NEW YORK, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Vocativ recently decided to do a study of the sophistication of presidential speeches, from George Washington to Barack Obama, and found they've become less sophisticated over time. They analyzed over 600 speeches using the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, which judges speech by assigning it to a grade level. All of their conclusions were analyzed by former Bill Clinton speech writer Jeff Shesol.
The analysis found that President Obama has raised the bar, in terms of speech, but the gap between him and President Bush is not as wide as many make it out to be.
Shesol wasn't as concerned by the "dumbing down" of presidential speech as one might think.
"It's actually a sign of democratization. In the early Republic, presidents could assume that they were speaking to audiences made up mostly of men like themselves: educated, civic-minded landowners. These, of course, were the only Americans with the right to vote. But over time, the franchise expanded and presidential appeals had to reach a broader audience," he said.