Skip to main content

U of M: Michelle Obama speech written at lofty 12th grade level

The University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs analyzed the speeches at the party conventions, looking at considerations such as sentence length and polysyllabic words. First Lady Michelle Obama's speech came in at a 12th grade level. That was by far the highest among presidential candidate's spouses since they started giving convention speeches 20 years ago. Higher than her husband's eighth-grade level State of the Union speeches, too.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs analyzed the speeches at this year's political conventions and found First Lady Michelle Obama's was written at a much higher grade level than most.

Her husband's State of the Union speeches have been written at an eighth grade level. And Ann Romney's speech the week before came in at the lowest grade level among presidential candidates' spouses since they became a convention fixture twenty years ago.

Do longer sentences and bigger words make for a better speech, though?

If you want to do your own side-by-side comparison, have at it.

Of course, when women take the stage the scrutiny of clothing goes up a couple of notches. Washington Post blogger Suzi Parker brings us up to speed on the flap over Michelle's dress and what it actually cost, before bemoaning the attention clothes get.

Next Up

hospital, emergency room

Driver, 15 years old, hurt when car collides with SUV

The road was wet at the time, the State Patrol said.

Tyler Wahl

Minnesotans have the Badgers back in the national spotlight

Three of Wisconsin's four leading scorers are from Minnesota.

Francisco Liriano

Liriano retires: Remembering his meteoric rise as a rookie

There was no one better than Liriano from mid-May to late-July in 2006.

kimmel morari screengrab collage

Watch: Jimmy Kimmel mocks men's sex aid made by MN company

"This is an app I won't be [down]loading," Kimmel said.

Screen Shot 2022-01-17 at 8.58.56 AM

Man hospitalized after snowmobile crash in Stearns County

The crash occurred east of State Highway 238 in Albany Township.

covid

Indicators of COVID in wastewater skyrocketing in Twin Cities

Wastewater detection can serve as a predictor for rising and falling case levels.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Girl arrested for allegedly shooting her mother in northern MN

The incident occurred in Morcom Township Sunday afternoon.

Related

Target's next designer: Jason Wu, creator of Michelle Obama's inaugural gown

Jason Wu, who created First Lady Michelle Obama's inaugural gown, is the latest to team up with the Minneapolis-based retailer to create a limited edition line of women's clothing this winter.

Venue change shuts some Minnesotans out of Obama speech

DFL Party Chair Ken Martin says about 120 Minnesotans may not get to attend President Barack Obama's speech after all because weather forced the event indoors, MPR says. The outdoor Bank of America football stadium is considerably larger than the Time Warner basketball arena, so some people are getting squeezed out.

Michelle Obama in Minnesota to learn ways to support military members and their families

The First Lady is in the Twin Cities Friday to learn about how Minnesota programs might help shape national efforts to support military veterans. Nicole Lovald, who started a support group for military members and their families when her husband was deployed twice overseas is among those meeting with Obama.

Michelle Obama visiting Twin Cities on Friday

The First Lady is coming to Minneapolis for a roundtable discussion with veterans groups and members of the armed forces, the White House announced.

Rybak scheduled to speak Tuesday at Democratic convention

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is scheduled to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte Tuesday night. His remarks are part of the build up to First Lady Michelle Obama's speech.

Capella U works to turn around flagging grades

Once among the hottest startups in town, the online university today is struggling with declining enrollment and new competition. The company's chief exec tells the Star Tribune the school has a new strategy, which includes changes in how it recruits, retains and supports students.