By Patrick Appel
A reader writes:

Just read "Dumbing Down the Presidency" and something clicked. I think part of the reason Bill resents Obama is because he's doing a lot of things the way Bill wanted to do them, but was talked out of by his advisors.

Obama's speechifying is everything Clinton's could have been - unrestrained, rhetorically brilliant, unapologetic - except that Bill chose to go the "dumb-down" route and so eschewed all the intellectual acclaim that the former Rhodes Scholar could have claimed. He chose to accept the conventional wisdom that the average American was too dumb to follow a collegiate level speech. Seeing Obama pull it off must be infuriating - it's like watching someone win a race you know you could have won too, except everyone told you not to enter.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.