Can one be “too-informed”?

Defending ignorance is a pet peeve of mine.  Criticizing Obama’s speaking style, an AP article quotes Ted Sorensen, a former JFK speechwriter:

He is still a very eloquent, articulate speaker. He is clearly well informed on all matters of public policy, sometimes, frankly, a little too well informed. And as a result, some of the speeches are too complicated for typical citizens and very clear to university faculties and big newspaper editorial boards.

There is validity to the argument that a president should be speaking to everyone, not just the intellectual elite, but that’s a problem with the writing of a speech, not with one’s level of personal knowledge.  To be able to distill an issue into something anyone can understand is a reasonable expectation of the leader of a country, but expecting an intelligent president to be less informed is not.


One Response to Can one be “too-informed”?

  1. Jeremy says:

    Yeah, criticizing a president who has given 2 or 3 of the most memorable, well-known speeches in a generation (Cairo, the race speech, Inauguration) for being too knowledgeable is a tad ridiculous.

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