (or @Actinguy) may suspect. Psychologists, neurologists, and sociologists (in a large majority of the consensus) now believe that the average person from the "High-Imperial," or "Victorian," age of world history (last two-thirds of the 19th Century) had, on average, several more points of IQ than a person in a roughly analogous situation in life today, and that people in Antiquity had, on average, several more points still than their rough counterparts in personal experience. While this may sound very counter-intuitive to the modern mind, the reason for such logic is simple - even though access to knowledge is much more limited, everything in life was so much more difficult to do and arrange than the "push button, multi-media," lives we have today, and even learning was such an extensive and drawn-out endeavour, often involving field research, traveling to other physical libraries or reliquaries, learning fluency in other languages, and courting and maintaining correspondence with other academics - in person, or by hand-written (did I mention everything was hand-written - the printing press was only for copies) snail-mail letters - there was no Internet research or connections at all.

I actually wrote something on that: https://historymonocle.com/2016/03/26/were-the-victorians-really-smarter-than-us/

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5 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

Would be interesting to see the breakdown by category for each one.

I can post that

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@admin_270

  Logical Intelligence Abstract Intelligence Interpersonal Intelligence Intrapersonal Intelligence Linguistic Intelligence Primal Intelligence Learned Intelligence Natural Intelligence Total Intelligence
Theodore Roosevelt 4 5 5 4 4 5 5 4 36
Thomas Jefferson 5 5 3 4 5 4 5 5 36
Abraham Lincoln 5 5 4 4 5 3 4 4 34
John Adams 5 5 2 5 4 2 5 4 32
John F. Kennedy 4 4 4 3 5 3 4 4 31
Richard Nixon 4 4 2 4 4 4 4 4 30
Bill Clinton 4 3 5 2 4 4 4 4 30
Barack Obama 4 4 3 3 5 2 5 4 30
Henry Clay 3 3 4 3 4 5 4 4 30
John Quincy Adams 5 5 1 3 5 1 5 5 30
James Madison 4 5 1 4 4 2 5 5 30
Ronald Reagan 3 4 5 4 4 4 2 3 29
Franklin D Roosevelt 3 4 5 3 4 4 3 3 29
Woodrow Wilson 3 4 3 2 5 4 4 4 29
James A Garfield 4 4 3 2 4 2 5 4 28
Rufus King 4 4 2 4 4 2 4 4 28
DeWitt Clinton 3 4 3 4 3 3 4 4 28
Al Gore 5 5 1 2 3 2 5 4 27
Charles Evans Hughes 3 3 3 3 4 3 4 4 27
John Kerry 4 3 2 3 4 2 4 4 26
Dwight D Eisenhower 4 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 26
Adlai Stevenson 5 3 2 3 4 2 3 4 26
Harry S Truman 4 3 3 4 2 4 3 3 26
Wendell Wilkie 3 3 4 3 3 4 3 3 26
William J Bryan 3 3 3 4 5 3 2 3 26
Thomas Dewey 4 3 2 3 3 3 3 4 25
William H Taft 4 2 3 3 4 1 4 4 25
James G Blaine 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 25
Stephen A Douglas 3 2 3 3 4 4 3 3 25
John C Breckinridge 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 3 25
James K Polk 4 2 2 4 4 3 3 3 25
Martin Van Buren 3 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 25
William H Crawford 3 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 25
George Washington 3 2 2 4 3 5 3 3 25
Hubert Humphrey 3 4 3 2 3 3 3 3 24
Lyndon B. Johnson 4 3 3 1 2 5 3 3 24
Michael Dukakis 4 3 2 3 3 2 3 4 24
George McGovern 3 4 3 3 3 2 3 3 24
Jimmy Carter 4 4 1 2 3 2 4 4 24
Herbert Hoover 4 3 2 3 2 2 4 4 24
Al Smith 3 3 4 3 3 3 2 3 24
Andrew Jackson 3 3 2 4 2 5 2 3 24
Mitt Romney 4 3 2 3 3 2 3 3 23
Barry Goldwater 3 2 2 4 3 2 3 4 23
Walter Mondale 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 23
John McCain 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 23
Alf Landon 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 23
James Cox 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 23
Joe Biden 3 2 5 2 2 3 3 3 23
Rutherford B Hayes 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 23
Horace Greeley 1 4 3 3 4 1 4 3 23
Ulysses S Grant 4 3 2 2 4 3 2 3 23
Lewis Cass 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 23
Bob Dole 3 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 22
George HW Bush 4 2 2 3 2 3 3 3 22
William McKinley 3 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 22
Grover Cleveland 4 1 2 4 3 2 3 3 22
Horatio Seymour 3 2 3 3 3 2 3 3 22
Winfield Scott 4 4 1 2 3 3 2 3 22
George W Bush 3 1 5 3 1 3 2 3 21
John W Davis 3 2 2 3 3 2 3 3 21
Alton B Parker 4 1 2 3 3 2 3 3 21
Benjamin Harrison 4 2 1 3 3 2 3 3 21
Chester A Arthur 2 3 4 3 2 2 2 3 21
Winfield Scott Hancock 3 2 3 3 2 3 2 3 21
Samuel J Tilden 3 2 2 3 3 2 3 3 21
Zachary Taylor 4 2 2 3 1 4 3 2 21
James Monroe 3 2 4 2 2 3 2 3 21
Gerald Ford 3 2 2 3 2 2 3 3 20
Hillary Clinton 4 2 1 1 3 2 3 4 20
Millard Fillmore 3 2 2 2 3 2 3 3 20
Calvin Coolidge 4 1 1 3 2 2 3 3 19
George B McClellan 3 2 2 1 3 2 2 4 19
William Henry Harrison 2 2 3 1 3 3 2 3 19
Donald Trump 3 1 2 2 1 5 2 2 18
Warren G Harding 2 3 4 2 2 2 1 2 18
James Buchanan 3 1 3 1 3 2 2 3 18
John C Fremont 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 3 18
Franklin Pierce 2 2 3 1 3 2 2 3 18
Charles C Pinckney 2 2 3 3 2 2 2 2 18
Andrew Johnson 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 17

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16 hours ago, vcczar said:

I actually wrote something on that

Reaction time seems a questionable proxy for intelligence, because there are other plausible mechanisms that might decrease reaction time when talking about two different times like the 1800s and now. For example, diet.

When I started eating better, I noticed my reaction time improved. I would catch objects flinging off a table and think 'that was a good catch.'

Distraction is another thing, which you note in your post, that might be hindering productivity in contemporary society. Alexander Graham Bell supposedly refused to have a telephone in his study because he thought it would be too distracting - something I agree with (my solution is my phone is almost always 'off' when working).

 

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31 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

Reaction time seems a questionable proxy for intelligence, because there are other plausible mechanisms that might decrease reaction time when talking about two different times like the 1800s and now. For example, diet.

When I started eating better, I noticed my reaction time improved. I would catch objects flinging off a table and think 'that was a good catch.'

Distraction is another thing, which you note in your post, that might be hindering productivity in contemporary society. Alexander Graham Bell supposedly refused to have a telephone in his study because he thought it would be too distracting - something I agree with (my solution is my phone is almost always 'off' when working).

 

Yeah, I was definitely at my most productive when I didn't routinely carry my phone, worked on paper rather than on a CPU with internet, when I was single, and when I could work after midnight. There was an 8-year period when this was--more or less--true for me. I would read and write in diners and coffee shops after midnight, sometimes until 7am in the morning. No distractions (I can block out out conversation and people around me at will in public places) and lots of production.

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1 hour ago, vcczar said:

I would read and write in diners and coffee shops after midnight, sometimes until 7am in the morning.

I used to be a total night owl - I loved the quiet. But 7am was a little late, even for me. :)

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10 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

I used to be a total night owl - I loved the quiet. But 7am was a little late, even for me. :)

Yeah, I was in love with the night---In Texas and in NYC, I'd routinely walk the streets at night. It was the best way to think. In NYC, I usually only stayed in the diners or coffee shops until 4am, and then went home to sleep, even if I had work early.

My Texas schedule was the strangest:

  • Wake up at 6pm for 630pm grad school classes.
  • Classes end at 915pm, go to coffee shop and hang out with friends, get in debates, play chess, etc., until midnight.
  • Go to diner and work on writing, reading, school work until 7pm. 
  • 7pm go eat breakfast somewhere else, and then go back to the coffee shop to hang out with friends, get in debates, play chess, write, work on other projects, until noon.
  • Go to bed at noon.
  • *Note: I hosted a literary event once a week, and sometimes I would actually go home at 4pm if I had to do something on the computer. Sometimes I went to the 24-hour school computer lab for less distractions. My schedule was, more or less, consistent.

Prior to grad school, I'd sleep 4 hours on average, sometimes I didn't sleep at all (once went three days without sleep). No drugs (aside from coffee) and no alcohol. Now, I'm about as normal as I've ever been, sleepwise and schedule-wise anyway.

 

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