A commenter named “Ted” who claims to be a Harvard Law School grad has an excellent explanation for why Obama’s IQ is “well in excess of 140”:
If we assume that LSAT 163=IQ 130 and average LSAT at HLS is 173, then the average HLS student has an IQ of 145 or 146, since on the LSAT 10 points is one SD.
Actually I think average LSAT Obama's year was more like 170 or 171, so IQ = 140 is probably a reasonable estimate.
As an HLS grad, I can confirm that grading is largely blind, however the magna=top 10% rule was only established after Obama graduated. His year as I recall it was more like top 20%, and it varied year to year somewhat before it was changed from a minimum GPA standard to the top 10% rule.
Law Review has a few AA spots, and President of HLR is an elected position, so this means that the mainly white and very smart editors thought highly of him but does not speak directly to his intelligence.
All that said, even assuming the worst, that Obama just barely squeaked by in getting magna and was right at the top 20% and was an above average grade grubber, he still could not have graduated magna without having an IQ well in excess of 140.
HLS students are hardly slackers and the school is about 85% white or asian, so getting to the top 20% of that group is no easy task. I did know one guy who was somewhat less intelligent than the HLS average and got magna, but he studied insane amounts, more than 10 hours a day in addition to attending every class.
If Obama got his good grades this way, it speaks extremely well of his good character and work ethic in particular contrasting it with Bush, Gore, and Kerry with their gentleman's B- averages, McCain and his bottom 1% grades at the navel academy, Biden with his plagerism, and Palin with her long struggle to find a college and major easy enough to squeak by.
Also, comparing Harvard College and Harvard Law School IQs, only about 1/3 of HC students who apply to HLS are accepted, and many more probably don't even apply realizing they have no chance. I can't remember the source, but I read that the average LSAT for HC students is 163, which is tied for the highest in the USA, but still well below HLS's standards. There is a list floating around there somewhere.
I agree with the reasoning above.
I think that certain commenters who keep hinting at Obama's low intelligence either: (1) don't understand that liberals can be highly intelligent; or (2) think that because Obama is half black he can't possibly be that smart--this attitude demonstrates a lack of understanding of about HBD.