A test that determines the grade level of writing found Michelle Obama broke a record by delivering a speech written at the 12th-grade level. Ann Romney broke a record too, with a 5th-grade level speech — the lowest in the history of convention speeches by wives of presidential nominees.
The grade level is based on sentence length and the number of polysyllabic words used. Longer sentences with longer words mean a higher grade level. For example, on women’s issues, Mrs. Obama said, “He believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care…that’s what my husband stands for.”
Mrs. Romney addressed women by saying, “I love you women…You are the best of America. You are the hope of America. There would not be an America without you. Tonight, we salute you and sing your praises.”To be fair, Ann Romney’s original draft was written at a much higher level than the speech she wound up delivering. I found a copy of her draft edited by Romney’s campaign managers. Here’s an excerpt.
“While there are many important issues we’ll hear discussed…tonight I want to talk to you from my heart about our hearts. I want you to turn off your brains, especially if you’re a woman, and really concentrate on your hearts. That’s what I try to do. That’s the only way I’m able stand up here tonight and encourage you to vote for my husband…
“If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It’s the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right…You know it’s true, don’t you? You’re the ones who always have to do a little more. You know what it’s like to work a little harder during the day to earn the respect you deserve at work and then come home to help with that book report which just has to be done…I’m not sure if men really understand this, I know for sure Mitt doesn’t, because he doesn’t understand most things related to women, but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better!
“I learned a long time ago not to expect equality and hopefully you have too. Suck it up because my husband doesn’t have any interest in addressing sexism. He waffles on equal pay for men and women, would allow insurance companies to charge women more than men, and has vowed to shut down Planned Parenthood. So, ladies, don’t expect any breast exams, pap smears, contraceptives, or UTI treatments.
“It has been 47 years since that tall, kind of charming young man brought me home from our first dance. Not every day since has been easy. He lacks human warmth and is emotionally unavailable. And sometimes the elevator for our cars takes an inordinate amount of time. But he still unintentionally makes me laugh because he puts his foot in his mouth consistently and is extremely awkward. I said tonight I wanted to talk to you about love. Look into your hearts and try to ignore what your brain is telling you…
“You can trust Mitt. He may not trust you, if you’re a woman, to make decisions about your own body. He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and is inconsistent about exceptions for rape and incest. He chose a running mate who believes in no exceptions whatsoever and distinguishes between forcible rape and good old-fashioned American rape. But trust Mitt. I have lady parts and I trust him, so if you have lady parts, you should trust him too.
“He loves America. He thinks it’s the right height.
“He will take us, the wives of men in the top 1 percent, to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance.”