Michelle Obama’s DNC Speech Written at 7 Grade Levels Above Ann Romney’s
The First Lady’s speech Tuesday was written at a 12th grade level - the highest in history among the wives of presidential nominees and far above Ann Romney’s lowest mark of a 5th grade level.
Although her husband has delivered some of the simplest State of the Union speeches over the last 75+ years - with all three written at an eighth grade level - Michelle Obama did not follow rhetorical suit on Tuesday evening.
One week after Ann Romney set a record for delivering a speech written at the lowest grade level in convention history by the wives of presidential nominees, Michelle Obama delivers a speech written at the highest ever grade level.
A Smart Politics review of prepared remarks delivered by the spouses of presidential nominees at national political conventions finds that Michelle Obama’s 2012 speech to the DNC was written at seven grade levels above Ann Romney’s as measured by the Flesch-Kincaid readability test.
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.