The Conversation

White House, Press Corps Cover up Obama's 'Alex de Tocqueville' Gaffe

President Barack Obama, supposedly the smartest man ever to hold the office and often described as a "professor" of constitutional law, described one of the most important political thinkers of the past three hundred years as "Alex" de Tocqueville yesterday in a joint press conference with the French president.

The press failed to notice. Worse, as Neil Munro of the Daily Caller points out, the White House edited the official transcript of the event to make it appear as though President Obama had referred (correctly) to "Alexis" de Tocqueville. Had George W. Bush made the same error, it would have been a punch line for weeks.

President Obama is a clever man. But he is not as smart as he is made out to be, principally because he has no interest in history--Charles Hurt notes his abuse of Thomas Jefferson during the French president's visit--and very little of the kind of curiosity that marks a true intellectual. If he's a genius, Bill Clinton's a feminist.


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