John Quincy Adams in my opinion is the last of the deferential society, thinking man presidents for a long time. The next presidents really played up their appeal to the common man- Jackson's nickname was 'Old Hickory' or 'The Hero', Van Buren was 'Old Kinderhook' (created the saying O.K.), Harrison was 'Old Tippecanoe'.
John Quincy Adams could not have been more different than the populist presidents that followed. He was steeped in the Roman and Greek classics, like his father John Adams. He also spoke fluent French, German, Russian and even some Dutch as well as complete fluency in Greek and Latin.
He read so much that he actually was nearly blind in his old age. He was a Renaissance man that wrote scholarly works on Astronomy and had a huge part in ushering in an era a standardized weights and measures through his own research and read the great works of Philosophy by night.
Barack Obama may have been the president of the Harvard Law Review, but he has a long way to go before he's as much of an intellectual as Quincy Adams.