I get that he is super smart and all. But in my opinion Sasuke,Neji,Naruto,Gaara,Temari,and Kankuro should also have been promoted to chunnin. They were all at chunnin level or higher. I could argue that Naruto should not have been promoted since he whas not a good leader at that time but all the others should defenitely been promoted. They were at chunnin level, both strenght wise and tactic wise.
I would argue that the four Elites of the Exam - Neji, Gaara, Dosu and Lee - were the most likely to be promoted by ability alone.
If we take in mental/emotional factors... Neji's less likely to get the promotion thanks to his mindset at the time, Gaara as well probably thanks to his instability. Lee's a decent candidate. Dosu (I'm very biased) stands out for being ridiculously keen and *ytical along with his power, easily at Shikamaru level or greater. I don't remember being particularly impressed by Kankuro - as for Temari, possibly, maybe. And Sasuke... I'm iffy on that one as well.
Shikamaru had the brains but lacked motivation and offense...
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