There’s talking down to people, and then, there’s condescending.
Delivering a speech that is pitched at an 8th grade reading comprehension level must count as both talking down and condescending. Even when the speaker is the President of the United States.
It’s not the first time that Barack Obama took the American people for a bunch of 8th graders. He has always spoken to Americans as though they were prepubescent preteens.
By comparison, his twelve predecessors have pitched their speeches to late 10th grade reading comprehension.
Politico reports the bad news:
President Obama's 2012 State of the Union address again rated at an 8th grade comprehension level on the Flesch-Kincaid readability test — the third lowest score of any State of the Union address since 1934.
The University of Minnesota's Smart Politics conducted an analysis on the last 70 State of the Union addresses and found that President Obama's three addresses have the lowest grade average of any modern president. "Obama's average grade-level score of 8.4 is more than two grades lower than the 10.7 grade average for the other 67 addresses written by his 12 predecessors," they conclude.
"The Flesch-Kincaid test is designed to assess the readability level of written text, with a formula that translates the score to a U.S. grade level. Longer sentences and sentences utilizing words with more syllables produce higher scores. Shorter sentences and sentences incorporating more monosyllabic words yield lower scores," the University of Minnesota's Eric Ostermeier explains.
Either Obama thinks that the American people are not very bright, or he believes that the people who voted for him are poorly educated, or else he himself thinks like an eighth grader.
I report; you decide.