Rhetorical analysis: How Obama is dumbing down his speeches

Measuring the complexity of each speech can help distinguish between the two, according to political rhetoric experts.

“You want short, punchy presentations when you’re campaigning rather than, say, an intricate defense of just war. You’re going to come out with different patterns on the Flesch scale,” said Fred I. Greenstein, a professor of politics emeritus at Princeton University.

Obama’s student loan remarks seemed to fit the bill for a campaign speech. According to the Flesch scale, which measures reading difficulty on a grade-level scale, Obama’s oratory has been on a steep decline from the 2008 campaign.

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