I recoil a bit when a voter’s main reason to support a candidate is his intelligence. Oprah shouted her support for Obama “not because he is black but because he is brilliant.”

Why don’t we thus dispense with these pesky elections and just administer IQ tests?

I never questioned the intelligence of either of the Clintons or Obama, or Kerry or Al Gore (actually I do harbor a few reservations about Gore- he only seems smart like Chauncey Gardner in ‘Being There’).

But intelligence without humility and a sense of limits is dangerous. Without the experience to discern when to commit more in the face of stiff opposition, or when to recognize changing realities, intelligence may blind you to alternatives or worse make you indecisive in the face of seemingly unlimited options.

A moral center is more important to deal with the uncertainties and the lack of control that is often the reality of leadership. How to deal with inevitable setbacks, and to stay committed to noble objectives is the subject of character more than intelligence.