You can read various critiques of President Obama’s State of the Union address out on the interwebs, but there is one critique out there that is, frankly, pretty lame. It is the idea that there is something risible about the speech being written at an 8th grade level.
I write for a living. Writing at an 8th grade level is a good approach, in most cases. Too many people confuse complexity with intelligence. Truth be told, needless complexity is usually a mask for something else, including incoherence or deceit. At the level of attention that most people can offer, communicating at the 8th grade level is usually where you want to be. Reading need not be the intellectual equivalent of calisthenics.